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John Lewis Christmas Ad: Do we grin and Bear it?

Croud’s Neil Stephens talks about that much anticipated moment of the festive period – the unveiling of the latest John Lewis Christmas Ad.

Once upon a time there was a shop on a street full of lights. near the area of No-Ho Ho.
This was a magical shop, that sold everything that young and old hearts desired – even better, young and old hearts with a higher disposable income than the norm who craved at least a 5 year guarantee on their electronic goods.
Now, every year, as the nights were drawing in and the shopping hours got longer, this shop would tell a magical story.
john lewis ad
No one knows quite how this happened but as sure as gorrilas can manipulate drum kits to peddle milk chocolate to the believer, so to would it come to pass that the good people of Albion would come to wait every year for the John Lewis ad like a shining star in the merchandising firmament.
The pedant in me is very keen to latch on to a much (already) discussed aspect of this ad that if you throw an apex predator into the happy woodland creatures festive scene that it would run amok, literally tearing the well meaning little critters to bubble and squeak quicker than the time it would take to say
‘classic rabbit backfire’.

Yes, the concept of friendly animals is much tried and tested in adworld – meerkats selling insurance, chimps cattle prodded into enjoying tea and turkeys willingly self basting in the xmas oven with a loofah and sage flavoured radox because Heston and Delia told them too much like Hannibal Lecter toying with a cellmate.

Pedantry aside,  I for one applaud it – if I see one more A lister trying to hawk some bloody fragrance or coffee maker I am either going to be sick on my shoes or actually buy something, and not because Brad Pitt said it was inevitabbbbbbblle either.
So how has this mawkishness been allowed to grow? These ads are distinctly configured to be so saccharine, its like the snow in the ads has been replaced by canderel.
Well, it could be that in this age of invasive personalised, targeted, retargeted and detargeted ads that its actually quite nice. It’s actually something of a throwback – ‘event TV’ moving away from meth dealing chemists and the on air destruction of Simon Cowell by a Christmas bear, lashed to the nines on mulled wine (we live in hope – maybe one for next year John Lewis?) and where is Santa in all of this? the ultimate affiliate, presumably no longer getting fat on minces pies, rather fat on the over ride paid out for every successful sale.
It is said that if you close your eyes and listen very carefully on Christmas eve you can hear the sounds of pissed up elves haggling for higher commission with their ‘official’ department store partners.
Right then – I’m off to John Lewis to buy some rabbit skin gloves.
Happy November everybody