The British autumn has arrived and with it, the stereotypical English scenes that could be straight out of a John Lewis or Marks & Spencer ad. Bare legs are replaced with high boots; scarves are draped casually around the necks of adults and securely fastened around the faces of kids. Little ones have headed back to school with new pencil cases, shiny shoes and bright white shirts. Roast dinners return as the Sunday meal of choice and as the leaves fall, children splash about in puddles while their Dads watch the football and their Mums begin to contemplate the ascent to Christmas.
Cannes is but the ghost of a hangover. Vacations have been mourned and archived as happy memories and photos. The ad industry is back to work - focused, refreshed and ready to take on the busiest retail period of the year.
It’s the middle of October and I can say with relief that here at LBB we have yet to see a festive commercial. Maybe it’s the current European economic crisis or the UK’s austerity obsession but this year feels a little less grotesque; I’ve only been assaulted twice in the last few weeks with Christmas produce… The inevitable gift aisle of my local Tesco’s and - horror upon horror, I’m so ashamed of them - one stand at the cashier desk of John Lewis (in Tunbridge Wells of all places!).
What does this mean? Will there be a heavy onslaught in the next month or so? Are brands trying to be less brazen in their efforts to tempt us to ‘whack it on the credit card’ this year? Will the advertising be more subtle, and if so, what will it look like and how will it reach us? How will the big brands make me part with an obscene amount of money this December? What will be the toy of the season that will incite fist fights in the aisles of Hamleys?
It’s genuinely intriguing - especially here in the UK, within a country that has had a glorious summer, revelling in the joys of the jubilee and Olympics, engaging in some very un-British showing-off. As the government promotes saving, makes cuts and raises taxes, will we as a nation, be more focused on our home and the people within it, than the state of the art gizmos and gadgets under the tree? I wonder… Let’s find out!