Is that sleigh bells I hear? Or the clanging chimes of doom? That’s right, Christmas is saved! (well for now anyway). Another day of turkey, mince pies and watching the other half getting pickled before 3pm. We have the potential family hand grenade that is ‘Cards Against Humanity’ to look forward to in our house this year. It should wake my pensioner father out of his post lunch daze nicely. Sticking to the theme and referencing last week’s edition of Five Things, I noticed (with barely disguised mirth) that ‘The Gift’ by Iris has registered complaints for ‘traumatising’ children. Get over it kids! He recovered didn’t he?! That X-Box on top of your mum’s wardrobe will be under the tree in no time.
I think the surreal nature of this year has started bleeding into London’s ad agencies as they prepare for the holidays. From cockney santas by 2050 to bobble headed staff by Isobel, the playful nature of the season is coming to the fore.
The final two adverts are not Christmas themed (ba humbug!), but they do fly in the face of the old TV adage ‘never work with animals or children’. Hell Yeah! demonstrates what can be achieved through the wonders of technology and Vice shows us what deliciousness can arise from teamwork.
1. “Honey I shrunk the agency” by Isobel
I loved Isobel’s digital Christmas card to their staff ‘Honey, I shrunk the agency!’. The effort that must have gone into creating all of those bobble headed replicas of their staff is extraordinary. Personally speaking, I’m not sure how I’d feel about being cast in ‘bobble’ myself though. I can’t say that I wouldn’t instantly devolve into an existential mess, sure in the knowledge that my life or achievements would be unable to match the miniature ‘wobbly’ me. Then that is just me, I’m well adjusted.
2. “Snowflake” by 2050
After watching ‘Snowflake’ by 2050 I now know what it would look like if Russell Brand had a paternal feud with a cockney Father Christmas. The story follows a rebellious son (the eponymous ‘Snowflake’, I assume) who does not want to follow in his father’s footsteps (talk about pressure!). Come for the ‘drama’ stay for the virtue signalling.
3. The Big issue – “Remember me” by FCB Inferno
A more sobering take on the Christmas countdown is ‘Remember Me?’ By FCB Inferno for the Big Issue. This advert reminds us that we have social responsibilities to other members of our communities, even as the solidarity of the pandemic response begins to fade. The main thrust of the message is that it is much harder for Big Issue vendors to make a living this year with the streets being emptier than usual. Please support those who need it, you will feel better about the world.
Client: The Big Issue
Agency: FCB Inferno
4. Farm Drop – “Food Euphoria” by Hell Yeah!” by BMB
Away from the Christmas themes there is the campaign by Hell Yeah! on behalf of Farmdrop. The adverts hark back to a time long ago (spring) when the world at large was trying to come to terms with the vagaries of Zoom meetings. The three vignettes imagine a world where farm animals are our colleagues. ‘Get you hooves of the photocopier Dolly!’.
Client: Farm Drop
Agency: Hell Yeah!
5. Betty Crocker – “Magic Happens When We Work Together” by Vice
Stretch Armstrong cooks with his kids on behalf of Betty Crocker in an ad by Vice. This surrealist nightmare shows what you can achieve when you work together (and have massive appendages). The family in the video each use one of their unique gifts to help bake a cake for the returning mother figure. She seems pretty pleased with the situation, but I’d be asking ‘What’s with the massive flour handprints?’ or ‘Why are your sweater sleeves so stretched out?’
Client: Betty Crocker