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.
Next up, the Aldi Christmas advert, 2016.
Aldi hits us right in the feels with a harrowing tale the lone survivor of a Christmas massacre, dragging his dying body to where he hopes to meet the only apparent saviour for an anthropomorphic carrot, Santa Claus.
We’re introduced to our hero, Kevin, longing wistfully from the warm side of the window to be taken away from the wasteful situation he finds himself in. I say wasteful, because it’s Christmas Eve and an entire spread is laid out and ready to be eaten yet nobody is around at all. Candles are lit and unsupervised, Champagne chills with what is currently ice in a cooler, the festive bird of choice is surrounded by various garnishings all the while getting cold. The whole damn Christmas dinner has been prepared and set upon the table to seemly stay there and wait until lunch time the next day in an insane act of madness. I know that most of the world celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December, but this is a commercial aired for the UK only* where celebrations happen on the 25th, so this is far less believable than a living/breathing carrot.
*I didn’t bother to research this
Kevin the carrot decides that the fireplace is where he needs to be in order to be whisked away from this nightmare, but along the way he must tackle the obstacle course between the Gates of Hell, and Sanctuary. After sloping through a mash potato swamp, Kevin happens across one of his countrymen, sliced and oven-roasted. A haunting glimpse of what could’ve been for our hero. As the dying carrot painfully opens his eyes to Kevin to plead for help, Kevin heroically run off, screaming. Way to go Kevin, that’s real mighty of you.
Our friendly carrot comes to a stop when he bumps into a bowl full of roasted potatoes. As they come tumbling down akin to an Indiana Jones movie, I couldn’t help but notice a piece of dust on one of the starchy boulders. It’s all I noticed in this scene, and for a long while after, it was all I could ever think about.
Kevin soldiers on towards his pipe dream all the while damaging himself via a cheese grater and searing his green hair by knocking candle flame into brandy soaked puddings. This guy is hopeless. Why not walk across the table between the bowls and plates of food? He’s a thin carrot not an Airbus.
Below is the shot straight after we see Kevin, surveying the landscape upon the windowsill at the start of the advert. At a glance, I drew three routes towards the end of the table where Kevin wants to go which are almost certainly 5 billion times safer than the route he decided to take. I did the maths. There’s plenty of room on the table for an untroubled, arm-swingingly wide walk.
Kevin finally reaches the end of the table and leaps off using the Christmas tree to safely bring him down to the ground by the fireplace (which is an open fireplace and also unsupervised, I might add). Once landed, he reaches the beacon, a mince pie, and succumbs to his tattered body’s silent screams for rest. Worn and weary, he gently lays his head down by the mince pie and without knowing, falls asleep.
Well, we all know where this story is heading. Tradition has it that you leave Santa a mince pie for his troubles and also a carrot for Rudolph as he needs the energy to cart the fat bastard about (yeah I’m bitter, I never got a Scalextric set from him). Humans and carrots share little in the way of culture and this tradition is one of the differences that divides us as species. Oh Kevin, you poor bastard.
He wakes up and produces a huge stupid grin once he realises that he’s dangling hundreds of feet in the air on the antlers of a magical beast all by the fair hand of Father Christmas himself. Kevin is beside himself with unfiltered glee. Santa had saved his soul from a life of being tossed into the bin, but as we can see from the picture below, we all know what’s going to happen to Kev once the evening’s work is done. I just hope that as soon as Kevin realises he’s about to be eaten, all he can think about is that poor, dying carrot who was laying in a mass grave and how he turned his back on him.