Well this is it, it’s officially the lead up to Christmas. All the big TV ads have been released, so the debate on which is the best and which is the worst has begun.
It’s quite simple though, we all know which is the biggest disappoint this year … John Lewis’ Moz the Monster. I mean come on, what was that? £7 million to produce that? I don’t ‘Adam and Eve’ it.
I guess at some point they had to lose their crown as the kings of Christmas advertising – although #ManOnTheMoon after #MontyThePenguin was a bit of a let-down, but at least that guy pulled on the heartstrings. What’s confusing about this year’s Moz the Monster is what was the message? The end caption was “For gifts that brighten their world”. This appears when the kid put on the space light, given to him by Moz. But then that sent Moz away. So what exactly is the message here? Sleep with the light on kids and the monsters will go away, despite the conflicting message that the kid actually had fun with the monster during the past 90 seconds. Just awful. It was a poor attempt to make you feel sad, when in actual fact it just pissed off a bunch of parents who were concerned their child wouldn’t sleep at night, and a ton of viewers who were expecting to feel that warm fuzzy feeling that Christmas is coming, and instead, got catfished.
This is the problem with Christmas advertising now. It’s not about family and togetherness, that’s just a tag line they shove in at the end as an afterthought. It’s about who hired the biggest creative agency, and who got the most famous celebrity to star in their ad. Oh and of course, making a character that you can conveniently buy in stores.
You know what would do well as a Christmas ad? Expectation vs reality.
We all know what we want at Christmas time – a white Christmas, loads of presents, delicious food, laughter and joy. But instead we get family squabbles, someone overcooked the turkey, and that awful gift from your aunt that you had to open in front of her, forcing you to bring out your inner Oscar nominated self.
Pulling on the heartstrings has been the main focus for many Christmas ads over the years, and to be fair, it has worked for a long time. But it’s time to move away from the stale, repetitive, over-thought tearjerkers, and give us some reality!
The best ad this year has to be from Waitrose, which is surprising considering the same agency, adam&eveDDB who brought us #MozTheMonster, also produced the Waitrose ad. The advert, filmed in black and white, shows a snowstorm hitting the area as locals gather for a drink on Christmas morning, forcing them to rally together to unexpectedly share lunch. The message being “to reconnect people with the emotions of Christmas". Perfect!
So, here we are. The countdown to Christmas is on. Time to get those lists together and hit the high street. To quote Marks & Spencer’s 2017 ad, “this Christmas, let’s spend it well” – oh look, and you can buy a £12 Paddington Bear from them too. How original.