Mr and Mrs Claus pop up for a second time in Iceland's Christmas ad

Iceland will today become the last big food retailer to launch its Christmas campaign, choosing to delay the launch until December in a bid to avoid "festive fatigue".

Like this year's festive campaign by Marks & Spencer, Iceland’s spot, created by Karmarama, seems to be inspired by the idiom "behind every great man is a great woman" – once again celebrating the role played by Santa Claus' wife, this time given the name of Sarah, in making sure Christmas ticks along.

Beyond that, the two campaigns have little in common: while M&S portrayed Mrs Claus as a helicopter-piloting superhero, Iceland’s ad is a pastiche of the retailer’s campaign from earlier in the year, in which real families receive a surprise Iceland delivery.

Nick and Sarah Claus are shown as ordinary people in a typical British semi-detached house, who are sent a box of goodies containing turkey, mince pies and lobster thermidor. It’s the first Christmas ad for Iceland since it made the decision to move on from celebrity ambassadors and parted ways with Peter Andre earlier this year.

Nick Canning, Iceland’s joint managing director, said: "The feedback from our shoppers was that no one wants to see a Christmas ad at the start of November.

"They want to enjoy the Autumn and save the festivities until nearer the big day to avoid Christmas fatigue, so we’ve listened to them and taken the bold move to put our ad out and Christmas decorations up later."

The ad was created by Rob Turner and Dave Westland for Karmarama, and directed by Richard Laxton through Kream.

Civil war update

The Government of Iceland, which last week announced it was taking legal action against the supermarket, has softened its tone slightly. 

The Scandinavian island nation previously said that it had made "multiple efforts to negotiate with Iceland Foods with the hope of reaching a fair solution and avoiding legal action" but that "these conciliatory efforts have unfortunately been met with unrealistic and unacceptable demands by the supermarket chain leaving Iceland with no choice but to proceed with a legal resolution to the situation."

But in a further announcement on Tuesday, it said that it "aims to find an acceptable solution for the use of the term ‘Iceland’."

The statement continued: "We would welcome an agreement with Iceland Foods to withdraw its exclusive trademark of the word mark ‘Iceland’. Iceland Foods has since 2012 taken legal action against multiple companies from Iceland that use our country’s name to describe themselves."

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