Association advertisement.

It’s Christmas time. That is all. Leave me be. Don’t call me a miser because it’s hardly going to give me a bad name in the community. Rejection of national social conventions to find a little peace of mind? Good for you!

 And do not bullshit me about the offering of peace to all mankind:

Christmaestro: Peace to all men!

Bit of a dick (the more-righteous part of the penis): Actually I don’t celebrate your contemporary interpretation of a pagan festival so please excuse me from your cultural dialect this winter.

Christmaestro: WHAT?! You can’t disrespect my Christmas wishes like that by not being part of it! SEIZE HIM! SEIZE THE MISER!! Beat him with brussles, Cain him with candy-canes, and fuck him with an elf.

But the worst part is the assumption that I am part of this celebration- of which I am not, but I can hardly say that all advertisements do anything other. Wait, the main point I was making was that there are now several television adverts so far this Christmas, and each of them focuses on the family in the holiday and, in particular, the mother.

Last year there was an advert for Littlewoods which focused on children singing a song in a pantomime, in which they praise their mother for buying them and their family various expensive gifts from the store whose name and logo inevitably materialises by the end of the advert. This advert was widely criticised for being materially focused, not too materially focused, just materially focused- full stop. As if these people complaining were going to abstain from the ritual of purchase, wrap, and exchange and would rather go about the true meaning of Christmas which is to squeeze out a messiah in a shed. People don’t tend to practise the latter, but buying and ‘passing over’ is the point- full stop (or rather- ‘exclamation mark’).(!)

So, with the market having learnt its written-in lesson, it is this year giving the point of the family and the mother a priority. Weird. Obviously, this is to offer the viewer that feeling of family closeness and the enticing aspects of being warm, fed and wealthy that are typical of nearly every all adverts. “Behind every Christmas- there’s mum” (says Asda), and that the very idea of Christmas is stress and panic but that ultimately…aahhhh…at least we have Tesco. Morrisons offers the exact same situation, offering the same sympathy for the mother and the focus that family matters, and that this is how Christmas always has been and always will- so sayeth Morrisons (here ends the Christmas lesson).

The ultimate point however, is my curiosity as to whether people really do identify supermarket stores as being the life-saving, stress-free best buddy that they portray themselves as. The lead characters seem to smile knowingly as though saying: “Asda is my best friend as a working/middle class mother- I simply can’t get by without them, You should buy their products- they’re only selling them to ease your burden”. They’re not selling them to ease your burden, but rather selling them so as to have their products bought. Bought with money. Bought with money by whomever they have coaxed in via the most obvious selling point of cheapness and quality, rather than some preposterous image of Asda ‘being there for me’ when I’m low and need someone to talk to- which is something they do sell- through the screen of our televisions and at the considerable expense of my patience and trust in their motives. I don’t like to turn my back on Asda. I get the feeling they’re pointing and laughing at me. Luckily enough I look good when being mocked, so it’s not so bad.

I know that their goal is to sell things, but do they think that by simply putting one set of happy images together (a family dinner, a humorous scene, a budding relationship, or an infant laughing) and then showing their logo as though it is the cause of all this joy and the purchasing of their product will bring the same to you, will actually be accepted by the massive masses? Ah. Maybe they do. Ah. Maybe the masses do too. Fucking masses.

This I call ‘association advertising’, where a company puts some form of…something (several of which are listed above)…to give their product an image that their target audience can identify with. So, by associating themselves with a certain form of…humour, or fashion, or class, or situation, or animated dog, that they can then cram their company name into the next frame and sit behind the backwards mirrors of their supermarkets, anticipation drooling between their talon-like teeth, perfectly white. Rowntree’s Randoms are not run and operated by a group of the wackiest people you’d be cheered to meet. If Sainsbury’s had the chance, they’d steal your mother and then make an advert making mothers particularly enticing for this time of year, and then sell her back to you at a heightened cost owing to the time of year and her breeding.

The only exception is, in my own and I’m sure many other’s opinion, Lynx- which shows lynx users spraying it on, and then very almost fucking every attractive female since 1991. That’s what lynx does, perhaps exaggerated, but essentially not a misrepresentation of what they do. Lynx is not my friend, but I am it’s customer, and as such I appreciate the link between what it shows me in an advert and what it’s actually selling. A nice, decent bit of practical association advertising. Not the other kind.

On the whole though, if an advert comes on- just walk away. It’s healthier. And if you’re an advertiser, just either stop it, or at least say ‘please’ more.

Merry Christmas.

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