Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Season's Bleatings

Blugh. It's December, so we are now well and truly ensnared in the rapid, ever consuming maw of the unholy beast known as Christmas. For the last two years I have been working as a, er, liaison between customers and things they want, and found that my irrational hatred of Christmas was becoming a bit of a problem; apparently, customers don't like being served by someone who looks like Serverus Snape (if he had been trapped in an elevator with Harry Potter, and Harry had farted). So yes, I've been trying to suppress my annoyance regarding the endless queues of grey faced slaves unhappy with the charade, whilst cluelessly believing that buying their six year old an iPad, Blackberry and laptop is a healthy, character building thing to do. But whilst I'm willing to bottle my anger so that Mavis can have a pleasant shopping experience, and excitedly tell her friend Rita about the helpful young Argos employee with the handsome smile, there's just one thing I cannot forgive: fucking Christmas adverts. Blugh.

Look, I understand that adverts serve one purpose: to try and do to your wallet what the Humanoids from the Deep did to those unsuspecting young ladies. And there's nothing wrong with that, selling things is how a healthy economy works. I don't mind adverts attempting to sell me something, provided they are either entertaining or informative; there's nothing worse than a bland ad. I have enough confidence in my own intelligence to know that I'm not going to go out and make some frivolous purchase, just because the Magic Box tried to persuade me to. Christmas ads, however, are a different beast entirely: not only do they utilise the usual manipulation, lying and trickery, but also evoke a little emotional exploitation, attempting to make their product synonymous with an ideal Christmas. Products which have nothing to do with Christmas, might I add. They present the perfect, myth based Christmas and state: "Our products are the only way you can achieve this".  I don't know what's worse: the adverts themselves, or the companies' attempts at pretending to be 'fwends' with their audience.

These ads operate on bizarro world logic, more so than regular ads. Just recently I heard an advert for a McDonald's locater app, it was a badly sung jingle to the tune of "twelve days of Christmas", only the lyrics concerned how great the app is: helping them find some place to eat during the festive period. I'm sorry, but that's 'Yahoo answers' level of retarded; what do low quality burgers actually have to do with Christmas? More to the point, who actually gets excited at the prospect of eating at McDonald's (other than a child)? I can take the usual appealing to the weak minded or insecure with lies and false promises, "you need this totally useful Flowbee in your life", that's easily ignorable, but this is like letting Cyril Smith force himself onto Christmas: it's perverse and needs to go.
It's the same with the 'traditional' Coca-Cola advert; apparently it's not officially Christmas until THAT lorry is seen on TV (according to the bleats of many people I know anyway). There was even a furore when a cola lorry came to town; it didn't even matter that it almost definitely wasn't the actual lorry, it was still treated as the second coming of Marilyn Monroe. Sure, it's a slightly interesting occurrence for a town that's so mundane even the homeless are local celebrities, but are we really making an eighteen wheeler the patron saint of Christmas? We already have a non-religious figurehead - one that already has ties to the Coca-Cola Company at that - do we need mega-companies coming up with more?

These were just two adverts that resonated with me; I could go on, seeing as how almost every company is guilty of this (it's almost as bad as the Olympics). This year, a lot of the ads themselves aren't so bad, opting to pander to the run down drones who exclusively populate this nation, but they're just as forced as the 'Christmas is magic' ads. So yes, this is a 21st century Christmas; forget the traditional roast and mulled wine, have a greasy, chemical filled burger and a decay unleashing glass of cola to wash down your expensive presents, bought out of obligation and guilt.