The season’s greetings from brands

7 mins read

The month of December is known more for its association with Christmas or Hannukah and the giddy vibes with the onset of a new year, rather than being the 12th month of the Gregorian calendar. And, as it is with most holidays, with close observation; it is a time to forget the formalities, rituals and obligations of the material world and for once come together to celebrate and enjoy the company of those close to us, perhaps sing and eat well too.

Sainsbury

  • 1914

We live in a deeply divided world. However, this isn’t some new theme. It is only that the digital world has allowed us to finally see the division properly.

Sainsbury made an ad highlighting the situation of soldiers across the sides of no man’s land in a different but another deeply-divided and hostile time in the 20th century.

In 1914, the year World War 1 started; the Allies and Germany were demonstrating their hostility towards each other. This is as history would recall it; but, the diaries of soldiers during those times might say something different.

Though the story can’t be confirmed; one such recount had been made into a Christmas ad by Sainsbury in 2014.

On Christmas of 1914, two soldiers of either side of the no man’s land; in a very fortunate instance manage to break the code of conduct on their ends and exchange a hand of warmth. Jim and Otto; the two protagonists of the ad introduce themselves formally; as they both were the first ones to walk towards the enemy’s side. This bravery happens to be rewarding to both British and Germans; who also engage in a football match later in the day.

The distant sounds of firearms force both sides to retreat to their barracks. Otto and Jim discover that their Christmas treats have been exchanged.

 

1914 was of course a very different time and soldiers’ lives highlighted in the ad isn’t what we necessarily might be able to relate to as it is very different from our own. Perhaps, another ad by Sainsbury, ‘Mog’s Christmas Calamity’ commercial might paint a better picture than ‘1914’.

  • Mog’s Christmas Calamity

A cat named Mog; part of the Thomas family; is the initiator of regrettable and damageable instances. Without meaning to, Mog; who was witnessing a bad dream; tugs the Christmas lights which trips the books and sets the ball rolling. Unfortunately, the oven turns on with the rolling ball and rolls under her paw making her look responsible.

Mog takes a fright after seeing what she has done and wrecks the entire kitchen. Mog ends up ruining Christmas for her family by almost burning down the house with the Thomas family still inside it.

Since Mog had also accidentally called the fire department during her panic, she is hailed as a hero. The neighbours of the Thomas family were kind and generous enough to share their Christmas with them to compensate for the Thomas family’s losses in the fire.

Everybody deserves a Merry Christmas

Both of these ads are made with the emphasis that Christmas is meant for sharing. But some are forgotten behind and not considered in ‘everybody’.

Say, old folks; like the grandparents, as the Kettlebell Christmas commercial. He loves his granddaughter so much that he was determined to meet her on Christmas. He works hard to reduce his physical ailments to not get left behind on Christmas.

Or animals like the hamster in the Albert Hejin commercial who has been separated from its lover; who happens to be residing in the neighbouring home. It tries every trick to meet its sweetheart but is denied every opportunity to do. Its owners finally pay attention to him and bring it its dearest to him.

What could Christmas mean?

One of the Christmas traditions is that of gift-giving; which can feel stressful because of the commercialised nature of the holiday. Ironically enough but thoughtful in some way, Etsy made a few ads this year to highlight what could comprise as good gifts.

Perhaps, a good gift could also be something as valuable as an ethical donation of an organ.

Incucai: Donating should be simple

Image Source: Ads of the World

Incucai: Donating should be simple

Image Source: Ads of the World

Incucai: Donating should be simple

Image Source: Ads of the World

If that sounds something too out of reach for now or the commercial nature of the holiday seems too displeasing,  marginalising or overwhelming, maybe simple traditions of Christmas could be embraced more whole-heartedly: gingerbread houses, a roast turkey or meat of commonality in your country, Christmas cookies, building a snowman, perhaps watching a good Christmas movie.

If you like listening to carols you can listen to it one more time by watching a video of Hershey’s commercial reproducing the Christmas carol “We wish you a Merry Christmas”; a tradition they have followed quite faithfully from 1989 to this year.

 

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