Xmas adverts are so sentimental it hurts. And how have they become such a festive talking point?
Would you like to know what’s on the top of my wish-list for Father Christmas this year? It’s not something I’d like him to bring me. It’s something I’d like him to take away: all those awful, sentimental Christmas ads. Call me the Grinch, but the onslaught of schmaltzy, corny adverts that we’re all exposed to throughout the festive season drives me absolutely round the bend. From as early as November, you can’t stick on the box without being assaulted by sickeningly sentimental Yuletide vignettes, driven home by annoyingly emotive crooning and piano chords.
The worst part of it is that the majority of the UK’s population seems to actually like them. So it’s not just a case of the big corporations pushing a load of cloying rubbish on the helpless, TV-watching public; it’s the TV-watching public revelling in it and cheering the corporations on while shedding festive tears over all the sappiness.
The flagbearer for all this seems to be John Lewis. The John Lewis Christmas ad has become such an institution in this country that it has its own Wikipedia page. It would appear that it all kicked off in 2007 with a six million pound campaign and has been growing in national appreciation ever since. This year’s advert is about children in the care system and the company’s long term commitment to support young people, working in partnership with Action for Children. This means that I can’t really be too critical of it without sounding like some sort of evil dictator. Obviously it’s wonderful that the company is working with charities and I wouldn’t dream of criticising that part of it. But the advert itself is dire. It’s so corny it makes me shudder....
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