Another year has passed and we’re again deluged with that peculiar invention of some bright spark at a PR agency, the Christmas Advert Event. John Lewis get a lot of the credit for it, but Coca Cola with their perennial “Holidays are coming” advert they roll out every Christmas are just to blame.
This year it’s even worse, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis, Waitrose, M&S, Boots, and even bloody Aldi, have all got one. The adverts get reviewed, talked about, fawned over, cause emotional responses in seemingly sane people and it’s all utterly utterly beyond my comprehension.
I personally love our Netflix service, not just because it shows really cool stuff but it apparently saves my kids from over 150 hours of adverts (at a minimum) a year. At this time of year I end endless requests from the kids for various bits of plastic crap because they like watching cartoons on Boomerang and there are more sodding adverts for toys than there are cartoons.
Adverts are not something that we should be culturally enjoying unless we are discecting them to assess their appeal or the cinematography they contain (a lot of British TV & movie directors cut their teeth on ads and music videos, and it shows in the hyper-kinetic editing of their TV shows and movies), they are things designed to sell us something, be it an explicit product or an implicit lifestyle. On telly they are the things that pay for the TV shows they break up, not something that should be consumed in their own right.
I barely watch anything on commercial television, I’d rather wait until it’s on Netflix, Amazon Prime or sell through. I can just about manage to watch football as there are 45 minutes of uninterrupted telly on ITV, BT Sport or SKY Sports but anything else that’s longer than a half hour show with a break in the middle is simply too much for me. I’d rather pay to watch it in one go without constant interruption.
What on earth have we come to as a national that we actively sit there and watch this sort of stuff?