Some might think a Christmas ad about a a miserable and freezing cold senior citizen is a little too close to home in the U.K. this year, as people struggle to heat their homes amid an energy bill crisis. But mobile brand O2 is in fact confronting the cost-of-living crisis head-on in an ad that highlights how it's helping people this year, not with their heating exactly, but with mobile data handouts.
The spot by VCCP revolves around a stiff and cold-looking snowman, or "Snowgran," who on her sad walk home is noticed by O2’s robot mascot Bubl, and a young girl. They notice how cold and lonely she is and give Snowgran an O2 Christmas SIM Card which helps her to reconnect with her family and friends for the festive season. As she receives it at her door, the snow melt and a cuddly grandma is revealed.
The ad was animated by Joseph Mann at Blinkink, who has worked on John Lewis ads in in the past, in a handcrafted production that combines puppetry, CG animation and real world sets.
The integrated campaign will run for six weeks. It comes as, according to O2, two million UK households are now at risk of "digital exclusion." To help address this, the campaign aims to raise further awareness of the National Databank, an initiative pioneered by Virgin Media O2 in partnership with Good Things Foundation to help tackle data poverty, and to get data into the hands of people who need it the most via bespoke O2 Christmas SIM Cards.
“We're very proud to be launching a campaign that goes well beyond talking about an issue but actually does something to help those who need it," said Jonny Parker and Chris Birch, executive creative directors at VCCP London, in a statement. "The Snowgran is a beautiful, icy yet warm, story of connection when people most need it – at Christmas."