In the Spirit of Christmas Commercialism

Freya Sanders 26 November 2013

Christmas doesn’t truly begin until the Coke advert hits our screens. However, though its twinkling jollity may symbolise yuletide for many, this year’s advert is below par; it is – quite literally – outshone by the heart-warming, tear-jerking offering from John Lewis. The tale of ‘The Bear and the Hare’ is a soppy celebration of faithful friendship, and has worked wonders: it may have cost £7million to develop, but sales have soared.

Adverts may lose their charm when one remembers that their purpose is to part you from your well-earned pennies. Nevertheless, there is an undeniably magical quality to many – a quality evident in this year’s Cadbury’s advert, which shows kids opening up a world covered in purple wrapping paper. It therefore epitomises a fundamental aspect of Christmas: that it is a time when we can all, quite acceptably, regress to childhood.

Cadbury’s is one of many businesses that fixates on the fairy-tale side of Christmas. However, some adverts are enchanting in their simple humanity. The Boots’ ad, though contrived, is uplifting; but it’s the Sainsbury’s ‘Christmas in a Day’ film that takes the biscuit. It is a collection of poignant, hysterical and bizarre Christmassy moments, the last of which has the potential to pull the heartstrings of the most cantankerous cynic.

Even DFS has stepped it up this year: gone are the days when photo-shopped tinsel and a backing track of jingle bells would give a shoddy festive edge to their year-round advert. But don’t get too excited: there’s still the token mention of interest free credit, whatever that is, and the commercial will no doubt outstay its welcome by hanging around until April. Nevertheless they should get some (interest free) credit for trying.

Whether you’re a sceptic or a diehard believer, Christmas adverts can only be embraced – from the moment they appear in late August, to the second they depart, mid-March. They may be ultimately exploitative, but they are an opportunity to bask in the better sides of human nature.