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Opinion and Insight

There’s No Fighting It, Christmas Has Begun

LBB Editorial , 1 year, 11 months ago

Laura Swinton on the first flurry of festive advertising

There’s No Fighting It, Christmas Has Begun

It’s the first week of November and that can only mean two things:  1. The retail sector has gone Christmas crazy; 2. I’m heavily self-censoring responses to smug and unnatural friends who are already boasting that they’ve already got their festive gift shopping finished and nestled snugly in the back of the wardrobe. On the plus side, that means that LBB HQ is already snowed under with Christmas ads, which always creates a bit of a buzz. 

Mulberry was one of the early contenders, coming out on Monday, sumptuously silly stuff from adam&eveDDB and Outsider’s James Rouse. It’s a slow-paced and muted affair – even when they’re doing comedy, luxury brands don’t want to be seen to be trying too hard, d’accord. The cinematography, set design and styling come together to create a rather wonderful mix of fashion photography and those retro ‘70s looking baby-in-a-manger Christmas cards that great aunties like to send out. That’s a thumbs up from me, then.

Another early spot that struck something of a personal chord for me is the Anchor ad from Creature of London and Passion Pictures. ‘Little Elephant’ shows the brand’s hairy mascots attempt to enjoy Christmas – only the day is ruined when the young baby monster receives a particularly noisy toy. I will definitely get in trouble for this if she ever reads it, but my mother used to consider the decibel output of any Christmas and birthday gift quite carefully, when it came to younger relatives. Tambourines. Plastic trumpets. Singing fish. Well, wrapping up can be such a chore and anything that gets you chuckling to yourself as you do it can only be a good thing. Right?

Being the mega nerd that I am, another spot that tickled me towards the end of last week was Duracell’s ‘Battle for Christmas’ campaign – a Star Wars tie-in from Anomaly New York that took me back to childhood. If I’m honest, I kind of miss Christmas mornings spent raking around in kitchen junk drawers for batteries to power up my pile of plastic crap. Boots toiletry sets and smelly candles just ain’t the same. 

Curry’s from M&C Saatchi – starring Jeff Goldblum – breaks on Thursday. But surely the spot we’re all waiting for is adam&eveDDB’s John Lewis outing. Just today Addison, LBB’s deputy editor, showed me a screen shot of a Facebook post one of his relatives made about JL breaking on Friday – this is where we’re at, people. Christmas turns even non-ad industry people into seasoned advertising experts. In that sense it’s a bit like Strictly Come Dancing. 

In the Northern hemisphere, evenings are drawing in and, personally, I’m ready to dive beneath the duvet at around 4.30pm. So with that in mind, I always look forward to seeing the seasonal efforts from Australia and New Zealand, which are always guaranteed to bring a different – well, sunnier at least – perspective on festive advertising. Even the USA is getting in on the act – they’ve got Thanksgiving and (eek!) Black Friday to get through first but we’re already seeing Macy’s get Christmassy and Nike get wintery.

So, buckle up, folks. We’ve got another two months of this and there’s no fighting it. Right. When’s Elf on?