Xfinity Transforms Grandma's House From 'Dead Zone' to Connected Home in Holiday Campaign

Campaign via 72andSunny New York Featuring Real-Life Seniors Taps Into Festive FOMO

Published On
Nov 14, 2016

Editor's Pick

For telecom brands, holidays are a somewhat delicate time of year. One the one hand, it's family time, and perhaps not the moment for sharing everything on social media and being glued to your smartphone. (Last year, an ad from Verizon even suggested we switch off our phones for the hoildays.) On the other, the reality is that people will still use technology on these occasions.

Apple made an attempt at getting the balance right in 2013, with its much-praised Misunderstood spot. Now, in a new holiday campaign, Comcast's Xfinity brand taps into its own research-based insight -- millennials' holiday FOMO, or their dread of being in a "dead zone" at their relatives' houses. The campaign also adds an element of authenticity by featuring real-life seniors and their grandchildren.

The spot, by 72andSunny New York, kicks off with grammies and grandpas reading out tweets from young people about the fears. "I'm going to Grandma's house where there's no On Demand, no Netflix and no Wi-Fi," goes the typical complaint. Another one describes going to Grandma's house as "entering the gates of hell."

Matthew Frost at Iconoclast, known for his humorous films for Vogue featuring celebrities, directs the spot, with trademark comedic touches -- younger viewers will love the way these tweets are read out, for example when they say "pound sign" for hashtag.

The tweets themselves are real -- actual real-life social posts found on Twitter as people went to visit grandparents for the holidays -- as are the seniors reading them out.

Xfinity then steps in, hooking up the grandsparents to WiFi and on-demand TV, to the delight of their families, including skeptical teenage grandkids. A moody teen girl ends up Instagramming photos of her grandma, and everyone is happy.

According to Xfinity's Vice President, Brand Marketing, Todd Arata, the campaign was inspired by consumer insights that showed there's a widely held misconception that seniors aren't as up to speed with the latest technology. However, he explained: "What we found through our customer research is that a vast majority of seniors use our suite of products. With that, we wanted to create a fun spot that made Grandma and Grandpa the hero for the holidays, decking their halls with super-fast wi-fi, voice-controlled TV and our X1 platform."

He added: "Our rationale for casting and featuring a real family in the creative was to capture authentic, heart-felt moments that many can relate to during the holiday season as well as showcase how technology fits into that larger picture."

Mr. Arata admitted: "There is something to becoming 'disconnected' or switching off devices during the holidays, but we wanted to reinforce the reality that technology also has the power to bring people together."


Nov 14, 2016
Brand :
Client :
Agency :
72andSunny-New York
Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications :
Peter Intermaggio
Vice President, Brand Marketing :
Todd Arata
Executive Director, Marketing Communications :
Dustin Hayes
Marketing Communications Director :
Katie Senderowitz
Senior Manager of Brand Marketing :
Diana Hicks
Chief Creative Officer :
Glenn Cole
Executive Creative Director :
Bryan Rowles
Executive Creative Director :
Guillermo Vega
Group Creative Director :
Eric Steele
Creative Director, Designer :
Erik Norin
Senior Designer :
David Goss
Senior Writer :
Mikio Bradley
Junior Designer :
Serena Smith
Junior Designer :
Anne Marie Wonder
Junior Writer :
Oliver Gormsen
Group Director, Strategy :
Marshall Ball
Strategic Director :
Jennifer Lewis
Strategist :
Lauren Wong
Managing Director :
James Townsend
Brand Director :
Mallory Solomon
Brand Coordinator :
Dylan Levy
Head of Production :
Lora Schulson
Senior Producer :
Julia Lafferty
Production Coordinator :
Samira Mostofi
Partnerships and Legal Manager :
Marissa Burnett
Partnerships and Legal Manager :
Laura Fraser
Partnerships and Legal Coordinator :
Pamela Billman
Production Company :
Director :
Matthew Frost
Executive Producer :
Charles-Marie Anthonioz
Line Producer :
Caroline Pham
Director, Photography :
Matyas Erdely
Editorial Company :
Exile Editorial
Editor :
Matt Murphy
Post Producer :
Evyn Bruce
Executive Producer :
Sasha Hirschfield
Visual Effects Company :
Method Studios
Creative Director :
Randie Swanberg
Visual Effects Producer :
Stephanie Katritos
Executive Producer :
Angela Lupo
Head of Production :
Jeff Wolfe
Audio Company :
Heard City
Mixer :
Keith Reynaud
Producer :
Sasha Awn
Music :
Executive Producer :
Sara Matarazzo
Music Producer :
Abbey Hickman
Producer Assistant :
Marissa Hernandez
Composer :
Eugene Cho

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