WHAT HAP­PENED NEXT CHRIST­MAS AD­VERTS

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - Just Williams - Guy Kelly

De­cem­ber 2018

Af­ter a 700,000-strong pe­ti­tion to get Ice­land’s ‘too po­lit­i­cal’ Christ­mas ad­vert shown on tele­vi­sion suc­ceeds, the Ad­ver­tis­ing Stan­dards Au­thor­ity con­sid­ers it only fair to let other su­per­mar­kets re-re­lease their ads with con­tro­ver­sial mes­sages in­cluded. Sains­bury’s cre­ates an ex­tended cut of its child-dressed-as-a-star promo to make clear the star was, in fact, one of those found on the flag of the EU. And John Lewis re­casts its El­ton John ad about his very first pi­ano to in­stead fo­cus on Jeremy Cor­byn get­ting his very first soap­box.

De­cem­ber 2019

With a no-deal Brexit re­sult­ing in more than 90 per cent of Bri­tish com­pa­nies ei­ther mov­ing abroad or go­ing into liq­ui­da­tion, Christ­mas ad­verts in 2019 take a markedly a dif­fer­ent tone. Most are just a sin­gle ti­tle card read­ing, ‘Help a re­tailer out this Christ­mas. Please, just buy some­thing.’ Oth­ers make clear they are will­ing to sell their stores, fit­tings, even staff. The Co-op’s com­mit­ment to sell­ing Bri­tish pro­duce re­sults in a no-frills cam­paign fo­cused on spam and turnips. And then there’s Timp­son, which mer­rily an­nounces busi­ness is fine, be­cause it weirdly al­ways is. In fu­ture years it will adopt the Wind­mill The­atre’s fa­mous motto, ‘We Never Closed.’

July 2020

Des­per­ately at­tempt­ing to re­vive the high street, the Prime Min­is­ter, Michael Gove, makes a sur­prise an­nounce­ment at PMQS. ‘It is my great plea­sure to say that, 47 years af­ter Wiz­zard so elo­quently made the case, this Gov­ern­ment will fi­nally de­liver on their wish for Christ­mas ev­ery day,’ he says. ‘We wel­come the right hon­ourable mem­ber for La­p­land.’ It means there are now only fes­tive ad­verts on TV, a sit­u­a­tion tol­er­ated for pre­cisely two days, af­ter which the pub­lic ne­go­ti­ates a weekly min­i­mum spend they’d need to meet in or­der to make it all stop. ‘My plan worked per­fectly,’ Gove says. —

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