01 Dec

A Christmas Corker

I have to say that, up until now, I really haven’t understood the hype around all of the major department stores’ Christmas ads.

John Lewis produced something good last year, but now it’s all too transparent that they’re going to try to ‘outdo’ their previous year’s ad, rather than just concentrate on selling John Lewis (also, I always think it’s an arrogant position to believe that consumers are waiting around just to see your ad – they’ve better things to do).
I didn’t get this year’s offering at all.  Yes, it’s a great piece of animation with a lovely, emotive soundtrack… but it’s got bugger all to do with John Lewis – it’s just a nice, short film (if you watch ‘Goggle Box’ you’ll have seen how no-one seemed to know what the ad was for, when it was on between X-factor).

The Asda Christmas ad is just a clumsy, visual metaphor (and hardly subtle) to show how much better their prices are than their rivals.

The M & S Christmas ad is just a rip-off of various fairy tales, with Rosie Huntington-Whitely thrown in (who is beautiful, to be fair).

However, enough whinging: I was stopped dead in my tracks by an absolute stunner from Harvey Nichols. It made me tingle with envy (never a good trait, I know) – I wish my name was upon this piece of work.
I’ll stop slobbering over it for a second and just let you watch it (if you haven’t already):

Firstly it’s Christmassy without the sickening sweetness or a twee story behind it.

It’s also ball-achingly true in terms of people’s reactions when opening presents, which makes it – in my opinion – incredibly funny.
Not only that, it plays on that inherent British politeness which prevents us from showing anything other than exaggerated pleasure at any present we receive. Personal highlights for me, in terms of reactions, are; the dad’s reaction at 0:12 (‘elastic bands’… and a bemused smile), the grandma’s reaction at 0:51 (‘Harvey Nichols paper clips!’).
There are some other lines which are just wonderful; ..’you love toothpicks!’… ‘it’s a sink plug’ (that kid’s face is a picture!)

I wish, wish, wish I’d written this ad!

Oh, and one more thing: it at least says something that the other retails brands (apart from Selfridges, maybe) can’t, and offers a clear benefit – Harvey Nichols sell luxurious, tempting goods.

It’s a brilliant piece of work. Merry Christmas Harvey Nicks – I salute you.


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