As part of my rather reluctant embracing of the Yuletide spirit, each year I dig through the back pages of the Internet looking for sexist ads from yesteryear. Why? Because it reassures me that the usual crop of drivel we see on our screens at Christmas time is simply following in a long tradition of festive mediocrity.
That being said this year I bring you three priceless gems. All shining a spotlight on the Madmen era when men drank cocktails, smoked and patted bottoms and women cooked and pretty much nothing else according to Madison Avenue.
I love the Van Heusen ad. I showed it to my wife and gently suggested that maybe she would like to kneel by our bed and offer me a selection of ties this Christmas. The staff at A&E couldn’t have been more helpful in removing my laptop from my bottom. They even saw the funny side or at least the male nurse did.
The Kenwood and Hoover ads perpetuate the belief that what women really want at Christmas are kitchen appliances. If we follow this logic we would then have ads like this:
“Sum up your feelings for the accountant in your life with Excel 2015.”
“Give your vet husband the Burdizo Bloodless Castrator. He’ll thank you all year long”
“Marigold. The perfect holiday gift for the proctologist in your life”
There is another genre of holiday ads that feature guns, cigarettes and bizarrely matching pyjamas for all the family but that is probably best left for another blog post.
In the meantime settle down on the sofa and enjoy a series of Christmas ads so predictable or nauseating that you’ll be reaching for the remote every commercial break. And don’t get me started on that vacuous pile of manure from John Lewis. Instead of a penguin, in my version a woman is seen running through a park with her vacuum cleaner and when she gets home on Christmas morning she unwraps a nozzle attachment and the nozzle and vacuum cleaner kiss. See the John Lewis ad here