It’s the most wonderful time of the year (despite recent events in the news) – and that is reflected on our televisions now more than ever.
At Christmastime, even the most cynical of advertising types find themselves caught up in the festive spirit – for once, broadcasting messages of love and hope across our screens. From encouraging us to spend more time with those in need, to reminding us that material gifts aren’t all that important, there are plenty of life lessons being peddled.
But our favourite this year, by far, is M&S’s feminist twist on the traditional Father Christmas story.
The advert shows Mrs Claus waving off her husband on Christmas Eve.
However, being a tale of female empowerment, Claus (Janet McTeer) doesn’t sit at home waiting for him to return to her. Instead, she hops aboard a snowmobile, heads to her underground lair, and sets off on a daring mission in her secret helicopter R-Dolph.
Dressed in a red pantsuit (presumably inspired by the original ‘nasty woman’, Hillary Clinton), Claus uses hi-tech gadgets in a bid to track down six-year-old Jake, a young boy who wants to make his sister's Christmas extra special.
It’s not long before she’s waltzed into their home, indulged in a few mince pies and delivered a cool pair of practical, bold, and unisex trainers to Jake’s sister.
And, yes, they’re in the same vivid red as her own outfit.
Claus, thanks to her grasp of modern technology and general badassery, easily makes it home before her husband.
In fact, he finds her dozing in a chair with a copy of Fifty Shades of Red (what forward-thinking woman could say no to a little bit of erotic fiction, eh?) – and, when he asks her what she’s been up to, she remains very coy indeed.
“It wouldn’t be fun if you knew all my secrets,” she says.
Speaking about the ad, Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, executive director of customer, marketing and M&S.com, said: “Mrs Claus is the result of thousands of conversations that we had with our customers to understand what they want from M&S – which is warmth, empathy and a touch of humour presented in a modern and contemporary way.
“She epitomises the huge efforts our customers put in to making the festive season special and represents the love and togetherness that customers want to feel and see in abundance at Christmas.”
The advert has gone down a storm with women online – and some have suggested that the empowering new ad is a fitting tribute to another former First Lady.
After all, just like Clinton, Mrs Claus is a high-profile wife who’s more than capable of getting stuff done. And, just like the would-be first female US president, she’s easily more talented, and more prepared for the modern world, than the old fart of a man who’s been given the reindeer reigns.
Fingers crossed that, one day soon, the world will be ready to embrace an adept and empowered #girlpower leader, eh?