London's Heathrow airport's ongoing festive campaign takes a transatlantic twist this year as its cuddly grandparent teddy bears turn out to have emigrated to a Florida retirement village.
The bears, who were first shown traveling through the airport in 2016, and appeared in an epic 50 year love story last year, appear in the third spot from agency Havas and directors Dom & Nic of Outsider.
The ad opens on Grandpa Bear relaxing on a lilo, wearing skimpy swim shorts and rubbing in sunscreen, in an homage to the Jonathan Glazer film "Sexy Beast." But soon we find that life in Florida isn't perfect. It's so hot that the fan blows over the Christmas tree, there's nothing but turkey frozen dinners in the fridge and the Skype call to relatives cuts out half way through.
So, the bears don their winter coats, call a taxi and head back to the U.K., picking up some useful gifts in Heathrow's Duty Free before arriving at their family's home. Once again, the real-life humans that the bears stand for are glimpsed at the end, through the windows of the festive house. It's set to the nostalgic '80s strains of Paul Young's "Every Time You Go Away."
Ross Baker, Heathrow’s chief commercial officer, says in a statement: “The nation’s love for Doris and Edward is overwhelming and has been since we first met them in 2016. For many people, being close to the ones we love is what really makes Christmas special. This is why we see The Bairs return to their family from warmer climes, as many of Heathrow’s passengers make similar journeys home for the festive season.”
We have some questions however: how did the quintessentially British bears get their visas to go live in Florida? And will Trump let them back in?
The release of the ad also coincides with some unfortunate timing -- yesterday, Heathrow was closed for a time in the early morning due to a technical problem with its runway lights, and one in seven flights were delayed.