There is a new popular chart, the hit parade of TV Christmas ads.

 

Last year a friend of mine said to me : 'Oh I can't wait to see John Lewis' Christmas ad this year, I've heard it it is Lilly Allen singing Keane!' She seemed excited by the prospect and she was right it was. I didn't share her enthusiasm.

 

John Lewis 2014 Christmas ad had Lilly Allen singing Somewhere Only We Know by Keane. It seemed appropriate, a showbiz bathed beauty, the offspring of luvvies - Lilly is the daughter of Keith 'Boarding School' Allen - flogging outrageous brand commercialism. Here was John Lewis using sentimental slush, Lilly Allen, and the emotional vehicle of the festive season to sell to people who really don't have that much to spend.

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Oh Go on you can always take a loan out in the new year...

 

This year John Lewis have chosen Oasis 'Half The World Away' which should prove a nice little earner for the appropriately named Noel...Gallagher. The song will be covered by Norwegian band Aurora.

 

Over at Waitrose, they've pulled in Heston Blumenthal – at great expense no doubt - to front their pile of hunky dory bubble with a twist of middle-class humour and sentimentality. I suspect Heston would have made a great bald android from a whacko sci-fi blockbuster set on a planet of chocolate syrup, but here he is in a unashamedly schmaltzy Christmas ad, plugging it hard for Waitrose as if his frontal lobotomy depended on it.

 

The ad starts with a voiceover asking : What is it that makes Christmas...Christmas? And, you think, Jesus Christ? The nativity? Midnight mass? The music cuts in as we contemplate.

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Cab Calloway and his orchestra's rendition of Everybody Eats When They Come To My House. Suddenly everyone is preparing food and decorating their homes as they prepare for Father Christmas. Then mum rushes out into the snow to welcome her mini driving son back home for the holidays - awwwwww. Unless, of course, it is her toy boy lover?

 

Too contrived? You bet, but that's what works Mental note I must visit those nice people at Waitrose for Christmas shopping.

 

I am left mulling over the take-off question : What is it that makes Christmas...Christmas?

 

Mmmm, let me see...depends where you live I suppose. On a sink estate in the heart of Manchester? Foodbanks? Homelessness? Debt?

 

If I made an ad I would have Jeremy Clarkson creeping downstairs in the middle of the night to rob the children's presents before they wake ho ho ho! But who needs Jeremy Clarkson? In the real world we have George Osborne taking tax credits from hard working people...Bah humbug?

 

 

 

  #Advertising