Paddington or Kevin the Carrot - You decide!
And why because a big hello to all the Christmas TV adverts now making their way onto our screens. However, the big question to ask ourselves is; are they hitting home in the way they are designed to? Do they make us want to rush out and spend our life savings on presents, get the turkey baster out or rush into the garden to practice snow angels in preparation of when the long awaited and quickly detested white stuff arrives? Or is that just me?
Every year it gets bigger and better, more money spent, more lavish creations, more imaginative contents – so is this year any different and are the main players delivering the goods?
We all have our firm favourites for those Christmas adverts in years gone by and that will be a separate blog, but lets look at this years offering. I have placed stars next to their names scoring from 1 – 5 – 5 being the highest. See if you feel the same as I do!
Here are my top 5 Christmas adverts for 2017
John Lewis - ****
I have to admit when I first watched it, I was there! Moz the big hairy farting monster who lives under the bed was real! Curse those built-in drawers under our king-sized creation!
The little boy reminded me of my son who when little could go to sleep at the drop of a hat and standing up (a skill not everyone can brag about).
The images and storyline jarred distant memories and shook off the hazy cobwebs from the years past and made me relive the same feelings when my children would bound into the living room in their PJ’s stumbling clumsily with sleepiness, but geared up by the excitement of what Santa had brought them in the night!
It was 2 mins of gorgeousness and made me laugh and cry, leaving me with a feel-good factor and didn’t disappoint!
John Lewis never knowingly undersold and for me it has lived up to its name!
The Christmas advert gauntlet was well and truly thrown - let battle of the main players commence!
However, Marks & Spencer swiftly picked up the baton and raced towards the finishing line with gusto bursting with relevance and creativity!
Marks & Spencer - *****
It is 120 seconds of ingenious thinking and content! Whoever created this little number, in my mind should be feet up somewhere in the darkest Peru having a glass of bubbly with their new little furry friend!
Paddington! I grew up with him (not literally, but as I was born in Paddington I feel we are kindred spirits with a passion for wellington boots).
This bear was brought to live in 1958 and was responsible for putting marmalade firmly back on the breakfast menu for all ages!
A character so current, especially having made another comeback with a sequel film coming out on the run up to Christmas for all the family to enjoy.
It stars the ‘not so young’ Hugh, but ‘ever so sexy who still talks about bottoms and big pants’ Grant, who is an instant hit, as he befriends this cute and often forgetful carnivoran mammal.
The story unfolds showing a well-rounded and perhaps heavy on the carbs thief, who having stolen a sack of presents is struggling with the challenge to remain vertical on the snow-covered roof outside Paddington’s window.
Dressed in red trousers with his ample figure, when the window is pushed open by Paddington, the red stocking covering his face making him initially look like Britain’s most wanted flies back on his head becoming a fetching hat whilst demonstrating the versatility of this racy coloured piece of lingerie! It reveals his facial hair, a beard which Paddington mistakenly identifies him to be none other than the big FC!
In his quest to only do good, Paddington offers his services in a bullish, but you cannot possibly refuse sort of way and helps the thief deliver the presents. In the speedy whistle stop journey the thief is made first reluctantly to return the stolen parcels and after witnessing the joy giving can bring, he sees the failing of his wicked ways and thanks the little bear for forcing him on this straight and narrow pathway!
It a joy to watch and is not just Christmassy, it has an underlying message of goodness attached to it!
This advert has definitely brought on a rendition of the Christmas Countdown dance happening in a living room near you and provided that instant pop to my cracker and wow to my tinsel and I am feeling festive!
Argos - *
We start our futuristic journey in an ultra-modern warehouse showing numerous staff employed all with funny pointed ears like Dr Spock and wearing only a uniform that cannot possibly be attached to any hint of a minimum wage – red can be so unflattering, unless your Santa, who let’s face it let himself go a while back!
A member of the Christmas crew finds a robotic dog in the aisle who has either mischievously jumped off the conveyor belt and probably taken a robotic pee somewhere he shouldn’t have or one of the point ear brigade has been slacking!
Desperately trying to concentrate as the story unfolds I cannot help, but be conscious of all the potential slips, trips and falls!
From using one of the tills she scans his barcode, only to discover he should be part of the next hi-tech shuttle soon departing!
Will she be able to save the day to ensure that a child somewhere in the world will not wake up to mass disappointment and have a terror tantrum of all time?
The music composed by Aram Khachaturian is Sabre Dance accompanies this fast-moving action-packed advert which is catchy as soon as it starts. You can feel your heart beating along to its fast and furious pace, as health and safety continues to fly out of the window and she jumps over racking and risks being squashed by a lowering metal door.
Even though she has a set of heavy duty googles on the top of her head as part of her jazzy uniform, as she jumps aboard a ground support vehicle and speeds down the runway she doesn’t even use them, not even a hint!
The wind and snow are picking up and I was surprised she was so successful in her mission, as she triumphantly lobs the robotic dog into the plane satisfied Christmas is going to be a good one for the ginger haired kid who clearly has been fabulous all year and deserves this treatment – hope she’s on commission!
This advert probably comes bottom of my top five, as it was a bit to out there for my interpretation of Christmas, the workshop and elves and I couldn’t help, but notice none of the presents were wrapped, so a complete ball ache for parents up and down the land on their arrival – I don’t know about you, but Sellotape is always running low by then in our house!
Asda - **
Based on Charlie & The Chocolate Factory and the world of Willy Wonka, it begins on a cobbled street with little girl and her grandfather and snowflakes beginning to fill the air.
The gates of a huge factory are opened, as Asda must have bought out the previous owners and they enter the world showing us how Asda produce the items of food and drink currently on their shelves – its pretty impressive! Who would have thought they had a reindeer on a wheel attached to the most humungous cake mixer to produce all their Christmas cakes and puddings!
Also, I was mightily impressed with their choice of uniform suppliers who really do supply a number of sizes, as those varying shade of familiar green where the staff member pats their behind and smile were once again shown, but on Polly pocket sized people who were all busy organising the displays of more bitesize and manageable festive snacks whilst not wearing gloves!
It is an eye opener, as although I have been to Leeds, I cannot recall seeing such an impressive building!
The little girl and grandfather make their way through the factory unsupervised doing what the great British public do best – having a good old nose until the odd looing security guard who finds an unattended bag returns it to its owner and escorts them out of the premises via a very fancy lift!
Once again it manages to depict family relationships and the wonder that Christmas and all about it lends to our imaginations!
Lastly but not least its Kevin the Carrot!
Aldi - ***
Narrated by the familiar voice of Jim Broadbent, who at times sounds like he has been chewing gravel and smoking woodbine for the part, we see a carrot being the nose of a snowman wake up.
Having seen a train, he decides to abandon being the crucially important part of the face that allows smell and functions the passageway for air in respiration and decided to leg it! A little selfish, as he turns into Usain Bolt of the root vegetable family and runs as fast as his little spindly hairy pins will carry him successfully making it on board without any id, wallet or ticket!
On spying a femme fatale carrot who is perched on top of a stack of mince pies – health and safety does come to mind again, Kevin decides she is his destiny and destination, as he tries to reach her through a maze of food on a never-ending table laden down with goodies and all the trimmings one would expect to associate with this time of year!
Not looking where he is going he is prodded by a fork! Should have gone to spec savers Kev! He then comes across a gingerbread man who has been dismembered by a flying cork! Should have gone to spec savers gingerbread man! And then after clumsily knocking into a tower of cheese, he become the hero of the night effectively protecting the carrot of his dreams who is still sitting reading fifty shades of orange completely unaware of the shower of peas about to pelt her off her throne of pillows of sweet mincemeat.
Kevin saves the day and delivers a cracking one liner ‘I think I just peed myself’ which she doesn’t appeared at all concerned about and together they reinact the iconic flying boat scene from Titanic and like Rose and Jack, Kevin and Katie are situated at the front of the train looking out for Santa. He BTW is driving the train! And there was I thinking that carrots could see in the dark! Definitely should have gone to spec savers!
For a 60 second advert which continues to air the trials and tribulations in the life of Kevin the carrot, it is well executed, excellent rhyming and will continue to make eating carrots not an easy task going forward!
TV advertising is one of the greatest and most powerful tools of all to ensure that we get comfy on the sofa and google box throughout, rather than use the break to pop the kettle on or visit the loo!
I don’t know about you but sometimes the Christmas adverts have more of a storyline than some of the programmes! So, its official I am hooked and waiting to compile the next top 5 in this year’s contestants for the best Christmas advert of 2017!
However, can’t stop must pop down to Asda, as rumour has it those gin machines are on sale – that will certainly liven up our Christmas this year!