It’s been a week. I can finally start the healing process after two months of Christmas advertising creative cop-outs. I like Christmas, so don’t get ahead of yourself thinking this is some rant by a bitter 20-something because he didn’t get what he wanted. It’s quite the opposite. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown increasingly fond of what this holiday is all about – good food and good family. Socks, underwear, prime rib, twice-baked potatoes and I couldn’t have been happier.
Here’s my beef with Christmas. First off, I thought top 40 stations were bad for overplaying good songs. The 12-song rotation of the holidays is by far a more ghastly violation of good taste. Yes, they try to spice it up with remixes by popular artists. I know Maria Carey is known for giving and giving, but I’m not sure they meant in the Christmas spirit sense. And sure, you’ll hear some funny classics thrown in the mix, Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer or I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, but they’re not funny more than once, if at all. I get it, you think your mom is cheating and that’s bad, but how did you think you got all those presents? And maybe Grandma shouldn’t have gone all Sarah Palin and brought a shotgun outside to show Santa what a good little maverick she was.
What does that have to do with marketing? Nothing. I only get to rant like this once a year, so I best make sure I get everything off my chest.
From a marketing standpoint, here’s what makes me want to spit. Christmas is the busiest time of year. Every business should turn at least a small profit in this five-week span. It would logically make sense then that Christmas commercials would be some of the most well thought out, well planned and creative of the year. Instead it’s the complete opposite.
As a consumer, watching every ad is like getting a gift certificate instead of a present. Sure they put a little thought into it, but not enough to make it memorable or special.
Here are my top five pet peeves with holiday advertising.
5. Talking about traditions nobody uses anymore.
What the hell is a Yule log? Go ahead. Throw one on top of the logs in our gas fireplaces. Maybe it’s making a comeback as a traditionas we gather round our plasma screens to watch a live fire on TV.
4. Calling it the Holidays.
I know we’re trying to be all encompassing to all beliefs. But don’t show me Santa as part of your holiday sale. If you want to use Christian symbolism and Christmas traditions, call it a Christmas Sale. If you want to use snowflakes, snowmen or ice skating, then you can host a Holiday Sale.
3. Holiday Mad-libs.
Christmas is the only time of year you can get away with puns. You may be able to sneak one in during Halloween, but there is still a two-pun limit during that time. It seems like late November hits, and here comes all that festive holiday creativity. To prove my point, I’m going to write an ad for Joe’s Shoes as it would read in September. Then I’m going to write it again as if it were written for Christmas. To be fair, I’ll even make the September ad a back-to-school sale so it has some time-based purpose. If it seems like I’m blowing this completely out of proportion, go back and look at some of your old holiday ads.
Joe’s Shoes Back-To-School Sale
It’s that time of year again. Time to get back to the classroom. At Joe’s Shoes you can find this season’s top brands at affordable prices for anyone in the family. You don’t want to be the last one in style on the first day of class. Shop Joe’s Shoes.
Joe’s Shoes Holiday Sale
Jake Frost nipping at your nose? That can only mean one thing. The holidays are just around the corner. You don’t need to check your list twice this year. Joe’s Shoes has the top-brands you won’t find anywhere else, even the North Pole! Don’t be a Scrooge this year. Put down the eggnog and get your little elves something to put their stockings INTO this year at Joe’s Shoes Holiday Sale.
Let’s spend three times as much on production, half as much on creative and call it a day. Brilliant. What benefit is there to having a story in claymation? Is the joke