Ad. Break.

We live in strange times. You can take from the news anything you like but you can also bet your bottom dollar, and the one next to it, that not a lot of it will matter. At the moment it’s basically a putrid soup of political mismanagement, tax dodging motherfuckers and a seemingly inexhaustible string of sexual misconduct accusations against the very people we judge our own lives by. That’s right, the stars.

So, so much has been written about all this that it’s probably not worth me adding my oar to it. I nearly finished a thingy on Kevin Spacey (that’s not a euphemism) the other day but it ran out of steam because ultimately it doesn’t much matter. The more names that get mentioned the less of a surprise it becomes. We’re talking about some very grotty individuals here and one can only hope that justice lives to serve its own purpose.

What I find far more interesting at the moment is that despite all the terrible things that are happening in the world there are far too many people who are very happy to be distracted by the release of a few Christmas adverts. This is stupid. With billions starving how have we become a society where the quality of a supermarket Christmas advert is of even the remotest importance? I have very fond memories of my childhood Christmases and none of them involved staying up to watch the premier of some cobbled together, tear inducing, slush fest featuring a whimsical cover of a once popular tune.

I’m now going to do you all a favour by watching the contenders and reporting back. Ready?

1. M&S. Crap. Not only have they hijacked Paddington they’ve also committed the cardinal sin of featuring a nuclear family that is so desperately multicultural it’s just gasping not to offend. Amid all the faux-Victorian, white Christmas tomfoolery you might not spot it first time round. I’d be surprised if next year’s advert doesn’t shoehorn in a kid in a wheelchair and several members of the LGBT community.

2. ASDA. Double Crap. The money they must have spent on this; dragging a handful of clueless pricks off the street to act out some daft fantasy food factory scene created entirely using a tramp’s version of CGI. It looks cheap. It looks 100% polyester. But then that kind of works since most people who shop in ASDA regularly would probably list domestic violence, unwanted pregnancy and a rubbery vol-au-vent as Christmas highlights.

3. Morrison’s. Crap free crap. The one I watched seemed to be extolling the virtues of ‘free from’ foods. Gluten, wheat, milk, nut, taste, texture, and enjoyment free foods, all to be found in every Morrison’s store, usually on a small set of shelves placed at the end of an aisle far, far away from the place you’d most expect it to be. Still, at least they’ve made an effort to cut down methane emissions on Jesus’ birthday.

4. Tesco. Invisible crap. At the time of writing I can’t seem to locate a Tesco Christmas advert. It may be that the awful stuff they squeezed out last year (investigate) was so bad that they’re still hiding in shame. And so they should be.

5. Sainsbury’s. As above. Also very slow off the blocks though as long as none of the imminent variants feature Jamie-bastard-Oliver bishing, bashing and boshing his way through a three bird roast then I’m fine.

6. John Lewis. Huge steaming heap of crap decorated with diamante baubles and 2 toned faecal tinsel. To the connoisseur the John Lewis advert is the height of festive sophistication. To everyone else it’s a droopy Steven Spielberg family film condensed into 2 minutes of sugary tosh that goes sour faster than a date with Steven Seagal. This one has enough cringe to straighten an afro. A pretty much useless monster who specialises in sleep deprivation torture, another daft multicultural message and a cover of a Beatles song by eternally miserabilist, cloth cap wearing, northern glum monkeys and soaring string merchants Elbow (who better to spread the message of suicide at Christmas?). If you can’t feel your teeth rotting then you’re not watching it properly.

So there’s your guide. Obviously there are more to come – Lidl, Aldi, Argos, Iceland, Poundstretcher, Ladbrokes, Ann Summers, Greggs etc. These adverts are supposed to be made for kids but it’s the interfering adults that end up being judge, juror and executioner. Be grateful you only have to read this once (if at all). You’ll be watching this load of poo for weeks to come. The Elbow cover is on a new ‘best of’ album coming out soon. Which is very handy for them.

G B Hewitt. 10.11.2017

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