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Lidl sends up typical Christmas ads in animation slathered with ‘emotional gravy’

‘We don’t need cutesy characters when carrots taste this good’, the narrator sings, as a Kevin-lookalike is speared with a fork.

Lidl has taken aim at the overused tropes of retailers’ festive ads in its own effort from Karmarama, “A Christmas you can believe in”, which launched on the 14th November.

The 60-second animation opens over a snow-draped town before zooming in on a house, where a girl is leaving a mince pie on the windowsill for her robin redbreast pal – while a female vocalist sings a cutesy song about friendship. That’s until 12 seconds in, when a price appears on the screen, and the singer states: “Nope – it’s a Christmas ad from Lidl with great prices instead…”

The story then follows the girl as she runs downstairs to join Christmas dinner with the family, while the song rattles through various conventions of festive advertising, such as the slow pouring of “emotional gravy”, and an invitation to viewers to “smell the magic” of free-range British turkey.

The ad was created by Meigan Brown and Tobias Owen, and directed by Joseph Mann through Blinkink.

It is running on digital channels from the 14th November and will make its TV debut during I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here on ITV.

At one point, Lidl’s ad appears to direct a zinger at the brand’s arch rival. When the vocalist sings, “We don’t need cutesy characters when carrots taste this good”, one of the dinner guests jabs a fork into a carrot with an (upset-looking) face that calls to mind Kevin, the Christmas ad mascot of fellow German discounter Aldi.

Claire Farrant, marketing director at Lidl GB, said: “Traditional Christmas advertising campaigns follow a very traditional formula of fantastical situations, stories and food – all of which are perfect for disruption. This year, we’ve parodied these tropes to show that Lidl’s incredible quality and value can give customers a Christmas reality they really can believe in.”

Lidl has also launched a scheme called “Teaming up to tackle hunger”, which will allow shoppers to donate essential food items directly to their local community at the till, with the retailer matching each donation made.

Karmarama is the UK’s most progressive creative agency, part of Accenture Interactive, working across advertising, PR, data-driven communications, mobile platforms and products, digital and innovation. The agency is known for its ability to blend creativity, digital and data, to help brands better engage with consumers. Or as Karmarama calls it – Connected Creativity. It is one of the most effective agencies in the UK and has won the DMA Grand Prix for the last two successive years, in 2017 for its work for the Army. It was again the highest ranked creative agency in the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work For in 2020.