Style over substance?

November 30th, 2022 By Sarah Markulevicius 2 minute read

As a massive dinosaur nerd in my youth, the robotic T-rex at the National History Museum is something of a personal favourite, even now. Couple that with a deep love of Christmas and seeing said T-rex in a Christmas jumper is an absolute festive highlight for me. That might give you a little context into how hard it is for me to say this next thing; this year I’m a little disappointed and I think they may have missed a trick.
It was a great idea in 2021, after Covid decimated visitor numbers to museums and galleries. Something light-hearted after a heavy couple of years. A novelty to get people through the door. But blessedly, life has returned to something of a pre-Covid normal in 2022 and while I am happy to see the prehistoric lizard king don his festive knit once again, complete with teeny-tiny arms, I feel like this year they could have made more of a statement with it.
The jumper is made from recycled yarn and plastic bottles, so it’s good to know that it is being made responsibly. Replicas are available to purchase, and proceeds go towards supporting the museum, which is critical for a free-to-enter attraction. But when donning an extinct species in an eye-catching outfit under our current reality of climate change, the sartorial statement could have meant a lot more.
I feel like I wanted them to make a definitive comment about the damage we do to our environment. The consequences of our actions. Maybe even look at the waste and contribution to climate change made by Christmas itself. I know we are beaten over the head with a lot of this all year round, and many are probably glad for the reprieve but I’m ok with being on my own in this camp that’s the case.
Part of my disappointment is actually for them; last year the stunt saw a tonne of coverage in national papers, websites, and social. This year, the buzz is definitely more of a hum, and to my mind, the grandeur of a T-rex in a Christmas knit should get a little more love.
It has definitely given me a reminder that where brands have a powerful voice and are using creative tactics and stunts to amplify it, it can fall a little flat where there isn’t a good dose of purpose behind it. At the end of the pandemic, the social purpose element was the humour – we all needed a little more of that by that point – but now we need more than a T-rex in a Christmas jumper made from recycled materials, we need more than a chuckle. There are some big issues that need raising, talking about and fixing and brands have the ability to start the much-needed conversations and actions that can bring about change.
So, while I’m all for the T-rex and his oh so jolly jumper, I guess I was a little more interested in what he had to say than how he looked.
If you need some help engaging with a social purpose or devising some creative tactics to get people talking then drop us a line, we’re absolutely the team to talk to – we can even wear a Christmas jumper if you like (as long as it’s in December!).

Related Articles