The twinkle in Jennifer Hudson’s eyes certainly brings a sense of cheer to GAP ads this season, despite the gloominess thousands of people are harboring inside. Advertising has been heavily blanketed with negativity over the past decade, with people accusing marketing companies of over publicizing the shopping that coincides with holidays and that the true spirit of giving has been forgotten. I’m probably setting myself up for debate, but I’m going to suggest that it’s the advertising world that’s keeping spirits bright this holiday.
Each year it seems more controversy surrounds the holidays. People aren’t sure anymore if it’s PC to say, "Merry Christmas," so are making a conscious effort to stick with the more generous, "Happy Holidays." One of the biggest issues to ruffle feathers during the holidays, however, is the extreme marketing, which many argue is overwhelming and out of spirit. Beginning as early as November, people are barraged with a sea of red and green. Christmas is hyped by tacky lights in every storefront, tinsel-clad faux Christmas trees are erected in local businesses, and special edition holiday cups find their ways into the hands of java connoisseurs.
I’d like to argue that it’s those marketing tactics that make the holidays special. They add much needed warmth to a season that would otherwise be cold, depressing, bare, dark and very long. Having your ears serenaded by husky remakes of "Santa Baby" in stores, your nose seduced by smells of mulled wine and your tongue tickled by the taste of candycanes adds to the romance of the season, does it not? And the beautiful glow of holiday lights on streets and in windows, no matter how tacky, manage to melt the metaphorical frost from our hearts.
Take a look at the ads in the gallery which include the Jennifer Hudson GAP campaign, and the much-adored Coca-Cola Christmas commercials, and tell me they don’t lift your heart just a little.
Especially during economically hard times, I suggest embracing the holiday cheer, even if it’s meant as a form of advertising. It’s a choice you make, but putting up a fight, no matter how persistent won’t make it go away, so why not embrace the enchantment marketing bestows and let ads help us rediscover charm of Christmas?
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