As the US has its Super Bowl, when it comes to the cream of British ad creative it is undoubtedly the flotilla of Christmas campaigns for British grocery and department stores that all try and outdo each other with big, expensive and, hopefully, memorable campaigns.
However, it’s been a rather ignominious start to the 2017 Christmas season with three of the big releases courting racism, allegations of swearing and having their efforts labelled as simply terrible.
Retailer John Lewis’ annual Chrissie campaign is arguably the most anticipated of all the TVCs. So anticipated is a John Lewis campaign the company reportedly works on getting the ad right for almost the full year.
Typically, it plays on a very emotive theme – animals, kids, families – however, this year it’s gone for Moz The Monster and is has subsequently been slammed as “terrible” and the ad simply not making sense.
Writing in the UK’s The Independent, media commentator, Yas Necati, wrote: “Not heart-wrenching like the man on the moon, not heart-warming like the one with the snowmen, not even cute like Monty the penguin or funny like the dog on the trampoline. The monster under the bed is unremarkable and unrelatable. The truth is, it doesn’t really make much sense,” Necatri penned.
Meanwhile, grocery chain Tesco has had to diffuse a racist backlash to its Christmas ad after it featured a Muslim family in its annual TVC.
The festive flick follows a host of families celebrating Christmas Day as they prepare lunch, including a Muslim family greeting each other as they arrive at someone’s house.
However, some enraged Tesco shoppers were none to happy with the multicultural approach, taking to social media and vowing to boycott the chain.
“I wonder will they have a white family celebrating a Muslim holiday…. political correctness is ruining this country. Tesco have lost my £,” raged one. While another added: “How dare you feature a Muslim family in your CHRISTMAS advert!!! They do not celebrate CHRISTIAN festival! #willnotshopintesco.”
Tesco responded with a statement that read: “Everyone is welcome at Tesco this Christmas and we’re proud to celebrate the many ways our customers come together over the festive season.”
The supermarket giant added that the campaign “will celebrate the many ways we come together at Christmas, and how food sits at the heart of it all”.
Marks & Spencers
And things are worse for famed department store M&S after allegations someone in its ad tells Paddington Bear to “f#ck off”.
The ad sees Paddington befriend a thief and help him change his ways, with the man thanking the kid’s character for his assistance.
But some fans suggested that instead of saying: “Thank you, little bear,” the man told Paddington: “Fuck you little bear”. The line can apparently be heard at 1:11 in the ad above. A spokesperson for M&S categorically denied that Paddington had been told to “fuck himself” and the retailer had no plans to alter the ad.