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In the News

John Lewis, Tesco and Lidl tone down Christmas adverts

Vicki Woolven

11th November 2022

Christmas adverts have started on TV - and as ever, many conjure up sentimentality, nostalgia and joy. But as the cost of living soars, some retailers have opted for a more muted approach to their campaigns this year.

Some of the major retailers who usually go to town with big budget Christmas adverts that promote huge spending over the festive season, have scaled back this year. John Lewis said that the cost-of-living crisis was "front of mind" when deciding what tone their Christmas advert should take, and said 'its advert, featuring a foster family, was less about buying things and more about kindness.'

However some large retailers are still being criticised for showing 'bountiful buffets' at a time when thousands of families are struggling with rising prices. Both Marks and Spencer and Sainsburys haven't exercised restraint this year and both have vast festive buffets at the heart of their adverts.

However, Tesco and Lidl state that they have both put an emphasis on price and affordability in their messaging, at a time when many families are facing rising grocery bills - Tesco's Christmas party advert promises to deliver an affordable and joyful festive season. "The only thing we'll cut are prices," it says.

This is an interesting article that is a good start for a conversation around consumerism and poverty, and particularly the idea of advertisers trying to encourage people to spend what they can't afford (good link to Marxism and Zaretsky here!) -

Vicki Woolven

Vicki Woolven is Subject Lead for Key Stage 4 Humanities at tutor2u. Vicki previously worked as a Head of Geography and Sociology for many years, leading her department to be one of the GA's first Centres of Excellent, and has been a content writer, senior examiner and local authority Key Practitioner for Humanities.

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