We know that it is Christmas when the big stores start rolling out the expensive Christmas ads. Now we have the latest offering from M&S. M&S seems to be a store that is sometimes spot on but increasingly they seem to be missing the mark. With the closing of lots of their clothing stores, something is amiss. However, a good advert has the potential to re-energise a store.
There is much to applaud in the new M&S Christmas ad. Finally, we see Mrs Christmas taking centre stage. Yes, get in! She has a voice: she has sass. We see Mrs Claus going to save the day. A boy wants to get his sister some new trainers after he gave her last ones to the dog. Ahhhh, what a git! Personally, I would have liked to have seen him grounded and his pocket-money taken away from him. But I’m a harsh task-master. Although, it is refreshing to see a girl being represented by trainers, not a Barbie doll or any pink in sight. There is lots to love.
We see Mrs Christmas being a positive role-model of sorts. She is cool, calm and collected. She rocks technology, has a wardrobe that Carrie from Sex and the City would be envious of. She is very much centre stage until Father Christmas comes back on the scene (because there are still some stereotypes being rolled out for Christmas). And Another Ten Things explains it brilliantly in her post. Yes, it is great that we don’t have Mrs Christmas sitting in front of the fire darning some socks for Mr Christmas but it is still seen pushing the idea that the female at Christmas doesn’t need any gratitude. Is it pushing the idea that the woman is still happy to be the silent person at Christmas? Mrs Christmas still doesn’t have a voice when Mr Christmas is on the scene.
We need to admit that Christmas is incredibly stressful for EVERYONE. Not only do you have to wrap oodles of presents, get up at the crack of dawn to cook a Christmas meal, entertain a houseful of guests, stop the children from killing each other, worry that the turkey is not cooked properly, try and stop your Dad from eating all of the Cheddars (every year Dad, every year), worry that you are going to kill off everyone with your Christmas dinner, or that you are just going to lose it and kill everyone but you also have to be the hostess with the mostess. Christmas dinner is a stressful day for all women and men. There is a reason why the number of divorces go through the roof in January. It is the unrealistic expectations that are placed on families. All of a sudden you find yourself sharing a room with family members you barely see for the rest of the year. Everyone has an opinion on the turkey you have cooked, “too dry, too moist, too small, not as good as last year”. M&S I am sorry but I have a voice and I will be using it.
There will be no smug silence from me! I will not be cool, calm and collected. I will be frazzled and stressed. I will be the one sat on the sofa with the whiskey in my hand. Yet, perhaps I should be aiming to be Mrs Christmas. Perhaps Mrs Christmas is who I need to be. A gracious host not a grouchy one. Perhaps that is what needles at me, maybe I don’t think it is a slightly problematic attempt at feminism, maybe it’s because I fear that I will never be the perfect Mrs Christmas. I will never be cool, calm and collected. I will always be the one running like a headless turkey.
Give me John Lewis and Buster the dog any day. That dog is me. Slightly miffed and then pure unbridled joy. Christmas is a rollercoaster for me and that dog’s face says it all. I love Christmas and I love Buster the dog.
Which advert do you prefer?
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