Programmes are now a break from the ads

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone
Share this article

Remember when TV adverts were a bore?

In our house, advert breaks were used to boil the kettle, do a tiny chore or slap some cheese on a cracker as you waited for your favoured programme to resume.

But on Saturday night something odd happened.

“Kate, can you pause ‘X-Factor’ so I can get a drink before the John Lewis Christmas advert comes on?”

This statement came from my son’s latest love interest.

After I had gotten over the fact I had been referred to as Kate rather than Mrs Livingstone from a person half my age whom I’d just met, I waited - for an advert.

It turned out this girl was a marketing student and she was planning on taking notes as the most anticipated ad campaign of the year premiered.

Yes, if there’s one thing bigger than Christmas, it’s the department stores and supermarkets’ creative pursuits for our pennies to create the perfect one.

And they’re not called adverts now, oh no, they’re called feature presentations.

Should we expect Brad Pitt to appear in the next one, wearing a Santa hat and telling Angelina he’s just nipping to Tesco?

I cried - cried - at a lovely Christmas advert last year. The one about a snowman searching for gloves and scarf for his snow lady love.

I grant you I had had a bit of an emotional year, but to shed a tear at an attempt to make me spend money at a particular store!

What has Christmas or indeed the world come to?

But does the high-budget message work?

For all my tears for that cold snow-woman, I can’t remember buying from that store last year.

And, after watching the John Lewis ‘feature’, my mother only questioned what a rabbit would possibly buy for a bear.

There are still some things money can’t buy.

And as for my son’s girlfriend who brazenly called me Kate and not Mrs Livingstone, I called her Kirsty as she left.

Horrified faces all round. Oh yes, that was the name of the last one. Silly me!

My Christmas spirit has yet to come.