The festive season is almost upon us – which means it’s time for advertisers to up their budgets and start producing shiny snow-covered campaigns again. This Christmas Marc Lewis, the highly-revered creative mind who leads the School of Communications Arts London, will review (in his opinion) the merits of some of the biggest brands' seasonal spots with a creative eye, separating the Christmas crackers from the turkeys.
Sweet Jesus. At last. The Drum has sent me a Christmas commercial that I can honestly review without insulting a potential or current sponsor.
Don’t get too excited, Marc: the 30-second film made by St Luke’s for Very is never going to change the retailer’s fortunes, or get people shouting Very, Very, Very in the Red Lion or even win a Gold Lion. But it’s not bad, and that’s the best thing I’ve said about any of the ads being shovelled out of adland so far this Christmas season.
I adore the thought:, ‘Find the gift that helps them find their gift’. If Very is able to deliver on this promise, then I’m ready to give them a bit of my bank balance.
The film was cute and well-crafted. It reminded me of the brilliant BBC Christmas campaign that was made by two of my alumni, Amar and Arvid, last year.
I think that my wife will like it and that’s important.
But come on guys. I’ve just watched a film by the great St Luke’s. Campaign had it ranked as the fifteenth best agency of all time. I’ve also reviewed an Asda commercial from the fifth best agency of all time, AMV BBDO (which will be published later). Neither of these ads shows our industry to be in a healthy state of mind; neither of them are ambitious, creative, adventurous or memorable.
We have an obligation to be making commercials that are so great that they inspire future generations to find their gift and give it to our industry. I signed up to work for the Sir Martin Sorrell shekel because I fell in love with the business through Steve Henry’s 'Orange Man' Tango ads and Graham Fink’s BA commercials.
Frank Lowe used to say that good is the enemy of great. Elsie’s Gift is just good enough.
Score out of 5?
Keep up with The Drum's 2018 Christmas coverage here.