If it wasn’t enough pressure to come up every year with an amazing advert that will boost sales at what should be the best time of year for shopping, stores now face having their Christmas advert scrutinised in the press.
Strangely I would say of myself that I don’t usually watch adverts – but because of all this publicity over them, have suddenly found myself taking an interest this year.
Thus ASDA’s ad, Behind every great Christmas there’s mum, has come in for criticism for being ‘sexist’ with 160 official complaints (at last count) to the advertising watchdog (ASA) and Mumsnet revealing it was the subject of more than 1,000 comments on its forums in less than 24 hours.
It seems people are divided over the advert which sees a pretty blonde mum doing just about everything – from shopping, to wrapping presents, putting decorations up, writing cards and cooking – for her family for Christmas. As she slumps exhausted but content, thanks to her hard work, to see everyone enjoying themselves into a chair, her husband pipes up, ‘What’s for tea, love?’
“Most users are irritated by what they see as a patronising portrayal of an outdated version of family life and that the days when men sit around demanding their tea are long gone,” Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO of Mumsnet told Marketing Week.
I confess I really like the ASDA ad but believe it would have been better without the annoying, ‘what’s for tea line’ at the end. However, ASDA says its Facebook page received 22,000 likes and there are surely some mums (perhaps more than want to admit it?) who say it does reflect Christmas in their own families…
And we have to say that the Morrison’s ad ‘For Your Christmas’ – while not receiving so much publicity as the ASDA ad – goes along the same ‘mum’ lines. Again it chooses to dramatise the hard work mums do at Christmas, although with some lovely humour. Thus there is one scene were a mum literally wrestles with the turkey in a boxing ring.
John Lewis’ Christmas love story, The Journey, has had the accolade of being so well received that it was featured over a huge double page in the Daily Mail. The story depicts a snowman venturing out to get a Christmas present for his female snow companion. It is a very subtle ad though – blink and you might miss the John Lewis plug at the end. I confess I didn’t know what the ad was for for a while because I kept getting up/switching off/ turning over before the end of it. However, it’s gained so much positive publicity that the fact what it is advertising is barely mentioned probably won’t matter.
Unfortunately the Greatest Hits this Christmas advert by M&S doesn’t really do anything for me – even though I recently bought two fabulous dresses from there and my daughter, 21, picked up a really super coat (so feel criticism it no longer connects with its customers to be wrong). It’s all too fast and the people dancing simply flash on and off too quickly. Although it starts off with snowballs, the rest of is doesn’t really seem very Christmassy – just an ordinary advert for clothes and nothing else.
However, so far my favourite advert is Let’s Feel Good by Boots. I love this advert because it shows Christmas in different homes. It shows people caring about one another, exchanging gifts and it is also set to one of my favourite Elton John records. I find it much more emotional to watch than the snowmen one, which for some reason (perhaps because snowmen aren’t real people) leaves me as cold as the snowy white scenes.
But that’s just me! What do you think? Which is your favourite Christmas advert and why? Perhaps it isn’t even one mentioned here? Let us know, with any links, below…