It's funny, isn't it, when you get an idea for something and you go to execute that idea and the end result turns out to be vastly different from the original intent. This blog post is a case in point. I had intended to make this blog post about the TV ads this Christmas, the good, the bad and the downright stupid. But in researching the ads themselves I discovered something weird. Specifically concerning the John Lewis ad, a particularly fetid piece of homespun schmaltz concerning a 7-year-old boy and his wait for the big day. Here's the offending article:
The problem I have with this commercial, sorry, I mean problems, plural, are that first of all they are using a song by a woman with a weird name (Slow Moving Millie - I mean really!) and that it is a song that happens to fall into a category I have talked about before on the ol' blog - namely, the "Songs That Should Not Be Messed About With Under Any Circumstances". The Smiths' classic 'Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want' reduced to a heartstring-tuggin' anthem to get you to buy your Christmas crap at John Lewis rather than Littlewoods or House of Fraser. My third problem with this commercial is that it's s**t.
But this is where it gets weird. The thick plottens...
That eloquent chef Gordon Ramsay has a wonderful show on UK's Channel 4 called Cookalong Live. Gordon, noted for his wordsmithery, and also his sense of humour that perhaps not everyone appreciates, did a promo for his new series of Cookalong by spoofing this commercial. The Cookalong ad mimics the original, and uses the original Smiths tune as well as the cover. It shows a little boy impatiently waiting for Christmas to come.
But, while the boy in the John Lewis clip stares out of the window wearing 3D glasses and dressed as a shepherd, Ramsay’s lad comically wears crash helmet and is later dressed as a pirate.Both children take a chocolate from an advent calendar, but only the Channel 4 ad shows the little boy grimace at the taste.The adverts both end with the eager youngsters rushing to give their identical, red gift-wrapped presents on Christmas morning.
However, whereas the John Lewis boy wakes his parents up with a smile, the other pyjama-clad kid walks into Gordon’s kitchen and is promptly told: “You’re late. Get peeling.” The unimpressed youngster then smashes the parcel on the floor in protest as the tagline for Gordon’s Christmas Cookalong Live appears.
However, you will not find this video on YouTube. Or so I thought. There's been a lot of legal wrangling going on, with Warner-Chappell Music being the source, apparently. One day it's up, next it's gone, with very little in the way of explanation. Even the C4 website doesn't have it any more. However, the problems seem to have been resolved as a new upload is here. You can always bank on 'Net users to quickly copy things and repost them.
Ramsay wasn't the only chef to get in an ad for Christmas. Sainsbury's spokesperson, the ever-smiling Jamie Oliver, starred in one of the better Christmas ads this year. This is Jamie's last one for Sainsbury's and it's nice, featuring a corker of a track from George Formby.
However I now present to you in no particular order, the craptastic ads for Littlewoods (the Advertising Standards Authority received tons of complaints about it, saying that it was 'killing Santa'), the Boots 'Here Come The Girls' one (it's difficult to believe that the Here Come The Girls refrain doesn't have some sort of Pavlovian effect on half the population these days - its very sound much like the foreshadowing of some horrific catastrophe.
Me, I'm inclined towards punching myself in the neck, but voiding of stomachs, noses, bladders and bowels are all well-known side-effects of hearing this tune.
There seems to be some sort of Great Escape theme to this, so I'm hoping there's a bonus ad that involves them all being taken out to the woods and shot.), and the Stacey Solomon Iceland crapvert. Enjoy.
So there you have it folks. Christmas ads, the good, the bad, and the Littlewoods.