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Christmas blasts off with Burberry spectacular – not forgetting Isobel for Hammerson

It’s that time of year again and we’ll be doing our best to bring you the best ads (and the worst, of course) this Christmas – until exhaustion sets in. Which may be sooner than you think.

First up is Burberry with what it calls a “cinematic trailer” celebrating the brand’s 160th birthday. This stars Dohnall Gleeson (think that’s right) as young Tom, inventing gabardine after rescuing a pleasingly soggy Sienna Miller from the rain and going on to kit out Ernest Shackleton, played by Dominic West, on his way to the South Pole. There’s also Lily James as a fetching aviatrix plus First World War trenches. Well Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without them. Directed by Asif Kapadia.

Burberry has produced some right old glossy nonsense for Christmas in years past so…..

In the hole. Makes you want to see the ‘film’ and how often can you say that about would-be cinematic content?

MAA creative scale: 9. Over to you John Lewis and Sainsbury’s.

Here’s a somewhat more modest effort from agency Isobel for Hammerson’s new Victoria shopping centre in Leeds, the first in a campaign which runs through 2017 featuring ten such sites with two ads for each. So it’s not exactly a Christmas campaign but this one is Christmassy enough. The aim, it seems, is to “distil” the essence of Victoria.

It’s no exaggeration to say that UK high streets are in crisis: there’ll be more chains going under when the next rent review comes around after Christmas. So, as Hammerson says, you need to promote going shopping as an experience as opposed to just buying stuff and grazing.

Which this does in thirty seconds (Burberry had three minutes or so).

MAA creative scale: 8.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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