Saturday 12 November 2011

Holidays Are Coming

I am definitely not getting more cynical. Christmas adverts are definitely getting shitter.

There seems to have been a relative brewhaha about 2011’s xmas advert from John Lewis. Apparently it’s been getting people all teary-eyed (it’s making people cry). Obviously I was keen to see the advert; to see if I could withstand the emotional tirade something promoting a high-class department store could bring upon me. Well, I don’t know how I managed it but I was not in floods of tears come the end of the advert. For those who haven’t seem it – or are too (I wrote ‘two’ then. I am a bit worried about this; I am definitely doing it more often. I wrote ‘gym’ the other day when I was writing about someone called Jim. Anyway.) lazy to watch it now – even though I have put the link in and will embed the video – if I remember – here’s a précis of what happens:

  • The little lad out of Love Actually, or some modern equivalent (big eyed, thin – a bit alieny) wakes up and opens window one (they are telling us it’s the first of December 1st) on his bargain £20 John Lewis Advent calendar. [It’s by his bed. Is this what kids have now? Is this where they always had them? Mine and my sisters and then brother’s were always on the wall in the living room.] He’s happy with his chocolate but then he looks all the way over to window 24 – and frowns, undoubtedly thinking “aw shit, Christmas Eve is fucking miles away”.
  • He is impatient as fuck for Christmas. He’s hating waiting – proper hating it.
  • We see him bouncing a tennis ball against a wall, sat in a room. It’s reminiscent of Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke.
  • The we see his little sister painting. Something is causing her water cup to ripple. It’s reminiscent of Jurassic Park. At this stage I think ‘oh hello there’s going to be loads of film references in this – I’m going to love it.’ But I don’t spot another film reference in the remainder of the advert – unless it’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s head in the box at the end. The water isn’t rippling because an approaching tyrannosaurus-rex; it’e because Love Actually is drumming his fingers on the table – because he’s frustrated at waiting (for Christmas).
  • Loads more stuff showing him waiting for Christmas.
  • Then it’s come. It’s Christmas morning. And…HE’S BEEN. HE HAS BEEN. The lad wakes up and there is a pile of presents by the foot of his bed (again, we did this in the living room – the presents).
  • BUT… he runs past the presents to his cupboard where he has hidden a present of his own and he gets the present and runs in to the bedroom of his parents and holds it out to them.
  • JOHN LEWIS LOGO.

And that’s what everyone has been getting in a tizz about. Oh, and the soundtrack is a plinky-piano slow cover version of Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want.

So little alien looking lad is anxious for Christmas NOT because he wants his presents but because he wants to GIVE something. With a cover version of a sad Smiths song, or a Smiths song. It’s not the worst advert ever – but…it’s also not very emotive to me. I suppose if I had a dead son it might be. If he had looked a bit like that.

So, I don’t know what’s right with it. I do know what’s wrong with it though:
  • The little lad isn’t believable. No-one is that excited about giving other people stuff when they are receiving things. Certainly no son of mine would ever be. It’s not natural.
  • And it’s ungrateful. Stupid little ignorant bastard. He DOES probably already have everything though; let’s face it his parents are wadded, he has a £20 advent calendar. And if you have everything I suppose you could get bored enough to find giving someone else something interesting.
  • Let’s face it – his present is probably shit though. He’s about 7, what the fuck does he know about what his parents want? The dick – he is wrapped up in waiting for Christmas (staring out of windows) and so is missing out on his mum saying “oh I’d love the new Coldplay album, Mylododko Xybloertero”; or his dad saying “I’d really love some pictures of my wife’s brother being humiliated by a geisha.” And was has he got them? Probably something he made at school (that is wank).

At least it is better than the Marks and Spencer one though. What is happening to M&S? I’m a big fan of the store but am considering a boycott. The X-Factor contestants? So people who might not even be famous in three weeks. Fucking hell. They had Peter Kay last year (or the year before). So a bunch of little dicks singing When You Wish Upon A Star. Thanks a fucking bunch M&S you massive twats.

But: they are all fucking adverts. What are people crying for? Oh shit..is the little boy one of those 0.0002% of kids who die of cancer who is somehow braver than the others because of a Twitter campaign? Someone I quite respect retweeted someone saying “The John Lewis ad is a great piece of storytelling that HAPPENS to be an ad. Liking the ad doesn’t mean you fell for a sales pitch.” Well it does doesn’t it? That’s part of the ‘falling for the sales pitch’ bit. I am not going to argue that the little narrative is entropic and that is what the advert has going for it . That and loads of dicks talking about it on social networks and blogs…oh. Well I’ll show you I’m not embedding the video.
I will just have to hope the Coca-Cola one doesn’t let me down. I fucking doubt it will: holidays are coming..holidays are coming…I love that shit.

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