UnNews:John Lewis Christmas to feature Prime Minister
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|John Lewis Christmas to feature Prime Minister|
6 November 2015
LONDON -- The 2015 John Lewis Christmas ad will be aired today, marking the beginning of the UK’s retail Christmas period. The annual advertisement has become a national treasure in Britain; it occupies countless column inches, and can even affect the Christmas music chart.
This year, the middle-class retailer has taken a bold departure from the “cosy family by the yule-log fire” and opted for the ritual burning of a surreal wooden sculpture, depicting Mr. Cameron perched naked on a golden chair holding a severed pig's head.
The John Lewis ad — which in the past has featured a bear and hare, a little boy waiting for Christmas Day and a toy penguin that came to life — has tugged at the emotions about as hard as is legal to do so, consequently boosting last-minute sales of luxury crackers. It started the battle between retailers’ seasonal advertisements, a modern phenomenon.
“Christmas ads have become a thing in themselves,” says Robert Jones, a visiting professor of brand leadership at the University of East Anglia. “They are a cultural event in their own right. With so much spending commoditised, the Christmas ad has become one of the few ways retailers have to differentiate themselves from rivals. This year, John Lewis are targeting the upper-class elite.”
The wooden effigy alludes to claims made in an unauthorised biography of Cameron that he had put a “private part of his anatomy” into a dead pig’s head, as part of a university dining club initiation ritual. Impressed with this level of exclusivity, John Lewis believes there is gaping hole in the market waiting to be filled with the country’s “cream of the crop.”
As the battle of the mega-stores heats up, other groups are also keen for their ads to be viewed on social media, as well as the television. J Sainsbury’s 2014 festive ad, portraying a British working-class theme with a well-groomed ex-Labour Leader Ed Miliband eating one of their bacon sandwiches, enjoyed 17.3m views on YouTube.
ASDA is eyeing the potential gap left by John Lewis in the middle-class market, with their Christmas ad featuring disgraced peer and ex-House of Lords Deputy Speaker, Lord Sewell, snorting cocaine off the chest of a woman dressed from their “George-at-ASDA” designer lingerie collection. It is understood that Lidl’s Christmas campaign will feature political underdog Jeremy Corbyn getting duffed-up by the police.
- Jamie Grierson "Effigy of David Cameron and pig's head to burn at Lewes Bonfire night display". Guardian, November 5, 2015
- Staff "John Lewis Christmas advert kicks off seasonal fireworks". Financial Times, November 5, 2015