Season’s greetings

Now that the Coca Cola ad’s aired, the red cups are here, and the sponsored lights have been switched on, we can safely say the countdown has begun. But alongside these usual festive brand traditions, this year has seen the (immaculate?) birth of a new and strange trend in the shape of The Nonsensical Christmas Strapline.

Brands normally known for being good at writing seem to have been gripped by yuletide mind fever as soon as the fairy lights went up.

Take Gap’s greeting, ‘Joy It Up’. I know verbing nouns was pretty, like, street a few years ago, but is outdated festive yoof speak really what Gap’s all about? I feel like I need a little bit of context to frame this odd instruction apart from just the fact that it’s Christmas init?

There’s another bit of noun verbing here in Starbucks’ equally surreal incitement, ‘Let’s Merry’. Do you think maybe they were inspired by this traditional ballad from the time of Charles II? (Thanks Google.)

Now, since we're met, let's merry, merry be, In spite of all our foes; And he that will not merry be, We'll pull him by the nose.

Except that small but all important auxiliary ‘be’ is missing there at the end. Without which, it makes no sense. Who knows? Perhaps it’ll be clearer after another venti egg nog.

Sticking with coffee, and Costa’s comparatively boring effort, ‘Merry Costa’. Which is still nonsensical but at least we can see what they’re trying to do.

But am I being a bit bah humbug?  How much does comprehension really matter when it comes to seasonal greetings?  The season of goodwill is all about sentiment, not sense, right? Now that we’re in full festive swing perhaps some other brands will take up the gobbledegook baton and it’ll start to get really weird. Let the silliness commence.

Merry Christmas.

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