What Do We Think?
We all know it’s nearly Christmas once the John Lewis ad reaches our TV screens. Often we get a preview on the internet even before that happens. Since the 2007 advert ‘Shadows’ hit the floor running, these have become as much an institution as the day itself.
I have a few reservations about this year’s ad, but I wouldn’t want to take away from it how clever and funny it is. If you haven’t seen it yet beware of some spoilers coming your way. Firstly it doesn’t scream ‘the magic of Christmas’ to me. I much prefer the three years from, and including, 2011 to 2013. Firstly a little boy (2011) anxiously waiting for Christmas, only then we discover it’s because he is desperate to give his gift to his parents and not just tear open his own presents at the crack of Dawn. The Snowman (2012) travelling far and wide to get a present for his girlfriend, a nice , simple, pair of gloves. The Bear (2013) who has never seen Christmas, surprised by the Hare with a magical day. All traditional, believable (even though two are animations) and magical.
The biggest criticism I have come across so far this year is parents who are concerned that Father Christmas didn’t bring the gift to the little girl, and they are having to answer awkward questions. I’m not sure how deep these questions can go as I remember some presents were from Santa and some from family and friends. Not rocket science is it. My criticism with the advert is the way that it could marginalise those who cannot afford to buy such an expensive gift for their children. What’s wrong with a doll in a pram, or even just the doll. Read Flora Mcflimsey’s Christmas Eve by Mariana if you want to see the true magic of Christmas. The dolls from the attic are brought back to life on Christmas Eve with a new set of clothes and a bit of spit and polish.
All that aside, you are going to fall in love with Buster the dog and all the creatures of the night as they call first dibs on the trampoline. I have seen plenty of real life videos, on Social Media, of foxes on trampolines. I wonder if that’s where they got the idea from. The ending is hilarious and will give you a big fat cheesy grin, or a proper laugh out loud. I do have slight concerns about the hedgehog, but it’s not real. Is it?