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This devastating International Red Cross ad shows the one gift Santa can’t deliver

The International Red Cross is currently looking for more than 100,000 people who have been separated from their families by armed conflict or violence.

This devastating International Red Cross ad shows the one gift Santa can’t deliver
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For obvious reasons, ’tis the season for schmaltzy, feel-good, holiday-themed advertising. We’ll no doubt see the jolly old elf in all kinds of commercial situations, but none will punch you in the gut like this one.

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To raise awareness about the work the International Red Cross is doing to reunite families around the world, the PSA does a remarkable job of jarring us out of the holiday bubble with a reminder that, in many parts of the world, and for many people, this isn’t even close to the most wonderful time of the year.

[Photo: courtesy of International Red Cross]
It’s fitting that the PSA was made by adam&eveDDB, the ad agency known as the masters of the Christmas ad for helping create the British holiday ad bonanza through its work with retailer John Lewis over the last decade. It’s a long way from Elton John’s piano, but here we still get the same gut punch as in the agency’s best Xmas ads. Only this time we’re not overwhelmed with warm and fuzzies, but rather empathy and a sense of responsibility to our fellow humans.

The spot will run until December 31st in markets including the U.S., Canada, France, U.K., Germany, Russia, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Argentina, and Peru.

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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