I’m all for using emotion to make the sale – anyone who’s ever been coached by me knows that. But you can’t fake it: it has to be real. And this rule counts double at Christmas!

Like it always does these days, Christmas has been in full swing since September – as far as the TV is concerned anyway. Many people believe that the annual dusting off of Coca Colas ‘iconic’ Christmas lorry ad heralds the start of the Christmas season proper.

This is the sort of attitude that makes the John Lewis advert one of the most anticipated events in the run up to the big day – and the whole of Britain goes wild for a two minute advert for a shop, one the vast majority of us won’t be spending any of our hard earned cash in. Even so, John Lewis ads have become a part of the furniture, on par with the twinkly fairy-lit tree and the brandy-soaked figgy pud.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not your Scrooge Bah-humbug type.

I love Christmas – it’s a time for love and family and getting together. It’s pretty much the only time of year that whole of the country takes the day off to relax (ok, I know it’s not always relaxing and it can get somewhat tense, and sometimes it all kicks off …but it’s a nice thought, everyone together and chilled out for once).

Unlike Easter, which has morphed from a time for new beginnings into the season of hardcore D.I.Y, Christmas adverts do still centre on one of the real messages of Christmas – Love.

But it’s how love is expressed that irks me. Yes, I’m talking about the John Lewis ad where the poor lonely old bloke is for, reasons beyond my comprehension, stranded on the moon without so much as a spacesuit. Then a little girl takes pity on him and sends him a telescope so he can watch her open her presents.

Now, obviously, I’m all up for using emotion to make a sale.

I know it’s supposed to make us think of lonely people at Christmas, but the implication is loneliness is bad, but you can buy people off with material things. That gifts are reasonable alternative to real love. Absolute b*llsh*t, of course.

Why didn’t they send a rocket to get him? Or jump aboard a shuttle and take him a plate of turkey dinner and let him have first dibs on the remote control – and not moan when he’s snoring his head off during Shrek 4. That’d be real love – and real Christmas.

I know it was for Age Concern, apparently, but I’d like to know what hand they had in it, and why it wasn’t branded as such. And John Lewis staff – seeing as they own the company, what do they think of the annual overblown multi-million splurge? Does it go to a democratic vote? I reckon they’d be much better doing a sparse 30-second ad and giving the rest to charity. That’d have a bit of real Christmas spirit about it – and would probably get more customers flowing through the doors into the bargain.

Much better is the Sainsbury’s ad where the clumsy cat manages to mess up all of his family’s Christmas preparations, so all the neighbours chip in and help the family start from scratch.

That’s the real spirit of Christmas – being there for one another.

So bravo Sainsbury’s, bah-humbug John Lewis.

But still, peace and goodwill to everyone this Christmas!

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/39678297@N04/16040160366″>IMG_2309  Norwich Norfolk</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

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