Ah, I recognise this one. Swap going to the only bit of the countryside where you have to pay for waking up on Christmas Day and opening presents and you have a festive John lewis ad signed, sealed and delivered. Yes it might masquerade as a Centre Parcs advert but it’s not. It’s a John Lewis cast-off. Let me count the ways.
• Anthropomorphism: Bears in this case – though I’m fucked if I can work out why. Penguins, bears and hares in John Lewis adverts gone by.
• Sad, sad, happy: Oh, you’re all sad. And you’re neglecting your children. Sadface. But now you’ve remortgaged the house to go to Centre Parcs for a week. Aren’t you a good parent? All John Lewis adverts adopt this strict formula to make you happy then sad. It’s more emotionally manipulative than Rob from The Archers.
• Twee acoustic cover version: John Lewis has a litany of these songs, variously covered by Lily Allen, Tom Odell, The Bloke From Guillemots. Centre Parcs has True Colours wept by Ben Madeley, apparently. What’s the message here? “I see your true colours – and you’re a family of Grizzly Bears?”.
• A shit-tonne of cash for CGI, expensive photography and music rights. All lovingly rendered in soft-focus pastel colours.
I have a few legitimate questions here. How does the bear answer the phone? Does it have a severed human finger that it uses like a fleshy stylus?
Surely the bear would have some sort of industrial water trough to drink out of? Who’s employed a bear in a white-collar job anyone? That’s just asking for trouble.
What’s a bear supposed to do with all that paperwork? Beyond ripping it to shreds and using it for bedding?
How does a bear even get on the tube? Do bears qualify for Oyster Cards? How does they get them in and out of the slot with no opposable digits?
************look at the bear the sad bear looks at the sad bear eyes now you are sad too but you don’t know why keep looking at the bear looking at the bear don’t think about the cost just think about the bear the bear is you the bear children are sad your children are sad make them happy centre parcs centre parcs sad bear you the bear the children the bear’s children centre parcs will make them happy it’s cold outside sad bear sad children happy children centre parcs sunny dead inside*************
Why doesn’t everyone freak out that there’s a bear – a fucking huge bear – on the tube with them?
Would a bear even eat broccoli?
Can bears really process and enjoy music – in the way that humans do – through headphones? Wouldn’t the bear become agitated and possible violent if you played it loud music via headphones?
**************the children oh god the children leave them in front of the telly no! take them to the park to the beach run free like you did but brain tired body tired so cold outside hate work sad bear little furry brown sad childbear bearchild take the bearchild to centre parcs yes! love you again! family security vote tory*****************
How did the bear acquire a mortgage? Talk about irresponsible lending.
It’s winter. Why aren’t the bears hibernating?
Bears can drive now?!
*********can’t afford it zero hours tax credits so much money but the bearchild must not be sad bad parent fucked up hormones making me take the bearchild to centre parcs centre parcs bargain centre parcs for doing homework birthday summer holiday something to look forward to unlike miserable life rest of time bargain hunt eastenders simon cowell daily mail oh god oh god I will welcome death***************
Surely the bears would be hunting for salmon, climbing trees in search of honey or, at best, playfully stealing picnic baskets.
What will the bears do if they meet other wild bears?
Are there wild bears at Centre Parcs? That can’t be a good idea.
Oh, hang on. It’s a fucking metaphor! Shit, I thought it was an advert aimed at bears! Fuck me, a fucking metaphor. Sheesh!
In an attempt at some sort of seriousness. Well… it just doesn’t make sense does it? I assumed that the bears would turn into humans at the end – because when they’re at work and school and home they’re grouchy, bad-tempered. Grizzly. See? But no. They’re actually bears. Bears who long to return to the wild. And live among humans. As humans, but actually bears. What?
I don’t get it. Not only that, there’s nothing really to get. You’re a bear – if you go to Centre Parcs you will still be a bear? Eh?
Overall I’d’ve liked the Centre Parcs advert better if Mama Bear had viciously mauled a bearded Leonardo DiCaprio before being shot in the head. And it’s PARKS with a kicking K.
And all that without a ‘shitting in woods’ gag.
PS. While I’m on the subject my teacher friends tell me that – bear or no – they absolutely bum you in the school holidays. So ‘Get Together Again – But Only In Off-Peak Season’ might be a more fitting tagline.
— Wendy Glancy (@WendyGlancy) January 18, 2016