‘Tis the season for the UK retail giants to run their Christmas campaign adverts. ‘Tis also the season for an outpouring of greatly differing views about each of these ads.
Thanks to social media we know that with every new Christmas ad, some people will like it, some people will hate it. And MANY will voice their opinion about it on social media.
Yes, Moz the Monster (John Lewis), Kevin the carrot (Lidl), and even Paddington bear and Santa (M&S) all have their lovers and haters – just search on Twitter!
And then there’s Tesco’s ‘Everyone’s Welcome’ ad campaign. The first ad in the campaign focuses on diversity and inclusion, showing people from diverse backgrounds, including Muslims and Sikhs, coming together to celebrate Christmas.
But it has drawn sharp criticism from some on social media, including Christians, who have accused Tesco of failing to include Christians and reference to the Christianity in the ad.
Fair point? Well 60% of the UK population identify as being Christians, so perhaps it would have been better if Tesco had included explicit references to Christianity in the ad.
But then again, isn’t that the whole point? Tesco is saying it’s proud to serve everyone. That includes Christians all AS WELL AS the rest of the UK’s diverse population, 25% of whom have no religious beliefs.
The negative reaction the ad has received from some just shows how hard it is for brands to get it right. Tesco have defended the ad, and we believe they are right to, because it’s a great campaign.
And others believe so to, including Christians and Muslims, who have now come forward to voice their support for the ad and share their stories of inclusion at Christmas.
We like the campaign because it celebrates diversity in many forms: age, gender, location, sexuality, ethnicity and religion). It also reflects the fact that Christmas is a part of cultural life in the UK, as well as a religious festival, and it spreads a Christian message that everyone is welcome to celebrate Christmas.
Wouldn’t it be great to see positive ads around other religious festivals too? We live in a multicultural society that sometimes misses real cultural integration, and these ads could start to improve the understanding of the different cultures and religions practised by the UK’s diverse population.