Monday, 18 November 2013

Christmas in a Day

I've been ignoring Christmas adverts quite passionately since they all hit our screens on November 1st, but then my mum said something about how the new Sainsbury's Christmas in a Day one upset her, so I was looking out for it. Now I feel compelled to say something about it. For those of you who haven't seen it, this is it:

Now, I can see why that would move and upset people, I really can, but honestly it just made me angry. For one thing, I feel that it's manipulative to use the fact that many families are separated at Christmas in an advert for a supermarket. To me, that feels exploitative. This feels like a step too far.

My main problem with it, though, is the message it sends to children who might be in the position of the kids in the video, though not as lucky. Can you imagine how it must feel to be told that your mum or dad isn't going to be home for Christmas? And then you might see an advert like that and think that, really, your mummy or daddy is coming home for Christmas and it's a surprise. The disappointment when they really aren't coming home doesn't bear thinking about. That upsets me a lot more than the advert, the idea that children might see this and think that their parent is going to come home for Christmas when in reality that's just not going to happen. I think it's incredibly irresponsible of the people behind the advert, and really very distressing.

I might be reading too much into this, it is after all just an advert, but it bothered me and I felt compelled to say something about it. It wouldn't bother me half as much if Sainsbury's were donating money to a charity related to the armed services or doing something to help families who are separated at Christmas, but I strongly suspect that's not the case. It's just a cheap, manipulative advert designed to get us into their stores. And I'm actually not okay with that.

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