Share

Before we start, let’s get this clear; there might be three of us belatedly reviewing this smorgasbord of shiny festive ads, but there’s only one ‘target market’ in this tale.

Only one of us is a salary collecting, bank account owning, credit card carrying member of society. As for the other two, well they do have a chipped, porcelain Winnie The Pooh money box containing, at the last count, £57.50 and a shameful IOU from a debtor also known as ‘Daddy’.

[It] will force me to think about whether the work will get me to hand over my hard earned coin or whether it will just make me smile and go on Amazon.

So, for the purposes of this article, from here on, I – the spending power in this rather peculiar triumvirate - shall be referring to them as Penniless Five-Year-Old and Penniless-Two-Year-Old.

Now, I’m not making this point to massage my puny ego or flat-track bully my children, but because, with all the talk about the struggles of the high street in the age of Greta, Brexit and Amazon, I thought this year I might try a different lens when reviewing these ads. 

With all the talk about the struggles of the high street in the age of Greta, Brexit and Amazon, I thought this year I might try a different lens when reviewing these ads.

An unemotional - and, admittedly, unseasonal - lens that will force me to think about whether the work will get me to hand over my hard earned coin or whether it will just make me smile and go on Amazon.

So, here goes.

Above: Daniel Fisher and his reviewing cohorts, Penniless Five-Year-Old and Penniless Two-Year Old.


Asda 

The Penniless Five-Year-Old and Penniless Two-Year-Old both really like this. Especially the snowman bit. As for me? Well it’s charming enough, but is it going to tempt me away from the family Christmas supermarket of choice? Sadly not (see below).

Asda – Let's Make Christmas Extra Special

Credits
powered by Source

Unlock full credits and more with a Source membership.

Credits
powered by Source
Show full credits
Hide full credits
Credits powered by Source

M&S Jumper

The Penniless Five- and Two-Year-Olds are digging this. Really digging it. There may have even been an attempt to jump around themselves (badly). As for me? I quite like it too (though not enough for it to buy make me buy a St Michael's Christmas jumper).

M&S – Go Jumpers

Credits
powered by Source

Unlock full credits and more with a Source membership.

Credits
powered by Source
Show full credits
Hide full credits
Credits powered by Source

Walkers

The Penniless Five- and Two-Year-Olds both like the music and ‘the lady’. I don’t mind it but I do wonder whether the reportedly mega bucks fee that ‘the lady’ was paid could have warranted a better script. Probably. I also have a strange nostalgia for the old Gary [Lineker] work.

Walkers – Walkers Crisps Christmas Advert 2019

Credits
powered by Source

Unlock full credits and more with a Source membership.

Credits
powered by Source
Show full credits
Hide full credits
Credits powered by Source

Amazon

The Penniless sisters are bopping again. I start grumbling to myself about authenticity and Ken Loach films before the doorbell rings and interrupts my flow. (It’s another Amazon parcel).

Amazon – Amazon Holiday 2019

Credits
powered by Source

Unlock full credits and more with a Source membership.

Credits
powered by Source
Credits powered by Source

Aldi 

I said it last year, and I’ll say it again this year; I don’t really get this Kevin the Carrot thing. Judging by the bored look on the faces of the Penniless Five-Year-Old and Penniless Two-Year-Old, nor do they. So, no family peer pressure to visit Aldi going on here.

Aldi – Christmas Spectacular

Credits
powered by Source

Unlock full credits and more with a Source membership.

Credits
powered by Source
Show full credits
Hide full credits
Credits powered by Source

McDonald’s

Talking of family peer pressure, both the Penniless Five- and Two-Year-Old love this. ‘Daddy what is that place?’, asks the five-year-old at the end. ‘Don’t worry about it’, I say, ‘look, there’s a dragon’...

McDonald’s – Archie the Reindeer

Credits
powered by Source

Unlock full credits and more with a Source membership.

Credits
powered by Source
Show full credits
Hide full credits
Credits powered by Source

John Lewis/Waitrose

...And there is too. ‘Love that dragon! Love that dragon!’ has greeted this film every time it’s appeared on our family screen. It even briefly knocked Peppa Pig off her spot as most watched thing on loop on TV the weekend it came out. I am equally impressed, especially by the way they managed to make a John Lewis ad work for Waitrose without compromising either (deceptively tricky brief, that) and I have already awarded Waitrose the honour of supplying this year’s Christmas shop (mind you, that could be because the ad for the other contender, the one starring Paddy and Emma, didn’t do much for me).

John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners – Excitable Edgar

Credits
powered by Source

Unlock full credits and more with a Source membership.

Credits
powered by Source
Show full credits
Hide full credits
Credits powered by Source

Argos 

Again, a smash hit all round with the triumvirate. It’s done the impossible and made Argos seem cool, and in a way which is totally ownable and on-brand. Re-positioning a catalogue that will (for me at least) be forever be associated with the window prank as a Book of Dreams is an impossible task but this film has pulled it off. The Penniless Five-Year-Old is particularly transfixed, but fortunately doesn’t go as far as requesting a drum kit for Christmas.

Argos – The Book of Dreams

Credits
powered by Source

Unlock full credits and more with a Source membership.

Credits
powered by Source
Show full credits
Hide full credits
Credits powered by Source

Sainsbury’s 

The Penniless Five-Year-Old was mesmerised by this one (the Penniless Two-Year-Old not so much). But what about me? Well, I love it for its ambition and its epic scale and its cool, meta, pop culture references. But – but - I’m not sure what it’s supposed to make me think. Or do. I’m not sure it’s going to make me re-think Sainsbury’s, or get me to pop down there to do my Christmas shop. Or even to buy a clementine. And I bloody love clementines, me.

Sainsbury's – Nicholas The Sweep

Credits
powered by Source

Unlock full credits and more with a Source membership.

Credits
powered by Source
Show full credits
Hide full credits
Credits powered by Source

Very 

Surprisingly, the Penniless Five-Year-Old and Penniless Two-Year-Old don’t care for this. ‘It’s boring!’ says the 5 year old. She’s on point.

Very – Pass the Parcel

Credits
powered by Source

Unlock full credits and more with a Source membership.

Credits
powered by Source
Show full credits
Hide full credits
Credits powered by Source

Ikea

This one definitely isn’t boring. For me, it’s the best thing on screen this year. Great insight and executed in a very fresh way that begs repeat viewing. It’s even inspired some controversial household clearances at Chez Fisher. As for the Penniless Five- and Two-Year-Olds? Well, the coup of landing D Double E to provide the lyrics for your ads might have gone over their heads but it’s got animated singing household objects in it, and what’s not to love about that?

IKEA – Silence The Critics

Credits
powered by Source

Unlock full credits and more with a Source membership.

Credits
powered by Source
Show full credits
Hide full credits
Credits powered by Source
Share