A girl wants to be Santa in Macy's holiday ad

BBDO New York brings Christmas-loving character Virginia back in a whole new way

Published On
Nov 06, 2019

Editor's Pick

At a time when gender dynamics are increasingly in the spotlight, many brands are incorporating the issue into their advertising. Last month, Hallmark showcased a girl who preferred to be Luke instead of Leia for Halloween. Now, Macy’s is offering a new twist on Santa, the legendary man in the red suit, with its holiday spot.

In a two-minute spot, appropriately called “Santa Girl,” a young girl aspires to be Santa, complete with belly, reindeer and red suit. Despite a bully’s jeers about a beard, she is helped by her parents to get her wish. The video ends with the text “Believe in the wonder.” The young girl, played by actress Brooklynn Prince, is named Virginia, in a nod to Virginia O’Hanlon, the girl who famously wrote to her local newspaper more than a century ago about the reality of Santa—a narrative Macy’s has tapped into in previous marketing. Garth Davis directed the spot via Reset.

The department store chain worked with its creative agency BBDO New York on the spot, which will air in a 30-second version on TV and social channels. The campaign’s theme will be also be featured in the windows of Macy’s Herald Square flagship store in New York.

Using longer, emotional content is not new to Macy’s, which last year featured an astronaut in space away from her daughter, and in 2017 ran a spot about a child and a lighthouse. The spots are less product, price and promotion-focused than that of other retailers Macy’s competes with. Target on Friday began airing a holiday anthem spot incorporating dozens of the products it sells.

Macy’s has struggled for years to maintain sales as it faces mounting competition from Amazon. While innovations like the acquisition and incorporation of rotating-concept shop Story, have helped to add a bright spot to sales, the chain recently reported earnings far below analyst expectations. For the second quarter, net sales were $5.5 billion, essentially flat to the year-earlier period. The retailer also revised its outlook for the year, expecting same-store sales, which measure performance of stores open a year or more, to be flat or up 1 percent.



Nov 06, 2019
Client :
Agency :
BBDO-New York
Worldwide Chief Creative Officer :
David Lubars
Chief Creative Officer New York :
Greg Hahn
EVP Executive Creative Director :
Danilo Boer
EVP Executive Creative Director :
Marcos Kotlhar
Creative :
Matt Brink
Creative :
Adam Livesey
Creative Director :
Taylor Marsh
Senior Art Director :
Sho Matsuzaki
VP Group Executive Producer :
Dan Blaney
Producer :
Corie Rosenblatt
SVP Director of Business Affairs :
Bernadette Naughten
SVP Production Services Director :
Jessica Nugent
Senior Business Affairs Manager :
Adele Solomon
VP Planning Director :
Steve Panawek
Senior Strategic Planner :
Alexandra Britt
EVP Senior Director :
Corey Cirillo
Account Director :
Justin Perrelli
Account Executive :
Maddy Bell
Production :
Director :
Garth Davis
Executive Producer :
Megan Moore
Director of Production :
Dave Morrison
Line Producer :
Matt MacLennan
Director of Photography :
Adam Arkapaw
Editorial :
Executive Producer :
Erica Thompson
Producer :
Chris Delarenal
Editor :
Neil Smith
Assistant Editor :
Audrey Weiner
VFX Company :
Executive Producer :
Charlotte Arnold
VFX Set Supervisor :
Adrian Hurley
VFX Producer :
Tina Chen
2D Compositing Lead :
Daniel Morris
Compositor :
Robert Bruce
Compositor :
Jacob Coy
Music :
Dustin O’Halloran
Final Mix :
Sonic Union
Mixer :
Steve Rosen
Sound Design :
Brian Emrich

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