A powerful new charity film from the International Committee of the Red Cross features Santa Claus, but with an alternative holiday message.
The ad portrays a dusty, mournful-looking Santa struggling through a war zone, witnessing devastation, violence and fear on his journey to the incongruous music track of "Happy Holidays." Eventually, he reaches his destination; a bare and damaged apartment where a frightened child sits waiting. However, as she reaches out to touch him, he disappears and we are reminded that "the only gift some children want for Christmas this year is their family." The film ends on a more positive note, with the girl reunited with her family by an ICRC worker and the message that the charity helps families torn apart by migration and conflict.
Mike Sutherland & Ant Nelson, executive creative directors at creative agency Adam&Eve/DDB, say in a statement: “The festive season is usually a time for family, gifts and celebration. But sadly, this is not the case for hundreds of children, torn apart from their families by conflict and natural disaster. We wanted to create a film that showed what Christmas is like for these children. At the same time, we wanted to create something that would cut through the usual Christmas schmaltz.”
Gary Freedman directed the ad via Independent, and it's running globally in markets including U.K., France, Germany, Russia, Spain, Portugal, North America, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Peru.