Every year before you’ve even finished devouring the Halloween candy, you start seeing nostalgic, heartwarming, and funny holiday video ads across every platform of social media – and the very best ones get posted and shared until they become viral.
While companies attempting to make an emotional connection with consumers is nothing new, this year it is less about making us laugh out loud or impressing us with mind-blowing visuals, and more about emotionally-driven ads that promote unity, love and forgiveness.
In this post-election year when the country seems so divided, the timing couldn’t be better. Here are three advertisements that are certainly making an impact…Let’s hope the warm and fuzzy feeling lasts beyond the holidays!
This advertisement sparked some controversy. It was aired in early November, which could be considered a bit premature for a holiday ad, and although it prompted some political criticism, it’s hard to deny that it succeeds in conveying a message of unity.
It begins with a Catholic priest and Muslim imam enjoying a conversation over coffee or tea. They seem to be sharing some of their similar frustrations of aging. When they part ways, they both take a moment to pull up Amazon Prime and order one another a gift. The advertisement ends with both religious leaders on their knees, worshiping in the manner they each practice, using the Amazon gift they’ve each received – matching knee pads!
Amazon Prime’s ad so clearly points out that no matter how different our beliefs are, we are all human and share the same aches and pains.
The past few years, the Apple holiday commercials have melted many hearts (and even earned the 2014 Creative Arts Emmy for Best Commercial) and the video advertisement for 2016, entitled “Frankie’s Holiday” is no exception!
This particular gem features Frankenstein, venturing from his secluded mountainside cabin down to a village square where a crowd of people are gathered around a beautifully lit Christmas tree. As he enters the crowd, people are horrified at the sight of him and gasp as they pull their children in tight. He opens a small box, plugs a red and green Christmas light into each side of his neck, goes to the voice memo screen on his iPhone, and starts playing “Home for the Holidays”, which was recorded from his wind-up music box. As he begins to sing, people stare in fright, and someone even yells, “Go home”, as he clearly isn’t welcome there.
But when one of the lights goes out, a little girl beckons him closer, reaches up, and flicks the light. The green light illuminates again, and she begins to sing with him. Before you know it, the rest of the crowd joins in. Their faces have softened and “Frankie’s” eyes fill with happy tears. Although the message is abundantly clear without it, Apple’s tagline appears across the screen...“Open Your Hearts to Everyone”.
Marks and Spencer
This ad stays true to its roots, as a glamourous, high-end department store in the UK, but still delivers a message of love and forgiveness. It begins with Mrs. Claus lovingly sending her husband off in his sleigh with a flask of tea and cheese and pickle sandwiches wrapped in foil. She notices a last-minute letter addressed to Santa, but realizing he needs to stay focused on his journey, she discreetly hides it away.
Once Mrs. Claus is alone, she settles in to read the letter, which is from a little boy named, Jake. He has been perpetually fighting with his big sister, Anna, and in the process, he ruined one of her favorite sneakers, and requests a replacement for her.
In a badass, James Bond sort of way, Mrs. Claus chooses a red power suit from her amazing closet, hops onto a snowmobile, navigates through tunnels under her house, boards a waiting helicopter, flies over London, and delivers a gift addressed, “To Anna, your brother wanted you to have this. Love, Mrs. Claus”.
Of course, all is forgiven, when Anna opens the gift of red sparkly sneakers. As the two children play outside in the snow, Mrs. Claus makes it home just before Santa—unaware of her journey to London—and slumps on the sofa with a copy of ‘Fifty of Shades of Red’. Marks and Spencer simultaneously let their customers know that they will go to great lengths to deliver excellent customer service, while also promoting love and forgiveness.