This year’s onslaught of ‘feel good’ Christmas adverts has been tumbling out from the marketing divisions of all the major retailers in the UK. I’m going to force myself to watch them and analyze them with my critical eye.
First up, the John Lewis Christmas advert, 2016.
The sour taste of last year‘s festive advert from these guys still remains in my mouth. An old man who is so unloved, his family have sent him to the moon without the proper appliances to sustain himself. Luckily for him, he can breathe in space. A little girl manages to spot him with a commercial telescope that somehow has insane optics to zoom in as far as it did. Pricey. Anyway, the entire concept of someone spotting a castaway reminds me of the South Korean movie, ‘Castaway On The Moon’ (premise and title seemed to have made the advertising agency’s life super easy), which is a trillion times better.
This year’s attempt at making us give a shit about life starts off with an annoying child jumping up and down on her bed right before bedtime.
She’s quite possibly a machine as the second her mother tells her it’s time for sleep, she’s out like a light. She’s not out of breath from all the acrobatics like an actual human would be, she just has a peaceful and serene look on her face as she powers down.
Outside, the father figure is struggling to put together what seems to be an Argos special trampoline. Notice how nothing on it is straight or looks secure. The snow on the other hand should have been trodden down to water while the father clumsily stomped about the yard making this accident-maker, but no – and it’s not like it’s a fresh layer of snow as there’s nothing on the trampoline.
While the mother and father finally sit down and relax as their annoying child is recharging upstairs, most of the cast from the Wind in the Willows appear and have a damn party on the newly assembled present; foxes, a badger, a squirrel, and a hedgehog come out from god-knows-where to test run the trampoline all while #BusterTheBoxer (they’re doing that hashtag thing again) sits within the cosy, warm house and stares poison-tipped daggers at the animals. Fuck knows where the hedgehog came from as they hibernate during the winter months. Hell, you’ll have done well to get a squirrel to leave the warmth of its digs at night, too. Already pretty damn unbelievable.
The family sit and mindlessly stare at the TV while this natural miracle is happening mere meters away from them; even the dog growls angrily at the animal party. I’d like to know how many times this family has been robbed as they seem totally unaware of everything.
Christmas morning has arrived and an almost Victorian-esque haze filters the yawning sun, casting a waking glow on the sleepy neighborhood. The robot child boots up and uses her robot legs to bolt out to the garden where her gift lies, pacing towards the trampoline with her arms wide open as if shes being reunited with a very close, long-lost family member. Weird. But just before she hugs the trampoline, #BusterTheBoxer darts in, beating her to her own present.
As the dog jumps about looking like it needs special attention, the entire trampoline shakes and shudders with each bounce. Look how windswept it is – it’s almost in italics. This is the point where the parents should have noticed that the trampoline has the structural strength of dry twigs, but then again, they didn’t notice the wilderness bounce party the night before even though it was roughly in their peripheral vision.
Alas, they stand there in shock and amazement over what Buster is doing (man they missed a trick the night before), and their daughter scans the situation before turning her head back to her mum and dad with a look of ‘what the hell is happening and why is it still happening?’
I’m not sure what the point of this commercial was. Story wise, it was…well, I don’t know. Maybe it was trying to say ‘look for your kids special talent’, or ‘flourish what they love to do’, but If I had a kid and all it did was scream the house down, I’m not going to buy it a karaoke machine.
It didn’t make me warm and fuzzy inside, just annoyed. Why was the dog so selfish? He looks clean and healthy, so what’s with the attitude? The whole fear of missing out and also diving in face first on the trampoline as if it was solely just for him.
I thought dogs were supposed to be man’s best friend? I can now see that #BusterTheBoxer is an over-entitled asshole who would probably kill its owner and eat them if I didn’t quite fancy Pedigree Chum for dinner. The bastard.