3
Dec
2009

Bah Humbug!

And so it begins.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but like the bi-annual dental check-up, or the end of the car insurance policy, Christmas has crept up on us again.

It’s time to start honing the Yuletide gag reflex to perfection for the inevitable force-feeding of festive cheer down our throats.

Some thoughtful types, however, have already got in on the act early. If, like many Londoners, you happen to have taken a wander down Oxford Street at any point since November, you can’t have failed to notice the abysmal excuse for their Christmas lights this year.

It almost feels like cheating to call them Christmas lights, because they’re actually just a load of LED-laden advertising boards for Disney’s new movie, A Christmas Carol.

I’m usually a bit of a Scrooge at Christmas anyway (oh, the irony), but this seems to be having some kind of reverse-Scrooge effect on me. Where are the snowmen? Where did the glittery trees go? I imagine them to be locked away in a damp basement somewhere, an unlit neon Santa crying a single mildew tear, while his dull reindeer pals scratch away the number of days until Christmas 2010 on the exposed brickwork with a sharpened candy cane.

We already live in a city where adverts are impossible to get away from, so why besmirch a glorious tradition with hideous promotional crap?

To make matters worse, they went on display on November 3. I was still munching away at the kiddies Halloween sweets on November 3, not thinking about Christmas.

Who in their right mind could think that displaying a sickening illuminated marketing campaign for a Disney movie for one whole sixth of the year could be a good idea? Wait. I think I know this one. Probably the man who’s rolling around in the vast majority of Disney’s marketing budget.

Who did they get to switch on this November spectacle? None other than Jim Carrey. A family favourite, if your family happen to be stuck in the ’90s, and haven’t tired of predictable rubber-faced humour.

Did he do it for the good of London? Or because he’s just like a moth and loves lights? No. It’s because he plays the lead in Disney’s A Christmas Carol, which, by some odd coincidence, was premiering that very evening in Leicester Square. How very convenient.

Quick. Deck the halls with office-loads of marketing gurus, because apparently ‘tis the season to have corporate bullshit shoved in our faces.

Image by Mark Hillary courtesy of Flickr

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