Goodwill to all men?
'Tis the season of Christmas advertising convention amongst UK retailers – or should we call it the British Superbowl – as they try to out-entertain each other in order to gain more than their fair share of our purses and wallets by producing the ultimate fairy-tale yuletide TV fantasy. Never mind the media spend; after all, what's a mere £7million production budget at this time of year anyway?
But is this missing the mood of many consumers, with ever more scraping by on a week-to-week basis and food banks opening faster than Poundland stores?
Are retailers building a fever pitch of seasonal expectancy, or simply fostering brand resentment?
Wouldn't it have been a real coup to be the one who publically snubbed this strategy and instead donated the campaign spend to charity, or donated food of the equivalent value to food banks, so that more people could share some form of Christmas celebration?
OK, so the boy in the bobble hat tells 'the story of giving something back' for Waitrose. But look at Coke's stance in the Yolanda-struck Philippines. It's suspending all advertising 'from November 18 until further notice', giving all funds saved to the relief and rebuilding effort. That's in addition to millions from the Coca Cola Foundation. Brave. Moving. Unforgettable.
'Every little helps'. It certainly does... or might have done.