Last year over the holidays, Australian grocer Aldi released a brutally honest ad about the stress people endure to make around-the-table magic happen. This year, it’s focusing on a very different annoyance—Americans.
The “Meet the Tinkletons” campaign opens with a 75-second ad in which a caroling American family with ugly sweaters invades a calm, sunny Australian household to show them how Christmas should really be celebrated (which feels an awful lot like a veiled critique of the U.S.’s foreign relations approach in general).
They stomp through the home bearing tinsel, fake snow and other “white Christmas” stereotypes, critiquing the Australians for everything from their Speedo-clad sunbathing to holiday shellfish. In case the point is too nuanced, the words to “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” have been changed to “We Bring You a Merry Christmas,” with the chorus ending, “You Aussies are weird.”
They’re like the Christmas Champ on acid.
Launch: November 2016
As the jingle progresses, the American family gradually finds itself seduced by the Australian approach. The climax comes when twin sisters—clearly castoffs from The Shining—break a pair of skis over their knees and trill, “Screw America this year!”
Managing director Steve McArdle of agency BMF, which conceived the campaign, says the idea was described as “Glee meets the Griswolds, yet unmistakably Aldi.”
“To an outsider, an Aussie Christmas feels weird and wrong, but when you get used to the sunburn and Speedos, you realize just how special it is,” explains BMF creative director Alex Derwin. “It’s an insight we’ve used before, but this year we’ve put it on steroids. The Tinkletons are a device that allow us to show the ‘perfect Aussie Christmas’ through a new lens—an all-singing and dancing, theatrical new lens.”
The ad is supported by three 15-second spots that highlight different Australian holiday goodies, with members of the American family still jingling away as they’re being prepared. Each ends with the tagline, “Nothing beats the perfect Aussie Christmas.”
Followed by fudge:
And of course, lobster tails:
A series of radio ads, probably the most soul-eating take on American caroling by far, tie the whole thing up neatly:
The campaign will include social content, print and display advertising, out of home, point-of-sale collateral and some Aldi catalog highlights.
This isn’t the first time this year we’ve seen culture clash manifest as a holiday theme. Last week, Harvey Nichols released a holiday ad in which Italians lament the plundering of their country for British shoppers.
It isn’t the most internationally sensitive angle, but maybe this is better in the long run. Come New Year’s, no one will have any doubt at all about what everyone else actually thinks of them.