Comment Bad (Branded) Christmas Trees
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We’ve all heard of Bad Santa, but what about bad Christmas trees? Whether Pagan, Christian or anything else, we all except the commercialisation of Christmas. It is the retailers and brands biggest time of the year, most of the world over, and the reason it is called the ‘Golden Quarter’.
The designer Christmas tree isn’t new. From shopping centres to hotels to train stations, brands have grasped the opportunity to look altruistic and generous while getting their names out there and many metres tall. The host gets a free tree, usually to a high spec, and the subsequent publicity interest and social media potential of having a ‘big name’ attached to the tree.
There seems to be more trees now than turkey dinners at Christmas time these days, and while it is understandable that brands want to make it clear who has designed and paid for the tree, some seem to be crossing that line.
One of London’s most famous designer trees is at Claridge’s, who arguably was the first to do it. French mega brand Louis Vuitton has installed this year’s ‘tree’ and the result is a large monogrammed trunk with mirrored pieces inside. The trunk just seems to missing the tree that should fit inside.
There was much derision when Gucci unveiled its tree in Milan’s iconic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II covered shopping arcade. Horse-bit adorned pillows are stacked skyward. It looks unimaginative and boring.
Comments on Twitter include “A million euros spent by Gucci for the Christmas tree in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. Personally, I’m not a fan at all. How about you?”, “this year’s christmas tree in milan’s gallery is such a downgrade, tf gucci” and “In a tour-de-force of tackiness, the 2023 ‘Christmas Tree’ has been unveiled in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II of Milan.”
Gucci is setting itself on a more commercial direction and the Milan tree could be a signifier of that.
Over in Waterloo Station, American womenswear brand, Kate Spade unveiled a 10-metre tree made from green Kate Spade gift boxes, some decorated in spots and stripes. The colour is a collab. with Pantone. The design is slightly clunky and not the centrepiece it thinks it is.
People want to be wowed come Christmas time. They are open to something different but it still has to fit the brief. Trees that look more like VM or stores window props cross the line into badly branded Christmas territory. While we understand the need for the brand, the celebration of Christmas should come first.
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