This year’s Iceland Christmas advert is about an orangutan being kicked out of the Rainforest by bad guys who are after his palm oil, and John Lewis ad is about Elton John’s pianos. I am not sure which one fails more spectacularly in evoking anything remotely resembling the spirit of Christmas. I understand that John Lewis has had a tough year and might not feel very festive, and as for Iceland, well, it featured Kerry Katona in their Christmas ad a decade ago, and you simply do not recover from that.
Iceland ad was banned as too political as soon as it was released, or possibly before, which immediately made it go viral and so, naturally, it has now become the most watched one of the lot, and we all feel like rebels, wondering whether, by watching it, we might have stepped into the realm of dark web for the first time ever. We will never know the stats on this ad, because officially it is no longer with us.
Tesco attracted controversy last year after they showed a Muslim family enjoying Christmas, but this did not stop them from going even further this year, and in their determination to embrace diversity they ended up disrespecting brussels sprouts. If that is not political in Brexit Britain, I don’t know what is. Or rather, I do know, because apparently a story of a cute cartoon ape being driven to the edge of extinction by ruthless shampoo makers is unpalatably political.
Sainsbury’s ad is so detached from the reality of an average school Christmas play, it has to be dismissed as pure fantasy. When was any Nativity play ever any good? If Martin Freeman could not rescue the concept, despite three progressively desperate attempts, what hope was there for the Live Well for Less supermarket?
And finally, there is good old ASDA, with its ever so uninspiring, predictable snow ride offering, whereby all the most unhealthy over-indulgence of Christmas arrives on a pretty little girl’s doorstep. This excessive abundance makes her overjoyed, even though it is clearly a prelude to the rosy-cheeked cutie becoming yet another victim of child obesity epidemic which seems to be gripping the nation.
So it looks like this year’s award for most successful seasonal heartstrings pulling by a leading supermarket might go to Heathrow. The UK’s busiest airport returns with a pair of loved-up teddy bears who, like the PG Tips monkeys of old, are slowly but surely making themselves comfortable in the corner of our hearts. They stagger, they wobble, they hold paws. They bring a lump to our throats, and we are all Christmassed, hook, line and sinker.
Does John Lewis even sell pianos?