By Marc Lewis | dean

November 9, 2018 | 3 min read

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.

Iceland's banned Christmas ad

Iceland's banned Christmas advert

The best Christmas commercial I’ve seen so far is not a Christmas commercial and has been banned. Hopefully you have taken a trip into the dark web and watched #NoPalmOilChristmas. It doesn’t need any media spend, people will watch and share this commercial.

It won’t worry about ad blockers.

This is why we do what we do. This is what we are capable of when we turn up to work and put a shift in. This is why I was so rude about that Visa commercial, that Asda commercial, that Argos commercial.

Clearcast decided to ban this commercial for being too political. To be frank, anything political that doesn’t mention Brexit feels like a Christmas present to me. I would rather watch the budget than that Asda commercial again.

Iceland have taken the lead in trying to educate consumers about the prevalence of palm oil in FMCGs, they have removed all own label products containing palm oil from all of their stores. They are serious about saving the 25 orangutan lives lost every day to deforestation.

They stand for something.

I spoke about this in some of my earlier reviews; how we have such a great opportunity to create powerful communication with purpose and originality that resonates emotionally with audiences. Instead, we show generic and cliché’ scenes of families skiing down slopes, swapping mince pies.

This film ploughs fresh snow. The animation is gorgeous. The narration is just as good. The twists and turns hook you in, pull you in, keep you involved.

What I love about this collaboration between Iceland and Greenpeace is that most good cause marketing speaks to the choir. Greenpeace ads get seen by Greenpeace advocates. However, by choosing to create this film for Christmas, Iceland attempted to speak to a whole new congregation.

What a shame then that the spineless and sanctimonious box-tickers at Clearcast decided to ban such a brilliant and powerful commercial. I hope they all develop semi-serious palm oil allergies and that their children grow up to date partners who resemble orangutans.

Score out of 5?


Keep up with The Drum's 2018 Christmas coverage here.

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