Copywriters without kids

20 December 2010

It’s been a while since I blogged. Sorry. I’ve been busy. So it’s going to take some monumental issue to pull me back to this dusty area of the site. And here it is.

Christmas is the time when the big names in retail wheel out their festive TV ads. Big-budget, glossy affairs twinkling away in the corner of the room. I have only one issue with these seasonal offerings, and it’s this.

Some of them are clearly conceived by copywriters without kids. A few years ago, just before Christmas, I phoned my local radio station and complained about an ad — I forget for what — they were running. As I drove my two little girls to school, the spoken copy went something like ‘So now your only problem will be whether to hide it in the loft or the garage’. They pulled the ad.

Fast-forward a few years. My girls are teenagers now, but I have a little boy of seven whose innocence must be preserved at all costs. So, thank you, John Lewis, for your pre-watershed Christmas giveaway. This megabucks extravaganza seems to have been knocked up by a spotty 19-year-old creative who’s had the snip.

In it, a couple sneak upstairs while their kids are watching telly and slide a rocking horse into the attic. Every time it airs, I have to lunge for the remote and switch channels before my son twigs. Thanks, John Lewis, for caring about showing that you care.

But if the right one don’t get you, the left one will. And yesterday, we had the M&Ms advert that proudly declared ‘So Father Christmas does exist’. To the target audience of this product, there was never any suggestion that he doesn’t. Please, let’s keep it that way.

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