Vodafone Ireland is putting the spotlight on rural communities in its Christmas commercial this year, with a romantic tale that also has a meaningful product message.
The spot, by Grey London, is the story of a young farmer who pines for his old neighbor, a young woman who has moved abroad and only comes back at Christmas. It plays out over various years, with the low-key romance tinged with regrets and missed opportunities. There are also some cute moments (we were getting strong "Normal People" vibes, and not just because of the Irish accents).
After what appears to be a gloomy turn in their relationship, there's a happy ending for the pair when the young woman decides to return home full-time to open her business, in part thanks to Vodafone and its connectivity. The spot was directed by Us, via Academy Films.
According to Vodafone, the story illustrates several themes, including the migration from rural to urban areas, the traditional pilgrimage home to see friends and family and the idea that Vodafone customers can now increasingly live and work where they choose.
The company also said it aimed for authenticity in the story and tapped the knowledge of community members. A local farmer, for example, advised on farming scenes, while a local jeweler created the custom dog whistle that appeared in the ad. The spot also has a scene highlighting the local "Wren Boys" ritual, which involves people dressing in straw masks on Dec. 26. The production team turned to the local "Wren Society" for input on that.
"This year’s Vodafone Ireland Christmas ad captures the growing feeling and reality that rural Ireland has begun a period of regeneration," said Niall Reynolds, Vodafone Ireland marketing manager. "With remote working a reality off the back of the necessities of the pandemic period and the quickening pace of Vodafone Ireland’s mobile and fiber broadband infrastructure expansion, more and more people are moving closer to loved ones and closer to where they want to call home.”
The ad is running on TV but is also accompanied by online content, video-on-demand and out-of-home.