Marks & Spencer have pulled off a real cracker with this year’s Christmas advert – perhaps rivalling even those John Lewis penguins.
Paddington Bear, inadvertently saving Christmas, while turning around a would-be criminal’s life, is chestnuts-roasting-on-an-open-fire level of cosy.
Paddington’s adorably innocent antics, while returning stolen presents to beneath the Christmas tree, have touched many a true Santa believer’s heart.
You can watch the adorable advert below:
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However, not everybody is happy with the little bear – and I’m not just talking about the Brown family’s grouchy neighbour Mr. Curry…
Paddington, as we all know, is from darkest Peru, however, he’s being raised by the quintessentially British, Brown family and is a staple of English children’s literature.
Yet, when addressing the bearded, red-clothed thief in the advert, he refers to him excitedly as ‘Santa’, and later as ‘Mr Claus’.
Of course, as a proud Windsor Gardens resident, the polite bear would surely eschew such Americanisms, just as he would shun a peanut butter and Jell-O sandwich in favour of his favourite marmalade?
This travesty goes way beyond brushing over the subtle differences between American and British terms and phrases – this goes completely against the character of the duffel coated bear, who ‘tries so hard to get things right’.
One person tweeted:
Santa? If you want to Americanise your ad, why not have a celebrity Father Christmas shoot Paddington whilst eating a Big Mac!
Love the M&S Christmas advert apart from the fact they said Santa not Father Christmas, which is unusual for such a traditional brand.
— Charlotte Theobald (@CatTheobald) November 7, 2017
love the m&s Christmas advert apart from the fact that they said santa not Father Christmas which is unusual for such a traditional brand
— juliette (@juliettealicex) November 7, 2017
— Who's asking? (@HaroldShand1979) November 7, 2017
Santa? If you want to Americanise your ad why not have a celebrity Father Christmas shoot Paddington whilst eating a Big Mac!
— Sandra Lloyd (@SandraJLloyd) November 8, 2017
However, plenty of people were fine with the use of Santa, pointing out how Santa Claus and Father Christmas are often interchangeable in many British households.
One Twitter user noted:
I do agree there’s too many Americanisms creeping in, but Santa Claus as he looks, sleigh, reindeer etc is not purely ours to claim, not when Father Christmas was someone very different.
Others on Twitter wrote:
I do agree there's too many americanisms creeping in, but Santa Claus as he looks, sleigh, reindeer etc is not purely ours to claim, not when Father Christmas was someone very different.
— SoniaSays (@dislikemorons) November 8, 2017
We say Santa as in “Santa stop here” signs etc, I’ve never said Father Christmas to my daughter
— Lorrainek (@LraphK) November 7, 2017
Nitpicking aside, Christmas Paddington has proved a success, leading many viewers tearing up with joyful, nostalgic emotion.
One person described the advert as being, ‘totally charming’, while another declared it to be, ‘definitely the best Christmas advert this year’.
People seemed to like the story of redemption, with the burglar realising the error of his ways from kind-hearted Paddington.
One person tweeted:
What a lovely video with a thoughtful message.
— Flic Mikellides (@flicmik) November 7, 2017
❤️Paddington and ❤️ M&S ~Absolutely adorable, never knew I'd smile, laugh and cry for an advert?Wonderful stuff!! Totally #lovethebear
— Eily & Angel Paws (@EilyNash) November 7, 2017
Absolutely love it! Well done, definitely the best Christmas advert this year ???
— Keeley Lenton (@keeley_lenton) November 7, 2017
Absolutely love this advert makes me smile every time I see it ❤️❤️❤️❤️
— Davyd Crowder (@OddJobDave) November 7, 2017
— Nicky Bassett (@Nickyb66) November 7, 2017
What a lovely video with a thoughtful message. Funny too. No aggressive brand placement either (aside from the M&S stockings!!). Wonderful
— Sam Parker Bowles (@espeybee) November 7, 2017
No matter where you stand on the Father Christmas/Santa Claus debate, you have to admit, John Lewis are going to have to really pull their stockings up this year to keep pace with this bear’s sleigh.
— M&S (@marksandspencer) November 7, 2017
Does anybody else feel bear-y festive after watching this beautiful little advert?
Not long now either until Paddington 2 hits cinemas…10 November 2017.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.