Canon is running a moving documentary-style holiday film in Latin America that shows Santa Claus visiting a ward of sick children in a cancer hospital, and shaving his own head in empathy with them.
In the film, JosÃ© SalomÃ£o who has been playing Santa Claus for 11 years, visits Hospital ITACI, Institute of Childhood Cancer Treatment, part of the University of SÃ£o Paulo's Faculty of Medicine. As well as giving out gifts, he unexpectedly takes out a pair of scissors and cuts off the hair from the top of his head as the children look on amazed. The link with the brand is that a Canon camera is used to take a series of photos with bald Santa Claus and the children. The pictures were printed and used as decoration for the ward Christmas tree.
The ad was created by Dentsu Brazil and directed by Georgia Guerra-Peixe at Bossa Nova Films"It wasn't easy to find a hospital and invite the children, but we succeeded," says Guerra-Peixe in a statement. "During the takes, not everyone knew what was going to happen. The hospital was aware of Santa Claus' visit and the kids believed that we were going to film an end of the year party in which the visit was the filming staff. Only Santa Claus knew that he would shave his hair and this was a great surprise for everyone."
It's part of a wider campaign by the brand about transforming people's Christmas which will include three other real-life stories told in films that can be found on the brand website.