Whether you love Buster the boxer dog, the trampolining star of John Lewis’s Christmas advertisement, or want to cut Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot into tiny pieces, you can’t escape retailers’ holiday marketing.Store chains’ television campaigns have become something of a cultural phenomenon in Britain over the past five years, particularly that of employee-owned department store John Lewis Partnership Plc, which typically features a small child or cuddly creature and a heartwarming soundtrack. They’re a big deal, debuting for viewers gathered round the television to watch The X Factor, and attracting huge audiences on social media. They’re a sparkly distraction, but they can’t always determine whether the crucial holiday trading season turns out to be a cracker or a turkey. If a retailer is struggling, like tinsel covering a threadbare Christmas tree, they can’t fix an underlying problem. Store chains are certainly happy to spend on them. Read more at Bloomberg.