We’re just under a week into November and the Christmas ads are coming thick and fast. Undisputed King/Queen of Christmas ads recently past*, John Lewis, is on top form as usual. Utilising the now classic John Lewis Christmas ad formula of stock seasonal symbolism and an acoustic cover of a smushy song the ad goes straight for the jugular/tear ducts with the tale of a lonely little Monty the penguin who just wants to love and be loved. If this ad doesn’t hit you right in the feels then you are a mean one Mr(s) Grinch.
The ad is beautiful in every sense and the special effects and editing are particularly strong. It really is just a stunning ad to behold. I’d be really interested to see some behind the scenes footage (as ever) to see how much is CGI and how much, if any, is edited live footage of a penguin having a romp. Real or not I’m pretty sure Monty will see penguins replacing ponies as the most asked for gift this year.
JUST LET ME HAVE SOME LINE SPACE PLEASE
Boots also employ emotional warfare in their Christmas offering telling the tale of a modern family coming together in the early hours of boxing day to celebrate Christmas with a nurse coming off shift. It’s altogether more real, more gritty than Monty’s story and feels a bit grey, sad and tired in comparison.
It reminds me of Sainsbury’s Christmas in a Day from last year, both ads taking a very real, very normal look at Christmas. My sister, a nurse, will undoubtedly love it but it seems a bit pandering to me. I’m sure the reality of shift work around Christmas and New Year is unfortunately more familiar to more people than I probably realise. It just feels a bit too real and loses the fun and glamour associated with Christmas (and especially Christmas advertising) as a result. Part of me hopes this is the first in a series of ads from Boots but I’m not holding my breath.
UST LET ME HAVE SOME LINE SPACE PLEASE
The final ad I’m going to post isn’t actually a Christmas ad (I hope) but I figured I’d post it anyway (my blog, my rules). It’s one of those strange fashion ads I wrote about recently. The sort of ad that’s a nightmare to follow or try to understand but looks so bloody good you’re ok with that. It’s very Game of Thrones, very high fantasy and very high fashion. One of those ads that’s hard to explain why it works but it does.
It’s got me quite excited for Harvey Nichols upcoming Christmas ad (which is the reason I’ve included it). They’ve had a great run of Christmas ads recently acting as an Alternative Christmas Message to John Lewis’ Royal Christmas one. Last year’s effort, Sorry, I Spent it on Myself, pretty much won all the Cannes so there are some big stockings to fill. I personally prefer Walk of Shame from a few years back but either way we can hope to see the typical Harvey Nichols humour and satirical take on some very real Christmas situations. Please don’t disappoint.
*Coca Cola and their big red trucks will always be the ultimate in Christmas ads