Christmas is upon us once again and as that merry old song goes, 'tis the season
to be jolly for over the top, emotionally charged Christmas adverts, fa la la la la, la la la la"
It used to be that Christmas was all about arguing with relatives that you rightly don't see that often, insincere gift giving & a healthy bout of what I affectionately call 'Yuletide Meat Sweats'.
But nowadays we're continuously barraged by Christmas campaign videos well past Epiphany.
The trend first started with M&S when they aired their trademark 'Food Porn' adverts at Christmas '06, substituting that gooey melt in the middle chocolate pudding (you know the one) for sexy looking Parsnips.
Marks & Sparks aren't solely to blame however. The real culprit behind the current tone and trend of Christmas adverts is, of course, John Lewis.
This sickly sweet & cockle warmingly adorable advert paved the way for this derivative approach to Christmas advertising, creating an unimaginative festive formula for success. A formula which I think looks a bit like this:
Acoustic or stripped back cover version of a well known & slightly depressing song, which will most likely be Xmas No.1 (The Smiths, Keane, Oasis etc.)
Emotional subject matter (adorable child & CGI penguin or WW1 trench warfare)
££ Profit ££
It's hard to find a big budget Christmas campaign that bucks this boilerplate (& frankly lazy) approach to seasonal advertising this year. However, they are out there and that's why I've made a nifty list of my favourite alternative festive ads for you to feast on.
The Poke Does John Lewis
I've already given John Lewis a bit of a kicking, and yes it follows the festive formulaic format... but I actually quite like the #ManOnTheMoon campaign. I even like the two fingered salute that Aldi have done with their version.
The reason why the #ManOnTheMoon campaign works for me is that it's not another Xmas ad about mindless consumption, its actually addressing a serious issue. A lot of older people will be spending Christmas alone this year, figuratively worlds away from family members, friends or anyone for that matter. The tiniest bit of contact can go a long way, in this case a telescope that lets the old man know that someone out there is thinking of him. But it could just as easily be a present, a phone call or a simple Christmas card. John Lewis are definitely on my nice list this Xmas as they're donating part of the proceeds from #ManOnTheMoon merchandise to Age Uk.
As a humongous Star Wars fan however, I much prefer the Poke's version of #TheManOnTheMoon (which I think they should've called #ThatsNoMoon), it made me so happy i could've pulled the ears of a Gundark (How's that for an obscure Star Wars reference?)
The #heimkommen (homecoming) campaign from German supermarket chain EDEKA is dark but at the same time shockingly refreshing compared to most of the drivel on telly at Xmas.
An over the top pastiche of your run of the mill tear-jerking advert (it's remarkably similar to John Lewis in some respects), the video knowingly plucks a bit too hard on the viewers heart strings and leaves you dumbfounded. By the end you'll be asking yourself "Mein Gott im himmel! That were a bit much weren't it?!" But it works in it's own oddly macabre way. Trust ze Germans to come up with something this cheerful eh...
We've all done it on Christmas day. Maybe Nan got you a One Direction album because the man in the shop said you'd like it, or maybe it's your Mum's practical present of a deodorant & bodywash kit, which she got you last year (I get the message, Mum. I smell. THANKS).
We've all had to pull an insincere #GiftFace at some point or other, which is why this video is so cringingly relatable. Not only is the vid funny & charmingly genuine in it's subject matter, but if you listen closely, you can just about hear the actress's faint internal screaming as she stretches the mock grin across her mush.
Uhh okay... soooooooo... that happened.
If you're confused and a little bit perplexed by this video let me shed some light on this extremely odd Christmas advert, it's actually a parody of a parody.
Way back in the '09, YouTubers, Rhett & Link offered to create a free TV ad for local businesses in tiny US towns. One of those ads was for Red House Furniture. All Robert Dyas are missing is the catchy Red House jingle. Real original Robert Dyas. To quote Natalie: "That's sooooo 2009".
Currys / PC World
I don't watch a great deal of TV adverts; like most millennials, it's all on-demand streaming and ad-blockers in my house.
That being said, if they could find a way to insert Jeff Goldblum into every single ad on the telly-box, I would watch every gosh-darn Goldblum gilded second. The man is an absolute treasure.
There's no clever or well thought-out reason behind me singling out this particular campaign, I just think Jeff Goldblum is an awesome human being...
Have you got a favourite alternative Christmas campaign? Tweet us @NoisyMonkey with your favourite video/campaign/thingamajig
⛄ Merry Christmas ⛄