Christmas is complicated when parents are divorced. A Christmas split between two parents is the reality for a lot of children in 2017.
And while Ikea dared to open the conversation about split parenting in September last year, J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam has moved the conversation into uncharted waters with its Christmas ad, in which a young girl brings her dad into her mum’s family get together at Christmas.
The story is built around the Dutch tradition of gourmetting, sharing food on one large hotplate, with each guest getting a separate pan for their own portion. The girl she has left a little pan for her father in his apartment as a present. It’s his symbolic invitation to join the Christmas meal, and he responds by turning up at the mother’s house.
To create the story, J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam worked with charitable foundation Villa Pinedo, which specialises in matters of divorce and separation, especially as seen through a child’s eye. It was filmed by co-directors. Ishmael and Basha, via Pink Rabbit.
It’s not the first time that Plus and JWT Amsterdam have worked together to help make family life easier. In June this year, the partners launched a bottled sauce called Super Saus. It looks just like the tomato sauce parents use to entice their kids to eat more vegetables, but is made with pure beetroot, carrot and parsnip. JWT created the design with kid-appeal, disguising the ingredients as superheroes on the packaging.
It is, though, the chain’s first Christmas ad. And the first Christmas ad by any Netherlands supermarket.
Bas Korsten, creative partner, J. Walter Thompson, explained, “In the Netherlands we don’t have quite the same canon of Christmas advertising as for example the Uk or the US, but it’s on the rise here. With this campaign we wanted to pay homage to the craft you see in the great Christmas ads, by being very careful with our cinematography, choice of music, casting and of course our sensitivity to the emotional subject matter. But then with a slightly different twist by not shying away from some of the more bittersweet feelings at this time of year.”