Last year, chicken chain Chick-fil-A encouraged consumers to give their loved ones the “gift of time” for the holidays with a story about a girl named Sam who comes across a magical Time Shop. Now, in a year that many would likely want to forget altogether, the brand brings Sam back, this time to preach the idea of hope.
A new animated film from McCann captures Sam and her family again. They find that this year during the holidays, their town has become devoid of life—as well as electricity. Streets that were once busy and lively are now empty, while the town Christmas tree fails to light up, due to some electrical glitch. Sam, however, finds yet another fantastical store, Switchworks (which happens to be just across the way from the Time Shop). There, the shopkeepers have gizmos and doo-dads to turn on and fix all kinds of problems: a goldfish replacer, a bed-head fixer and even bounce-in-your-step maker. However, they don’t have a magical solution for her town’s troubles—that’s something she has in her own little heart, they tell her. Armed with that knowledge, Sam heads back to her world, where with her own spark of hope, she brings life to the town once again.
The idea is meant to highlight the various acts of courage and generosity of various people over the course of all the suffering the country has endured over the past several months. “2020 has been a tough year for a lot of people and has brought challenges and heartaches we never could have anticipated,” said Ashley Callahan, Chick-fil-A senior marketing director in a statement. ”But it’s also been a year where many have shined brightly, extending acts of kindness and generosity—many of which we’ve experienced firsthand through the actions of our guests, Team Members and others throughout our communities. Those little acts of kindness give us all hope and are the inspiration for this year’s holiday film and digital experience.”
The two minute-film, directed by Marie Hyon via Psyop, debuts digitally tomorrow on Chick-fil-a.com/sparkhope. There, visitors can send messages of hope to friends and family via text or email. The website will feature an interactive map that will show the “spark” sent by the giver traveling to the recipient. All the messages will then illuminate the entire map to illustrate the hope shared during the holiday season.