That’s right. Before we could even sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, those Christmas ads had already started bombarding our TVs and digital devices. The good ones we welcome with holiday cheer. The bad ones…well, that’s why some genius invented the mute button.
Here is my list of the best and worst holiday TV commercials of the 2014 season.
My number one favorite for the season is this year’s 60-second TV commercial for H&M. It stars music diva Lady Gaga and chestnut crooner Tony Bennett. This musical odd couple unite to do their rendition of the Duke Ellington classic, It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing. The big production commercial breaks out all the tinsel of Tinseltown for a stylish journey down a stylized high-rise hallway that ultimately leads to the sparkle and spangle of a 1940s supper club. On the way, this magical mystery tour encounters elegant model after elegant model wearing breathtaking H&M apparel and dancing about. Afterwards Lady Gaga busts a few moves of her own while dancing cheek-to-cheek with a digitally enhanced Mr. Bennett. The commercial ends with an elaborate crane move that reveals this entire big band orchestration fits conveniently in a gift-wrapped Christmas box that dons its lid. The box is picked up and carried back down that same magical hallway from whence this festive TV commercial began. De ja vu all over again.
So does a hot pop artist or two guarantee a crowd-pleasing holiday TV commercial? Nope. Not by a mile. My number one worst holiday TV commercial pick also features a recording artist. It’s for Glade candles and I throw something at my plasma screen every time this monstrosity of a Christmas commercial comes on. Motown recording artist Kevin Ross sings about the wonder of peace on earth and letting your green scented candle shine. Everything about this commercial irks me, including the product. The candles are all green. That’s only half of the Christmas colors. Marketing, hello! Where’s the red? Great! Now I’m in a bad mood.
That takes me to my number two worst holiday TV commercial pick, which goes to this year’s December to Remember Lexus commercial. This Advent season, we follow a CG train down a twisting railway immersed in snow drifts that ultimately delivers a Lexus RC to mom and dad. “Gosh,” little Susie emotes, “You guys must have been really good this year!” Gag me. And, of course, the Lexus coupe is crowned with one of those giant red bows that we only ever see in car commercials. Really? Give that big bow a rest. Please! I beg you.
Target always does cool commercials and this year is no exception. Their reworking of the Alice In Wonderland story includes the Mad Hatter’s tea party with animated Barbie dolls and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It is not only clever, it is sure to get kids all jazzed about shopping for their toys at Target. Brilliant!
Now, because I’m in the Christmas spirit, here are some TV commercials I really wanted to like, but couldn’t. E for effort goes to the GAP holiday campaign: You don’t have to get them to give them GAP. This odd series of quirky commercials feature family misfits at holiday events being, well, umm, awkward. I want to laugh when the spots come on, but I inevitably don’t. Awkward, right?
If your holiday marketing is not quite what you wished for, do Santa a favor and give us a call. We not only can critique ads, we can actually create them. Contact us today toll-free at 866.642.7559.