Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Holidays are coming

Apparently Coca-Cola has revived its "holidays are coming" ad following scores of calls to its customer information centre from people who said it marked the beginning of Christmas. Next Cadburys will be saying that Creme Egg ads mark the beginning of Easter, or DFS ads mark the beginning of bank holidays. Last year McCains Chips had the bright and highly ethical idea of sponsoring Christmas pantos, so this year I'm half expecting to see school nativity plays produced "in partnership" with some insidious brand like Tesco. Three kings of the east come bearing gifts for the baby Jesus: a transformers helmet, a bratz doll, and two packets of self-raising flour (buy one get one free). Sressed-out mums are asked to sew Tesco logos onto the old curtains they're using to make the Kings' robes. Instead of Away in the Manger little children sing the new Spice Girls single as it's written into their multi-million pound contract. In return Tesco provides chipolatas and 100 extra clubcard points for the audience. Every little helps...(Voiceover: Angel Gabriel)

In reality the Coke ad doesn't mark the beginning of Christmas because Christmas clearly begins in mid-October when retailers dismantle their bbq displays and set up their fairy lights and artificial trees. The Coke ad actually heralds the beginning of crap advertising season, where advertisers with small budgets stick their hands in the pockets and roll out their five year old Christmas ad. As far as they are concerned it's the only time of the year to drink strange alcohol, eat chocolate lambs testicles, and smell nice. For the rest of the year you can smell like Reindeer poo for all they care.

Over the next few weeks I'll be taking a look at some of the turkeys gracing our screens but today we should really start with a few words about the ad that "marks the beginning of Christmas".

"Watch out, look around, something's coming, coming to town..."

Yes, and that something is a 5 mile tailback of light pollution. I mean the convoy is so bloody bright it's probably visible from outer space. But hang on, there's still not enough light so the convoy magically switches on more bulbs on trees, on bridges, on houses... A conscientious old duffer up a ladder nearly has a heart attack as he's only just unplugged his own lights out of environmental guilt and then shazam!, his house has the carbon footprint equal to the whole of Burundi.

Kevin Warren, Managing Director for Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd, said: “Measuring our direct CO2 emissions has been the first step in understanding our carbon footprint and we are excited about the opportunity to go even further through our partnership with the Carbon Trust. With corporate responsibility now integrated into our day to day business operations at every level, we are proud of the progress we have made in the past year and look forward to building on this in 2008.”

I may be stupid, Kevin, but I think there may just be one area where you could build on the successes of 2007 (hint: energy efficient light bulbs). Every little helps...(Voiceover: Father Christmas)

1 comment:

thepassionatecook said...

you crack me up... especialy like your tesco idea!
i've been looking for your email address everywhere... so trying a comment instead: we are organising this year's menu for hope for the uk - if you'd like to participate, please get in touch and i will send you more information! (alternatively, find more info on my blog!)
it would be great if you could participate!