This weekend saw the release of the advertising Holy Grail – the Christmas advert. During the X Factor commercial breaks, the world and his wife launched their Christmas campaigns and Twitter was awash with love (and contempt) as the big UK retailers attempted to hook us into their brands with a combination of emotion, real life scenarios and fantasy.
My favourites are Boots, as it feels real and inclusive and sums up the fact that pretty much everyone shops at Boots and it has a cute dog – and I also quite like Iceland, but it still doesn’t make me want to eat a Duck Duo!
John Lewis is also lovely, but it didn’t makes me cry – which it usually does.
The two that generated the most noise from women, were Asda and Morrisons as they were accused of being sexist. The Advertising Standards Authority has received complaints about both.
No matter how true it is, that in many cases women are the ones who do everything for Christmas, do we really want people laughing about it, or worse thinking it’s completely normal and that women actually enjoy it – well perhaps we enjoy bits of it, but there’s no denying it’s really hard work, especially as most of us have real jobs as well!
I find Morrison’s downright depressing and Asda makes me rage – especially when she serves her husband his Christmas dinner. “Behind every great Christmas there’s a mum” – oh please, who thought that one up, a twenty something hipster from a Shoreditch ad agency? Lets just see how they feel when they end up being the one peeling the spuds at 6am on Christmas day – not funny now is it?
Actually it was Saatchi & Saatchi and they used insights from Asda’s Mumdex’ survey of 4,000 mum – which makes it all the more depressing.
In effort to tell it how it is, we thought we might make our own Christmas advert……
6am the alarm goes: Mum wakes up prodding her husband not too gently in the ribs “wake up, she’s your f….g mother so you can get up and make her sodding breakfast, and don’t think you’re going to sit around all day doing nothing.”
7am: Whole family (except teenagers) are downstairs waiting to open presents, the small children can’t wait much longer. MIL folds her arms and says loudly “well if Jake and Lily don’t get up soon, were going to have to start without them, what time did they get in this morning?” Mum pours herself a small medicinal sherry and heads for the kitchen to peel kilos of sprouts and potatoes and battle with the huge turkey, staring at mother in law through very narrow eyes.
10am: The living room is covered in paper, the dog is eating a vital piece from the Lord of the Rings Lego set, husband is pretending to look for batteries he was asked to get two weeks ago and MIL is already chuntering about watching the Queen at 3pm – despite the fact she’s been told that’s when lunch is. The teenagers are up, hungover and grumpy because they didn’t get a Macbook each, the whole of the new Kardashian collection and an XBox. “it’s SO unfair.”
2pm: Everyone except mum (and the teenagers, who are lying on the sofa in onsies) has showered, put on their Christmas outfits and gone down the pub for a pre lunch drink – mum is planning the massacre of her entire family and is inventing different forms of torture for specific members – the worst is reserved for her husband and his mother.
3.55pm: Everyone arrives back from the pub, flushed and full of Christmas spirit, glamorous sister in law half heartedly offers to help, then flounces back to the sofa. Mum looks at the turkey, stabs the meat thermometer into the breast imagining hideous things and pours herself another large glass of wine. MIL shouts from the living room “are you sure Delia said it only needs three hours?’
3.30pm: Husband is the life and soul of the party, doing impressions, flirting, beating teenage boys at games and generously pouring drinks – mostly for himself. Mum calls cheerily to him to come to the kitchen. She pokes him hard on the arm and hisses ferociously “if you think I am ever doing this again, you are very much mistaken. I cannot stand another minute of your freaky, dysfunctional family.”
MIL walks in “everything ok Dan, honestly someone needs to feed this poor man and that turkey needs a bit longer.”
3.45pm: It’s dark outside, Christmas carols are playing and the table is laden with delicious food, MIL says loudly “is there any red cabbage, we always have red cabbage at Christmas.”
Everyone gives mum a round of applause and raises their glasses “to another delicious Christmas dinner”.
Mum pours another glass of wine and fantasises about running away. Husband says, “oh I almost forgot, here’s your present.” She slurps her wine and thinks “oh he’s not so bad after all.” She opens it and it’s a toaster – she smiles, says thank you and texts her best friend “HHSM, is it nearly over?”
♫ ♬Oh I wish it could be Christmas every day ♫ ♬