This year’s Christmas ad theme appears to be that Christmas isn’t always perfect. A slightly imperfect Christmas makes very relatable, very human ads. These ads retain the joy of Christmas nonetheless. Set against these are charity ads. adam&eve’s Christmas ad for the International Committee of Red Cross presents one of the most striking juxtapositions this year.
The two-minute film, The One Gift Santa Can’t Deliver, which was directed by Gary Freedman and produced by Independent, shows Santa walking through an active war zone looking for a child. He finds her in an abandoned house, but he is only the child’s wish and he disappears, leaving her on her own. It ends with the line, The only gift some children want this Christmas is their family.
Mike Sutherland & Ant Nelson, executive creative directors at adam&eveDDB, noted, “The festive season is usually a time for family, gifts and celebration. But sadly, this is not the case for hundreds of children, torn apart from their families by conflict and natural disaster. We wanted to create a film that showed what Christmas is like for these children. At the same time, we wanted to create something that would cut through the usual Christmas schmaltz.”
The ad highlights the ICRC’s humanitarian work to reconnect those that have been separated all over the world. It is currently looking for more than 100,000 people who have been separated from their families by armed conflict or violence.
The ad is running until December 31 in UK, France, Germany, Russia, Spain, Portugal, North America, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Peru.
Jenni Smout, communications manager at the ICRC, commented, “We have been reconnecting families for over 150 years and it is some of the most important work we do. We are thrilled to be working again with adam&eveDDB – the agency which elevated Christmas advertising in the UK – to make more people aware of this crucial work as many of us plan to spend the Christmas period with our own families. We love how they subverted festive tropes we’re used to seeing from brands, to remind us of the thousands of families around the world separated due to conflict, migration or natural disasters.”
Creative Agency: adam&eveDDB
Chief Creative Officer: Richard Brim
Executive Creative Directors: Ant Nelson & Mike Sutherland
Copywriter: Mike Sutherland
Art Director: Ant Nelson
Designer: Scott Silvey
Planner: Hannah Mackenzie
Producer: Rosie Grayson
Business Director: Mike Stern
Account Director: Emily Stewart
Head Of Film: Ben Sharpe
Project Manager: Amy Waldman
Production Company: Independent
Director: Gary Freedman
Producer: Jacob Swan Hyam
DOP: Benoit Soler
Executive Producers: Jani Guest & Verity White
Editing: Adam Spivey @ The Play Room
Post Production Company: MPC
VFX Supervisor: Dan Lorenzini
Producers: Grace Thorpe & Phil Whalley