Dec 06


Blog 7 + FT8 comments • 2,622 views

 For many retailers Christmas is a make or break time – a bad season can see profits plummet – so the advertising stakes are raised in direct proportion with the quantity of sleigh bell noises.

 Woolworth’s unsurprisingly makes two-thirds of its annual profits over the festive season, and with everyone doing their shopping on the interweb these days a good advert is all the more necessary for the company. So what do they come up with?

Wooly the sheep and Worth the dog are puppets who (in the current set of adverts) present a badly edited ‘news’ programme featuring ‘breaking stories’ about how much a DVD of High School Musical costs at Woolworths. The execution of this already poor idea is so dire compared to WW’s advertising glory days in the seventies it makes one wonder which head honcho said “after careful deliberation we’ll go with the sheep and the dog.” DOGS DINNER MORE LIKE.

Amazingly these characters have been used in Woolies ads for two years now, even harrassing Shayne Ward and a chorus line of Czech girls in Santa hats in the process. The ads are far too choppy for viewers to get to know the characters (Wooly is meant to be the overexcitable Pinky to Worth’s Brain), instead our lasting impression of the pair, and indeed the shop, is that both are a necessary evil. After all, where else are we going to get a 1kg Dairy Milk bar for that 8-year-old nephew of ours?

Bizarre postcript: the Woolworths website claims that “it was Frank Woolworth who introduced the Christmas decoration into America – importing glass baubles direct from manufacturers in Germany.” I thought America had imposed Christmas upon us?


  1. 1
    CarsmileSteve on 5 Dec 2006 #

    dude, the germans invented LOADS o’ xmo, trees in partic. came here via Prince Albert (stop sniggering at the back)

  2. 2
    Tim on 5 Dec 2006 #

    Two things which stick in my mind from one early 80s Woolies wobs ad which was majoring on the music department (NB if I was one of the young people I’d find this on YouToob or somesuch but I’m not so NER):

    1) the voiceover (which I remember being delivered by some Mike Reidalike (as in Frank Butcher not the Cliffish DJ)) being an awful kind of demi-rap so popular back then, two lines of which went
    “Seven and the Ragged Tiger /
    Duran Duran”

    I don’t think I’ve once seen a copy of that LP without the phrasing used in the ad going through my mind. This means I have walked around approximately 27 grillion boot sales and Oxfams with that ad in my head.

    2) The smiling, wholesome looking pre-adolescent girl who picks up a vinyl copy of “Raw Power” from the Woolies racks and passes it to her Mum.

  3. 3
    Pete Baran on 5 Dec 2006 #

    Er, Frank Woolworth was American.

    My nan reminiscese about Pick’n’Mix false teeth in Woolies during the Blitz.

  4. 4
    Kat on 5 Dec 2006 #

    Was he? That makes more sense then. I meant to check that but forgot. Oh well.

  5. 5

    also: political cartoonist thomas nast invented modern santa (during the US civil war) and drew his to resemble sir henry cole, who invented the xmas card

  6. 6
    Chriddof on 6 Dec 2006 #

    Mike Reid-alike: Joe Brown, of skiffle band Joe Brown and The Brothers. And you can download that very ad from the link below, albeit as an shitty RealVideo encode:


    (the link is “Woolies 1983 Music”)

  7. 7
    Pete Baran on 6 Dec 2006 #

    I love the internet. EVERYTHING IS HERE!!!

  8. 8
    Marcello Carlin on 6 Dec 2006 #

    except it was Joe Brown and the BRUVVERS

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