31 Dec 2012

Christmas has been and gone and everyone’s gutted to be back at work soon, so what better time to remind you all of 2012’s overly rich and sickly Christmas adverts. My first viewing of a seemingly-feature-length Christmas ad from John Lewis (1) was enough for me. All the mushy, sentimental ‘festive goodwill’ smeared over what seemed like an age was too much.
And another thing: whilst getting to the shops at Christmas must have been a gargantuan effort for the snowman, he only bought a hat, scarf and gloves. Despite some solid acting to mask it, I’m sure his other half was infuriated. Will we see her returning to exchange the gifts in the sales this month?

Waitrose (2) and BBH did manage to steer clear of the Christmas drivel served up by most, but their effort wasn’t faultless. Whilst the charitable sentiment of customers deciding which local causes Waitrose’s ad budget went to couldn’t be quibbled with, the ad’s execution could.
They neglected a fancy, frilly effort to instead give money to charity, which even Scrooge can appreciate. But what about the outlay for the ad space? And the studio? Credit where credit’s due, though. They didn’t spend on the actors. They can’t have done based on those performances.

Next up was Barclaycard (3)What was this ad all about then? Toys… or so it seemed until you got to the closing stages. What BBH cleverly did was present an extravagant, Toy Story-esque ad, but use it to show the contrast between finding the right gift (tricky) and paying for it (easy).
Hang on. Scrooge is being a bit positive here isn’t he? Fret not. The saturation of toys just reminded me of kids and presents, so naturally this ad was a write-off.

An interesting idea ran through the eBay (4). festive ad by Venables Bell & Partners: Dad bought the wrong present with calamitous consequences.
Now, other Christmas ads drew criticism because they suggested the stereotype that Mum does all the work at that time of year. But this ad implied that when Dad tries to take over, the house comes crumbling down (almost literally in this case). That’s not fair either is it?
But you’re Scrooge, you don’t care about fair.’ You may be right, but damn it, I feel compelled to stand up for the Dads who correctly buy their daughters toy ponies instead of the more-expensive real ones.

Finally, we come to Go Compare (5)This ad got past the first hurdle with consummate ease; there were no saccharine, Christmassy overtones that slapped me in the face. Unfortunately, it failed at the second with the inclusion of another of the world’s most annoying characters, Louie Spence, alongside Gio Compario.
Those two were enough to ruin anyone’s Christmas… and when I think about it, I am actually eternally grateful for that. Thank you Go Compare and DARE for giving me the perfect note to end on.

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