In the U.K., this year's crop of Christmas ads seems to have moved away from the tearjerking formula of previous years: John Lewis's blockbuster Buster the Boxer spot is more laugh-out-loud than sob-worthy, and both Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury's have both set out to entertain rather than tug at the heartstrings in their efforts. However, this spot from Lidl Ireland succeeds in having us blinking back the tears.
Created by Chemistry, the film sees a family come together to recreate Christmas for their father in their old family home. The house has been left to fall into a state of disrepair and, it transpires, the dad has been widowed, but the family are inspired to rally around and bring the old home back to life in time for Christmas. The soundtrack, a cover of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" by Irish artist Soak, strikes the perfect nostalgic note, and the father's eventual arrival is a moving movement.
Henry Mason at Antidote was the director. Audrey Farrelly, account director at Chemistry, commented in a statement: "So many Christmas campaigns can feel manufactured and insincere in the way that they attempt to pull on our heartstrings, which is why we worked closely with Henry, who looks for a particularly realistic and natural style in his films. He shoots loosely, nothing is very contrived or set up, and there's a lot of spontaneity between the actors, which makes for a natural final film in which your really get to know the family."