Sandra Dick: A retro Christmas? Fine by me

0
Have your say

Well, did you go “aw” and wipe away a tear, or was there a point during the weekend bombardment of Christmas adverts that made you want to kick the cat, headbutt the TV and yell: “Stick your Christmas where the profits don’t shine?”

Did the sight of a cutesy hare and a sleepy bear make you want to rip out your credit card and buy something sensible from John Lewis? Or did Tesco’s nostalgic advert, designed to look like it was filmed on a cheap video camera by a drunk dad, send you teary-eyed to the supermarket for a kilo of Brussels sprouts?

Maybe you checked the calendar and said: “Hang on chaps, it is still early November, get a flippin’ grip!”

What I find curious is how so many of these adverts dwell on rose-tinted Christmases past, cynically tugging middle-aged heartstrings using images made in a style that sweep us back to cosy days of Watership Down and Farthing Wood, while skimming over the fact that festivities then were significantly more “budget” than today’s ludicrously expensive affair.

Back in the dark ages of my seventies childhood, the cultural highlight wasn’t an advert, it was waiting to find out if Slade or Wizzard were number one. The idea that we’d perch in front of our Granada rental TV eagerly awaiting Anita Harris or The Wurzels to tell us to shop at Willie Low or Fine Fare – actually come to think, maybe advertisers missed a trick there.

Come the big day we got a second- hand bike, Stretch Armstrong or Ker-Plunk, and a lecture from our folks that all they ever got was an orange.

Yet reminding us of all that frugality isn’t cheap. John Lewis is spending a whopping £7m for its campaign – still less than the £11.2m Asda spent on its festive blitz last year. In return, John Lewis expects to rake in a third of its entire annual sales over the next six weeks from us suckers. But perhaps we just should call their bluff. Perhaps, embracing the theme of the modern nostalgia soaked Christmas advert, it’s time to forget cashmere sweaters and iPads for Christmas. This year, in the spirit of the Seventies, everyone’s getting a boring alarm clock.