WHAT: Walmart enlisted hypnotist Chris Jones to remind a group of adults how Christmas feels without all the stress and anxiety.
WHO: Walmart, Saatchi & Saatchi New York, directors Peking (Nat Livingston Johnson and Gregory Mitnick)
WHY WE CARE: Like the rest of life, once you become a grown-up, Christmas can lose some of the original magic that enthralled us all as kids. Of course it’s a wonderful time of year, and you certainly have moments of appreciation, but for many the stress and anxiety of buying gifts, cooking meals, hosting family, traveling with family, remembering to move that damn elf every night . . . it can all be a bit . . . much.
With this new ad, Walmart aimed to strip away all those layers of adulthood and enlisted hypnotist Chris Jones (who made his name on America’s Got Talent by helping famed germophobe Howie Mandel shake hands) to do it. These grown-ups freak out over new presents, and look at Christmas with the fresh-eyed silliness they once did. It’s a very sweet sentiment, but in practice a bit like watching A Stoner Family Christmas.