1 December 2012 - 9:11am | posted by | 0 comments

Billy Mahwinney, creative director at Big on Heineken's 1974 Christmas offering, adVENT Day: 1

Behind the windows of this very special Drum adVENT Calendar you’ll find a different member of the creative industry venting their feelings on a Christmas ad, or ads, they love or loathe. Today it's Big Communications creative director, Billy Mawhinney.

As we wait for footage enjoy this picture of the vintage Heineken campaignAs we wait for footage enjoy this picture of the vintage Heineken

I absolutely love Christmas and just about everything that goes with it. So I love this year’s John Lewis Snowman’s tale. It’s almost perfectly executed and I do hope they run the one on Boxing Day where Mrs Snowman goes back to the store to change her pressies for some Perfume.

I found the child in last years Long Wait Ad just a touch creepy but this year is very festive and wonderfully engaging.

I even like the look of the Coca Cola Trucks Ad that has been running for a few years but have a real problem with them calling it “The Holidays”. It’s not just the holidays , it’s Christmas. After all isn’t it enough that they changed Santa’s suit from Green to their Red, without them trying to change the whole event to suit their Global correctness.

My favourite all time Christmas Ad dates back to the glory years of The Morecambe and Wise Specials when TV was unmissable and CDP were the best Advertising Agency in the World. They entertained us with their brilliant Heineken campaign, even doing a 48 sheet Advent Poster one year. When posters were a thing of beauty and joy.

But when the great Terry Lovelock and Alan Waldie set out to do 1974’s Christmas Ad they called on their reputation as having notoriously deep pockets and very short arms for inspiration.

We opened on Scrooge happily wrapping up Presents and in a very festive mood. The ghost of Jacob Marley appears and is very perturbed about this so he pours him a refreshing glass of Heineken. We see the Heineken rapidly refreshing Scrooge’s meanness as he wipes the presents from his desk and returns to his usual self. Heineken Refreshes the parts other Beers cannot reach. Ho ho ho.

As we watch It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve as usual we’ll raise a glass to the ghost of Christmas Ads past. Merry Christmas.

Billy Mawhinney is creative director at Big Communications. Big clients include Cadbury World, Domino’s Pizza, Samsung and Tesco Mobile. Billy joined Big in May of this year and heads up a 25-strong creative team.

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