Shutterfly's holiday campaign finds the silver lining in a year full of lows

Spot from Argonaut also features brand's reworked tagline to reflect COVID times

Published On
Nov 06, 2020

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This holiday season, many brands have had to adapt their traditional seasonal messaging to reflect the new normal as coronavirus cases still spike around the world. In a year as chaotic and uncertain as this one, it can be difficult to find silver linings to celebrate—the holidays or not—and yet, Shutterfly manages to do so in its new holiday spot.

In a 30-second ad developed with San Francisco-based agency Argonaut, Shutterfly reminds viewers that amidst all the madness, there still exists special memories from the past year people should share with their loved ones.

We see photos of people with their new furry friends and empty pet cages because of the surge of adoptions. A woman appears in a picture surrounded by many loaves of bread–the fruits of her new quarantine hobby. A baby appearing in a photo ornament hanging on a Christmas tree is excused for thinking “2020 was the best year ever” because, as the narrator says: “He was born in September.”

The spot premiered on Nov. 4 and is running on TV and connected TV platforms for six weeks and online, radio and social media channels from four to six weeks.

“Our goal was to harness this timely moment and send a message that was as aware as it was optimistic, and we're hoping it inspires people to let the good fly this holiday season,” says Hunter Hindman, founder at Argonaut. “We all could use a bit more connection and a reminder of the hidden good inside everything that has happened this year.”

It’s the first spot using Shutterfly’s reworked tagline “Let the Good Fly.” Last year, the brand used the tagline “Anything Flys” in its first holiday ad in three years and first work from Argonaut.  But with the advent of the pandemic, the brand ran a consumer test in July to test the appropriateness of the tagline, and decided it needed to shift. Shutterfly and Argonaut decided to remove it entirely from its creative, says Shutterfly Chief Marketing Officer Craig Rowley.

“Recognizing the changed cultural climate this year, we did a deep dive with our customers and we learned that while the spirit of Anything Flys—which was about connection, inclusivity, creativity—remains equally powerful, we also found there was an opportunity to celebrate the many unique share-worthy, positive moments that happened this year—whether it’s new hobbies, baking, exploring nature, or time with family,” says Rowley.  

The brand is now planning to use its new “Let the Good Fly” tagline into 2021.