Aldi has defended its 2022 Christmas advert after the Irish Advertising Authority received a number of complaints about it.
he German supermarket chain released the animated ad last week, but it has been criticized by some members of the public who say parts of it are inappropriate.
The same way Macaulay Culkin was overlooked in the hit Christmas movie Alone at homeAldi’s parody ad begins with a carrot named “Kevin” who has been left behind as his family goes on a trip to Paris.
As “Kevin the Carrot” relaxes at home, he is interrupted by what he thinks is an intruder trying to break him in.
He springs into action and fends off the would-be burglar – who turns out to be Santa Claus – with “traps he has carefully planned” and a flaming arrow he lights from a flaming Christmas pudding.
However, in his haste, Kevin electrocutes himself and then zips through a second-story window, before finally landing headfirst and getting stuck just below a snowman’s belly.
Stepping out of the snowman’s waist, Kevin breaks free when he is greeted by a somewhat disheveled Santa Claus and his relieved family.
In a statement published at Independent.ie, the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) said: “ASAI has received 18 complaints about this advert. Complaints are currently being assessed. While the ASAI will comment generally on the rules contained in the Code, we will not comment on the specifics of any advertisements identified while the material is being evaluated. Further details of the complaints procedure are set out on the website.
Although the ASAI could not reveal details of the 18 complaints, some people in Ireland and the UK recently took to social media and complained that it was inappropriate.
In particular, many complaints referenced the specific area of the snowman where Kevin the carrot was stuck.
Aldi’s ad pokes fun at Kevin’s unfortunate positioning, saying, “He rushed out to become the nose of a snowman?”
A woman who voiced her concerns about Aldi Ireland on Twitter wrote: “I’m no prude but the @Aldi_Ireland Christmas ad aimed at kids looks waaaaay this year.”
In a statement published at Independent.iea spokesman for Aldi Ireland said: “Our Christmas advert is a lighthearted parody of a classic Christmas film, which has proven hugely popular with loyal Kevin fans.”
Meanwhile, the advertisement also received praise on the social media platform.
As Kevin the Carrot’s family walks through the airport in the ad, one of his siblings makes a donation at a Barnardos stand.
The ad later includes a banner stating that Aldi is aiming to raise €1 million for the Irish children’s charity, while a second text insert includes the web address where members of the public can do donations to Barnardos.
A Barnardos spokesperson said Independent.ie that: “The Aldi Christmas advertisement is a wholly Aldi-owned production. As a charity partner, Aldi highlights Barnardo’s appeal for much-needed donations this Christmas.
The advert officially launched on Irish television on November 10 and it is the seventh year that Kevin the carrot has starred in the company’s Christmas adverts.
Speaking ahead of the advert’s launch, Aldi Ireland’s Marketing Director, Rita Kirwan, said: “This year’s advert pays homage to a beloved Christmas family classic that is sure to entertain moviegoers – and we think it’s our best yet! Over the past seven years, Kevin has become an integral part of the festive season here in Ireland, and we’re sure his performance this year will have Irish viewers screaming, “Kevin!”
Aldi has also launched a range of “Kevin & Co soft toys” which went on sale on Thursday. The range includes a Kevin doll and Christmas tree decorations.
Aldi Ireland is encouraging customers to share their images of Kevin the carrot on its Twitter page, for a chance to win “this year’s complete collection for free”.
There was such demand for the toys in the UK that more than 70,000 shoppers lined up online yesterday, while hundreds more waited for the doors to open at Aldi stores.