Oh oh oh what a range of Christmas ads to choose from. Well, it has to be said that the latest John Lewis Christmas TV advert must top the lot for a heart wrenching stab at creating the best festive mini-epic this year in an attempt to make us cry about those we miss, those we've left and those we are cheating on. Harshly put maybe, but said with passion.
Does a brand such as John Lewis really think we are taken in by such winter slush year in, year out? I suppose it did get my heart strings going for a minute there as I reflected upon the past as well as my thoughts for the future. But did it put a smile on my face? Or did it make me think ‘wow, what a wonderful Christmas I am looking forward to with my family?’ Or, perhaps most importantly for such an advert, did it make me think I would go to John Lewis to buy Christmas gifts? The answer is a resounding no. And here’s why
Firstly, as a creative who has been in the industry for 35 years, I have found in recent years I now take little notice of TV ads at Christmas. To me, Christmas ads like the John Lewis advertisement are emotional blackmail seemingly aimed at the well off and can have's in this world. They all use big house settings, lavish food and drink shots and fades of the beautiful world.
What about those that cannot afford, those that cannot enjoy a lavish Christmas, those that are watching the ads knowing the pangs of hoping Christmas would vanish to avoid their kids asking for what they a cannot afford?
These days, the audience is in debt, and probably going to become more indebted by the time Christmas is over.
So I hear you ask, where is your Christmas cheer old grummy?
Well folks, my Christmas cheer is to all of humanity, to all of the people of our world, to all creed, colour and orientation, whether you believe in Santa or God or neither. I have learnt from my many years of waste and greed. I have learnt to understand that when a person who loves you expresses their love in kindness, warmth and a kiss, it is far better gift than any bought from a retailer like John Lewis.
That snowlady didn’t need a gift, all she needed was to know her snowman loved her back, and that should be the real magic of Christmas.
Happy Christmas all and please do anything that give you and your family and friends a laugh this Christmas, as a smile and a laugh is the best gift ever!
Steve Beaumont is the founding director of Rare Creative Group, Steve founded Rare in 1996 and the group specialises in in a number of services including direct mail, channel marketing, online and offline media and social media. Rare Creative Group has worked with the likes of University of Leeds, Travel South Yorkshire, and Leeds City Region.
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