It’s not even quite December, yet we’re already being besieged by Christmas marketing. Yes the annual advertising merry-go-round is already spinning wildly and will, unfortunately only get worse. Don’t get us wrong: there’s nothing wrong with Christmas. It’s a time to celebrate and relax. Now some people love it and buy into it big-time. Others, however, are a little more curmudgeonly, and get annoyed at what they see as relentless and rampant commercialism. The one thing that we probably all have in common is that before too long we’ll all be fed up with the constant stream of advertising jingles and the message that we really have to spend, spend, and spend, let alone the Christmas carols: do we really need to hear Silent Night in high street stores when we’re surrounded by pandemonium and noise?
Still, not all brands promote their wares in quite such brash ways: some are more understated, and rather than simply promoting a product, they’ll try to sell us a lifestyle. It’s the same for service providers too. The clever ones have already jumped on the bandwagon, painting a picture of domestic bliss, stylish modern living or traditional homely comfort. What’s the one thing that many of these marketing campaigns have in common? What’s the one thing that ties them all together? Well, you might surprise you to learn that it’s chesterfield furniture. Yes those old iconic chesterfield sofas and chairs are stealing the show once again, though we’re not sure that was actually the advertiser’s intention. But, there you go: chesterfield furniture has been stealing the headlines for centuries now and will no doubt continue to do so.
It started with Virgin Media’s advertisement for their TiVo box. Wheel in a famous actor, Mark Warren: sit him on a stylish contemporary chesterfield sofa and sell a lifestyle along with the product, and hey presto, you’re onto a winner. The advert is now legendary as is the sofa, and Virgin are laughing all the way to the bank. Then came Boss with their Orange fragrance for men: cue Orlando Bloom, and a host of traditional chesterfield chairs. The tills then started ringing – job done. If that was good enough for Boss, it was also good enough for Liam Gallagher. He chose to market his Pretty Green fashion label’s latest collection by employing the services of a besuited Paul Weller and a sumptuous-looking chesterfield chair. A classic cut suit and a classic item of furniture: it was the match made in heaven.
Well, they’re at it again. In the last week alone on TV and the internet there have been a couple of new adverts: one for a product and one for a series of programmes, and both use chesterfield furniture. Sky TV was the first to get the ball rolling, using a chesterfield chair as a prop to advertise its Heineken Cup Rugby coverage. Obviously, it wasn’t just the chair alone selling the coverage. That responsibility lay with former Rugby World Cup winner and British Lion, Will Greenwood. The ex-rugby player and now media pundit promoted this year’s competition and Sky’s exclusive coverage of it, from a rather splendid looking sitting room cum library. He was sat on a traditional leather chesterfield tub chair, resplendent in an Edwardian smoking jacket and drinking a brandy. The message – you can only watch Heineken Cup Rugby on Sky TV. Now, what that had to do with Edwardian life or a chesterfield chair is open to question, but it certainly looked good, though it painted a picture of an era when televisions hadn’t been invented.
Not to be outdone, Boss is back in the mix again with its female fragrance version of Orange. The advert pictures English actress Sienna Miller seductively draped across an ultra-stylish chesterfield-inspired white leather chair. She might be better known as an actress in films like Alfie, or the on-off-on partner of fellow actor Jude Law, or even as one of the witnesses in the current Leverson Enquiry into media standards, yet Miller is the perfect choice for the latest fragrance campaign: a typical English rose, but with modern appeal and a sense of fun. Traditional classic looks with a contemporary twist. Hence the contemporary chesterfield chair: sleek and stylish, but with an impeccable pedigree. What’s not to like?