Sunday, December 18, 2016

K.A.C. 2016 - T - 7 ...

     Umm, Santa, I don't think that means what it USED to mean - you might want to rephrase that! Today's odd Victorian Christmas card is rather prescient, actually, especially if you live in the Chicago area - why? Because it is seven days until Christmas and it is December 18th, meaning it's time for the TV stations there to continue their tradition of playing 'The Three Little Dwarfs', better know to all K.A.C. followers as Hardrock, Coco and Joe! For those of you not familiar with Santa's favorite helpers and want their backstory, I refer you to my December 18th, 2010 entry - for the rest of you, it's time to click on the link for your holiday earwig ... DO IT !!! 

     Given the way 2016 has been circling the drain and being a suck year all around - and given where it looks like we're all heading in 2017 and beyond, I think it's past time to bring back the distaff side of Hardrock, Coco and Joe. Originally aired on Comedy Central's TV Funhouse (itself a spinoff from shorts on Saturday Night Live), "Christmas With Tingles" gives us a more realistic elf for these difficult times - Tingles the Christmas Tension! Enjoy! 

      Before we get to the main part of today's blog, I wanted to post this late addition to yesterday's Reader Submission Day posts - thanks, Steve! :)

     Now on to today's topic. If you've followed the K.A.C. over the years, you've seen our annual highlights of the best Christmas ads. While some of the major American advertisers go all out, they pale compared to the bragging rights for Best Holiday Ad over in Great Britain. Two grocery chains, particularly (Tesco and Sainsbury's) try to out-do the other every year. A number of the major retailers have gotten into the fray, as well, and here are the results for 2016.

      For the grocery chains, this year is no contest. Sainsbury's knocks it out of the park with their animated short The Greatest Gift, featuring James Corden singing the holiday message we can all get behind. Give it a look:

     BTW, Tesco did a series of short ads called 'Bring It On' which you can find on YouTube, should you want to see them, but they don't hold a candle to this.

Then there are the main department stores in the UK. John Lewis drew first blood this year, getting their ad out before ALL the other retailers. A cute short featuring Buster the Boxer (and foxes and badgers and hedgehogs and squirrels) - click on the link below: 

      Not to be outdone, fashion store H & M spent a bucketload of cash for their holiday ad, starring Adrien Brody as Conductor Ralph, making the best of a delayed train on Christmas for his passengers, and directed by Wes Anderson. Here you go!

     As cool as all theses ads are, however, my personal favorite for the year goes to the Marks and Spencer stores ad featuring Janet McTeer as Mrs. Claus, beating Santa at his own game when a sad little boy sends a last-minute plea after Old Saint Nick has already left in his sleigh. It gets you right in the feels, without hating yourself for tearing up over it. I think M & S have a keeper here and would LOVE to see the character return next year! Take a look at the best of the best:


       Coming Tomorrow: Whoops - we're out of space! We'll run the vintage ads tomorrow, as well as more holiday fun!


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