A young woman and a neighbor connect in Amazon’s holiday ad this year, a heartfelt spot that tackles the sensitive topic of young people’s mental health as well as people grappling with how to return to normal in the wake of the pandemic.
The ad was once again created by Lucky Generals, and this year it was directed by Trey Edward Schults of Academy Films (“Waves,” “Krisha” and “It Comes at Night”). It also marks the debut of “Hold On,” one of the new tracks from Adele’s forthcoming album, “30.”
While last year’s ad, “The Show Must Go On,” focused on a young ballerina’s shattered dreams after coronavirus struck, the heroine in this year’s spot (played by Karene Peter) is struggling to find her way in the world as normal life resumes. As she heads out into a busy and crowded street, with some wearing masks, she looks nervous and overwhelmed. She also appears anxious during a college lecture and while out nightclubbing with her friends.
Her neighbor, an older woman, notices how unsettled she seems as a news report in the background discusses anxiety in young people. After the two share a moment of connection in the local park, the neighbor decides to go onto the Amazon website to buy the young woman a gift that helps her reconnect with nature. The film ends with the words: “Kindness. The Greatest Gift.”
The campaign will premiere in the U.S. on November 14 and will also air in countries including the U.K., Canada and Australia. Its debut coincides with the launch of Amazon's Christmas gift shop.
The retail giant's ad seems more subdued than many of the others, who have returned to a more festive tone following the struggles of the pandemic, such as an ad from Argos that unabashedly went big with its celebration in a veritable two fingers to the struggles of 2020.
“This holiday season will be shaped by what we've experienced during the pandemic,” said Ed Smith, EU general manager of integrated marketing at Amazon. “The past 18 months have been challenging for people across the globe, including many young adults. Our time together cannot be taken for granted. So this year, whilst the world will not be totally back to normal, opportunities for kindness and connection will take on a newfound importance.”