A new film from HP reflects a politically divided America, with a bittersweet, and suprisingly raw take on what sadly can often happen when families come together for the holidays.
The spot, created by agency Zac&Adam and sensitively directed by Park Pictures' Lisa Rubisch, centers on a woman and her family arriving at her sister's family home for the holidays. Everyone greets each other warmly, but the odd glance and nod point to an undercurrent of past tensions. At one point, a poll result on the TV in the background signals political awkwardness, and things reach a head at the dinner table when they touch on the topic of global warming. The debate escalates into a full-blown row, and one of the sisters and her husband are forced to leave the table and go outside.
The situation is only saved by one of the teenage daughters, who takes inspiration from some family photos of the siblings and makes a collage, using her HP Sprocket photo printer, to post on the fridge. As her mom heads outside with a peace offering of pie for her sibling, the spot ends with the tagline, "If we never reach out, we'll never come together."
Although there are some forced and schmaltzy moments, those are outweighed by the more overarching sense of realism. In touching on America's political polarization and the divisions between families, it's a surprisingly brave and edgy holiday film from a commercial brand. Many viewers should relate to its authenticity.
As creative director Adam Groves says: "When we were making the film, everyone in the cast and on the crew kept telling us how much they could relate to the story. That's how we knew we had something special. It's honest and real, which makes it stand out amongst a lot of the films you see from brands this time of year."