We all know by now that there are various boxes that advertisers can tick to create a heartwarming, tear-welling holiday ad. And a new spot for Dutch e-commerce site appears to have them all.
Cute kid, check. Modern, soulful cover of a nostalgic classic (in this case, Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors"), check. Storyline about the kid bonding with a non-human friend at Christmas, before a bittersweet farewell—check.
Or at least, that's what you think at first in this laugh-out-loud campaign by Dept Agency and Czar director Willem Gerritsen.
Coming out ahead of the Dutch Sinterklaas holiday in early December and running in the Netherlands and Belgium, the film revolves around Bol.com's "Wish-List-Poster" that helps children tell Sinterklaas what they most want as a gift. The cute boy, Felix, wants a doll (in a neat gender reversal), so when he gets a soccer ball instead he's disappointed. However, he makes the best of it and dresses up the ball as a doll, and gradually they become best friends. However, there's a hilarious sting in the tail—watch all the way through to find out.
It's a great spin on the Christmas commercial genre beloved of brands like John Lewis, though we don't know how we'd recover if Monty the Penguin saw a similar fate.