Are you even working today? I mean, yeah, you may be sitting at your desk, but is the vibe more “Who brought cookies today?” than “I should get ready for that project status meeting.“? Exactly. Well then, what better way to pass the time until you punch out for the holidays than letting the messages of consumerism wash over you? This isn’t exactly the week of the year the adworld aims to set on fire with new work, but fear not, there were still gems to be found. Onward!
What: The airline touts its deals by illustrating how coming home for the holidays may not always be fueled by Christmas magic.
Who: Ryanair, The Public House
Why We Care: The best part of this ad is how it starts off like almost every sappy, family-oriented Christmas ad in the universe, juuuust before taking a sharp left to Real Talk City and the often stark contrast between the idyllic scenes served up by marketers, and your drunk uncle.
What: New films that tell the next chapter in the real-life tales of Malak and Mustafa, two Syrian child refugees who were first introduced to the world in March, when the award-winning “Unfairy Tales” series launched.
Who: UNICEF, 180LA
Why We Care: The first animated tales earlier this year were an incredible way to personalize the larger Syrian refugee crisis, particularly for the children. Here that impact is reinforced, as is the need for support, with Mustafa and Malak poignantly talking about their lives in Germany right now. As the recent attack on Berlin will surely heat up the refugee debate even more than it already was, these stories serve as a counterpoint to the narrative of caution and fear of the majority of the people who are fleeing this kind of senseless violence themselves.
What: Christmas ad from Norwegian electronics chain Elkjøp uses an awkward dad and his transgender daughter to illustrate the power of just the right gift.
Who: Elkjøp, DDB Stockholm
Why We Care: A thoroughly sweet Christmas story that tells a new kind of story in a way that doesn’t make it too silly or saccharine, but just right.
What: French grocery chain Monoprix creates an almost exact remake of Amazon’s recent promo video for its own version of grocery store of the future.
Who: Monoprix, Rosapark
Why We Care: Oh so zeitgeist-y! If your busienss is in groceries, you couldn’t picka better way to tout a service (if it’s a good one) than to ever-so lightly mock the “computer vision,” “deep learning algorithms,” and “sensor fusion much like you’d find in self-driving cars” that Amazon touted about Go, then troll the tech giant even more with an almost exact remake of the its own promo.
What: Gwenyth Paltrow stars in a very Wes Anderson-style love story in the fifth short film of the “Tender Stories” series from jewelry brand Tous.
Who: Tous, SCPF Madrid
Why We Care: A lot of jewelry ads are either an emo-vomit of special occasions and sappy music, or an infuriating tribute to a Rich Kids of Instagram life. This is neither. This is using nerdy quirk to sell luxury, which is a pretty bold move. Sure the big Hollywood name will get you attention, but this series has enough going on to keep it interesting in its own right.