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  • Writer's pictureAlis Hâf

Love or Hate: Parody ads.

Parody adverts can get mixed opinions. Especially from professionals in the industry and the rest of us with loud opinions and Twitter accounts. The reason I wanted to write this blog post today may not be well known to most (anyone without Wi-Fi connection!) but some of us know that today the infamous John Lewis Christmas advert is here! Whatever your opinion on it the new ad signals that Christmas is coming is now officially upon us!

Each year we see brands fighting it out to release the best Christmas advert, but in expectation sometimes as an audience, we can get too passionate so that when an ad is realised we’re sufficiently disappointed by what we get given. In recent years we’ve seen some of the John Lewis Christmas adverts parodied by disappointed fans or by other brands hoping to jump onto the success/disappointment of the original.

In 2015 Aldi spoofed the John Lewis Man on the Moon advert, very successfully and still in keeping with their brand messaging. In recent years we’ve also seen The Poke getting involved and creating parody version of the ads that make fun of the newly released Christmas adverts by John Lewis. I especially like last years Buster the Boxer parody by The Poke. Also from last year, a standout I found was from Argos incorporating a trampoline ad into their already existing Yeti campaign. I personally really like these examples because they just go to show that if a parody/spoof ad is done well it can resonate with people a lot more than perhaps the original. Still, though there are some really rubbish ones out there!

And this year it isn’t any less interesting. The long-awaited 2017 John Lewis Christmas ad pulled out the stops, getting directed by Oscar-winning Michel Gondry and played to the crooning of Golden Slumbers by Guy Garvey (Elbow). It shows #MozTheMonster hiding under the bed of a child over the Christmas period, you may hate it but I think it’s sweet and funny. Yet, it cost £7 million to make. When you consider the manpower and length it probably took adam&eve/DDB to create the advert then it justifies itself but in this year’s efforts to parody the advert some have picked up on this as one of their main reasonings for creating a new low-cost parody version of the original.

Within hours of the release of the advert, My Voucher Codes (who have a long festive tradition for spoofing the John Lewis Christmas advert) along with SCA released a statement to say they would be producing a parody version for less money and in one day. Considering the original probably took the whole year to produce from ideation to creation then it’s a bold idea.

The John Lewis Christmas advert cost £7,000,000 and took over seven months to make. Today, MyVoucherCodes will produce a 'discount version' in seven hours with a budget of just £700. #MonsterDiscounts#UnderTheBed >> #MozTheMonster >> #MonsterDiscounts — Andrew Bloch (@AndrewBloch) November 10, 2017

Here is their finished ad.

In my opinion, compared to other ads it doesn’t stand up against other parody ads but it was made in a day even if it didn’t get released on time ( but this is advertising no one ever sticks to deadlines!).

This year I also feel similarly about The Poke parody ad. I wonder whether they may have felt slightly rushed to create a spoof ad knowing that others were in the same process of creating a parody ad at the same time.

With more and more parody adverts being created by the hour I’m sure if you searched now on YouTUbe you would find a lot more than I did this afternoon! But with everyone wanting to create a parody advert of the original ad Under The Bed then little by little everyone will start to lose its charm and uniqueness. The great thing about parody adverts is that a few years ago barely anyone was creating them which made them a great idea but with everyone jumping on board to make one to be ‘on trend’ then they’ll all seem done before.

I’m normally on team love for a parody advert but this year I’m edging towards team hate. I do like a good Christmas ad but this year I’ve also seen people becoming way more excited about the parody ads than the original Christmas adverts themselves. So next year I wonder whether brands will opt to follow the trend which will mean more parody adverts to watch or even see them using parody adverts as a way of drumming up more support for their main advert. Or is it (hopefully) just a dying trend. Who knows.

#johnlewis #advertisingagency #parodyadverts #christmasadvertising #marketing #advertising

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