LUV – “This time I will be strong,” you whisper, as the ad break begins and your family edges away from you.
And yet… three minutes later you’re a tear-sodden, quivering skinsack. You have something akin to the emotional bends, as your nerve receptors shudder from being suddenly, mercilessly hammered by the poignancy of animated animals buying each other gifts, a family singing to its war-hero Pops and an ASBO-ridden juvenile purchasing cosmetics for his schoolteacher.
But amongst the snot, running make-up and urine, you’re happy. You’re happy because you’re feeling something, goddammit.
You cooed at Gravity’s CGI, you gasped at The Great Gatsby’s costumes and you pondered grouting your bathroom tiles during Man of Steel. But nothing Hollywood offered in 2013 touched your brainheart the way Sainsbury’s and Tesco do in a matter of minutes. Even the more abstract of this year’s Christmas ads manage to entertain, with Marks & Spencer priming Wosie Runtington-Hightly to soar boobily through the snowflakes and Belena Conham-Harter to do that thing she does.
Not so long ago we had to endure borderline lunatics baring their teeth and gibbering about low, low prices as they shoved products threateningly towards the camera.
This new approach is progress. This is human.
Mark you: this will soon be the model for post-Christmas adverts, as well. Prepare to shart euphorically as Next’s Boxing Day spot features a weeping, guilt-wracked pigeon unleashing a viscous plopsy onto a 4am queue.
– Stuart Waterman
HAT – Fuck you John Lewis. Fuck you for fucking up Christmas adverts. They used to be so easy to make – all you needed to do was find a fat bloke with a beard and film him saying “Hello, I’m Santa. Calpol exists”. Bang. Job done. Everyone knew it was Christmas. Everyone was reminded that you could force your ill child to drink Calpol. Everyone was happy.
But fucking John Titting Lewis has fucked that all right up. Now all Christmas adverts have to be 45 minutes long, and have emotional peaks and troughs, and they have to be soundtracked by a recently bereaved toddler singing an unnecessarily poignant piano version of, say, Rock You Like A Hurricane by Scorpions. This year it’s rabbit who wants to fuck a bear. Last year it was a snowman who suddenly became impervious to heat just to spite me. The year before that it was a child, who I found myself inexplicably hating for no reason. John Lewis makes me hate children. You’ve ruined Christmas, John Lewis. You are bastards.
– Stuart Heritage