Tis the season...

‘Seriously. Do you guys schedule time to watch TV commercials?’

That’s what our intern, Ashley, asked us this morning with a bewildered look as we gathered to watch the new M&S Christmas offering.

‘Of course we do. This is our Super Bowl – except it’s not all crammed into one day.’

Strangely enough, I’d never consciously thought about Christmas ads in this manner until I said the above words out loud. But it’s true. They’re the closest thing we have when you take into account the kind of effort and money that goes into producing and airing these (mostly cinematic) numbers. Not to mention all the build-up to each of them. And I’m not just saying this because I’ve worked in media and with brands most of my adult life. My non-media/marketing pals are also eagerly waiting to find out which character/song they and/or their children will fall in love with this year.  

Unlike during the Super Bowl, we’re pretty safe in the knowledge that our (mostly) quintessentially British brands will be vying to charm us with magical moments, feel-good factors, and the kind of Christmas that is likely to be unattainable for a large chunk of the population. While those ads might have made me cringe in previous years, I’ve realised that one way to counter the hopeless feeling I get from reading about current affairs is to embrace this escapism for a wee while.

So bring it on, retailers! Spread some joy. And let’s hope this isn’t the year that some of you have decided to go all political on us, Super Bowl style.

The story so far (click on titles to watch):

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Asda: #BestChristmasEver 
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Argos: #ReadyForTakeOff 
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M&S: Paddington and the Christmas Visitor 
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Tesco: Everyone’s Welcome
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Vodafone: A Christmas Love Story (multi-episode) 
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