Karoline (with a K) gathers us in the meeting room to go through all of this year’s festive retailer TV ads on the grounds that there may be some “learnings” we can “share” with our clients. As it turns out, there are two. The first is: don’t make a Christmas TV ad. It will almost certainly be killed by the weight of its own holly, lightbulbs and baubles, if not by the competition. ITV is going to be pretty much unwatchable for the next two months, with at least one of these twinkly stinkers in every ad break. Secondly, don’t rely on the public taking out of the ad what you thought you’d put in. Our reliable guide on this front is my colleague Miranda, who we call Mim (nice but dim). In earshot. And she doesn’t mind.
So her response to the John Lewis mini movie is clearly some kind of bellwether for general understanding. Given that she thinks it features “an underage boy simulating sex with penguins because his mother won’t let him play with toy nuns” you can see why, after quite a bit of thought, she asks “what’s that got to do with John Lewis?” Quite, but then none of them has anything to do with reality.
Certainly not with Christmas as it is experienced in the Touché family household. If Fortnum’s (from where our festive provender comes) ever wanted to make an ad, it could feature some of the highlights from recent years. Daddy comatose after mistaking the King’s Ginger Liqueur for ginger ale. Daddy in hospital after shooting himself (and mummy) in the foot while discussing shotgun cartridges. And again after trying to carve the turkey with his regimental sword.
I’m now wondering whether Mim is my secret half-sister.