Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What's happened to British advertising's great tradition of Christmas turkeys?

OK, the Morrisons ad is not good.

But I really like the John Lewis campaign.

A few people have written in to point out it's "inspired" by the work of artists Tim Noble & Sue Webster.

(See more of Tim & Sue's work here.
Did Lowes use them to make the John Lewis ads? I do hope so)

But you know what?

I don't care.

The ads feel classy like John Lewis should. The "whoever you're looking for this Christmas" line is a really nice spin on the hackneyed whatever you're looking for. Plus, they get to have their cake and scoff it also - the ad showcases their wares too.

And best of all, no Santa or tinsel in sight.

Even the Argos christmas ad isn't too bad this year. (Not on YouTube as yet, sorry).

What's going on? Is it just me, or is the standard of Christmas advertising actually on the rise?


Anonymous said...

It's also similar to Shigeo Fukuda's 'lunch with a helmet on' from 1987.

Anonymous said...


Jesus Christ on a bike the Spice Girls' dreary shitefest is absolutely piss-poor (although that does rather give piss a bad name).

why is TRBR unable to produce any good advertising? Their creative dept is packed with top talent and the clients are previous award-winners but the work is two years worth of poo (Heineken, anyone?).

And that Tesco clothing ad that Ivan Zacharias shot. Dear oh dear...

Anonymous said...

noble & webster weren't consulted about the ad, and they don't seem too happy about being ripped off. (see this creative review article.)


Al said...

I bet the reason Lowe are denying the connection with the artists is because their work is all about rubbish, and that's a little close to home.

Anonymous said...

So what? I bet Noble and Webster weren't the first to use that technique either. You can probably trace a line back to the likes of Escher. I agree about Tesco - it's shite of a very expensive order (a million quid per Spice Girl? That's a fucking outrageous waste of money on an outrageous waste of skin). The Red Brick Cul de Sac is going nowhere creatively. They are just trotting out the same old fashioned junk. And Morrison's could have been made any year in the past 30 too - it's just crap. If these agencies also looked for some inspiration in art they might break out of their turgid little moulds. Which all means Lowe is winning the Xmas ad battle by a street

Anonymous said...

didn't bmb do soemthing quite similar for selfridges earlier his year?

Anonymous said...

and it also bares a startling resemblance to "dog's head on a bedroom wall" circa, bedtime.


richard.hayter said...

Yes, these ads stand out from the rest of the dross (I haven't seen the Tesco's ad yet – sounds like I've been lucky). But they feel a little cold and not awfully festive. They feel like they're just about 'buying stuff'. Which of course, they are...

Anonymous said...

Isn't it a bit like the Heal's Summer Sale ads by Grant Parker.

Anonymous said...

i don't find the connection with noble and webster troubling at all.

this sort of thing's been done in the art world for years - 1890s shaddow puppetry anyone?

the more you look into it the more you realise that it's noble and webster who are unoriginal, not john lewis.


i love this campaign.

someone in E1 said...

I assume that anonymous 4.20pm is refering to The Red Brick Road's inability to produce any decent Advertising over the past two years. If he is I agree completly. The Tesco's Campaign was picking up prizes at Lowe, Heineken was a brief to die for not to die on. Vince Squibb, Justin Tindall and those two chaps who did all those sweet Tesco print ads a couple of years ago, come on for Gods sake, pull your bloody fingers out, where getting bored of all the client pleasing crap, you don't want to end up on the road to nowhere.

Anonymous said...

wouldnt worry about pissing off Noble and Webster - their work's crap, they're tossers and have made shit loads of cash from casting shadows for years

Anonymous said...

anon 10.14:


Anonymous said...

Can't believe the campaign got out, it feels so old and dated. Seen this technique done a milion times, it's funny how we rely on out of touch CD's to make the decisions. Atleast the Heals ad's felt fresh and anything but desperate.

Nothing is as bad this Christmas as the ADSA snowman ad. It took me about 10 viewings to realise the workers had made a snowman and not a giant turd. I'm presuming the use of white products (mainly their cheap own brand) would have deemed the shop a little too cheap, although it would have made the snowman actually visible. Absolute tat.


Anonymous said...

Think the john lewis ads look better than they are. Agreed, you see them and you think: ooh, lots of space, no tacky prices = classy. But on closer inspection, for me, they disappoint both commercially and aesthetically. Commercially: you can't see the products properly, never mind any useful prices. Aesthetically: you notice that the piles of crap really really don't match the shadows. My overwhelming feeling is amusement at the almost tangible fatigue and irritation in the shoot team aimed the concept team: "This'll have to do, i'm not putting together this effing pile again!" You're overly generous, scamp - perhaps in the mood of the season.