By Adam Bull
Adverts are, fundamentally, annoying.
They pop up in the middle of TV shows, in magazines, on the radio, and online, telling you to buy things you never knew you wanted, needed, or even existed. They stop you watching the thing you want to see, by showing you something don’t want, but now need!
But Christmas adverts… well, that’s a different story entirely.
Christmas adverts aren’t adverts. They are events. Advert breaks from November to December are no longer a chance to put the kettle on. They are 3 minutes of pure emotion, before going back to the TV show that is, probably, worse than the adverts you’ve just sat through.
I’ll admit it: I felt more emotions watching that two-minute John Lewis advert about a penguin called Monty finding love, than the last series of Game of Thrones.
These adverts are just better. And everyone has their favourite.
For me, it’s John Lewis 2011, “The Long Wait”. It’s funny, sweet, clever, and genuine. I think it might be the perfect TV advert. I genuinely still get goosebumps watching it to this day.
Since that advert, John Lewis has used lovable, cuddly characters in their campaigns: Monty the Penguin, Moz the Monster, Buster the Boxer and, of course, Elton John.
Other brands have taken different approaches. Sainsbury’s 2014 “1914” advert, with soldiers playing football together during the 1914 Christmas day truce, and exchanging chocolate at the end. It’s another one that sticks in the mind.
And who could forget, Kevin the Carrot! Aldi’s lovable Christmas mascot who sells out in shops in seconds every year. The Mirror reported that 170,000 queued online for him this year. 170,000?! For a Carrot?! From Lidl?!? But that’s the power of a good Christmas advert.
Kevin the Carrot is so popular, supermarket rival Lidl serve him up to be eaten in their 2020 Christmas advert, a sort of Christmas advert parody poking fun at the overly-sincere nature of Christmas adverts now. Like it’s rivals’ adverts, it’s really good.
However you feel about Christmas adverts, it’s hard to argue that they aren’t a modern Christmas tradition. And I think we could all do with some traditions being kept this year!
Finally, I’ll leave you with the top comment from Youtube on this year’s John Lewis advert:
“At least it’s not a childrens choir singing fix you to their grannies over zoom”