AD WATCH features marketing industry figures providing their opinions on what they think is some of the most inspiring and disappointing work theyâ€™ve seen. As long as itâ€™s not their own!
On this edition:
HOT:Â John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners – ‘Excitable Edgar’Â âś°âś°âś°âś°âś°
While I donâ€™t think it quite reaches the heights of its previous Christmas blockbusters, this yearâ€™s John Lewis holiday treat still manages to rise above its festive counterparts through beautiful storytelling and immaculate craft.
In a joint effort with sister company, Waitrose, John Lewis gives a new twist to its tried and tested â€śthoughtful giftingâ€ť proposition with the story of Edgar â€“ an excitable dragon â€“ who, despite his best intentions, manages to repeatedly disrupt his townâ€™s festivities through his own over-eagerness. Just as everyone seems to be turning against poor Edgar, his buddy Ava lifts the mood with a thoughtful gift that helps the town warm to his fiery ticks.
Itâ€™s a story that celebrates acceptance and overcoming our differences. A timely message delivered at a divisive time for many people in the UK. It may not set the world alight like previous efforts, but Iâ€™m sure #ExcitableEdgar will still prove to be another huge hit for John Lewis.
NOT:Â Walkers Crisps – ‘All Mariah Carey wants this Christmas’Â âś°âś°
It doesnâ€™t get much more Christmassy than Mariah Carey belting out Christmas anthems at full pitch in the middle of an immaculate winter wonderland. It suddenly gets a lot less Christmassy when we find her fighting over a packet of crisps with one of her subordinates.
For the ÂŁ9 million it reportedly cost to secure Careyâ€™s services, Iâ€™m not sure the gag holding this spot together is fresh enough, nor executed with enough daring, to warrant such a hefty investment. Iâ€™m also not sure whether this piece of fiction deviates far from what a regular day in the life of Mariah Carey would look like.
But the biggest issue? Check out the pathetic nibble at the end. Iâ€™ve never seen someone so repulsed by a crisp. How can you possibly convince people to eat your product if your spokesperson canâ€™t even swallow one for ÂŁ9 million?
All in all, as with the majority of this yearâ€™s Christmas ads, Iâ€™m not that mad at it, just disappointed.
This article was produced for the December/January Futurist issue ofÂ Marketing Magazine Hong Kong. For more features and other magazine-exclusive content from this and upcoming issues, you can subscribe to receive your free monthly print copyÂ hereÂ or you can read the digital version in its entiretyÂ here.