WhatsApp looks back on a year of turmoil by way of a family's messages

Spot by BBDO agencies is running in the U.S., U.K. and Brazil

Published On
Jan 06, 2021

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WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging service, looks back on a year of pandemic turmoil through the group messages of one family in a new global brand film.

Reflecting the experiences of many families who have formed message groups since the start of the pandemic, the film opens with a woman reading a family message on WhatsApp saying: “Phew aren’t we all happy that this year is finally coming to an end?!”

As she scrolls back, we see their story unfold through WhatsApp messages, videos, calls, voice notes and pictures. During the year, family members share the good and bad, from their pandemic concerns to videos of their cat, and finally some good news as a baby is born. It ends with the line "What kept you close is what got you through." 

“WhatsApp was created as a private messaging service designed to connect people with their friends and families," said Eshan Ponnadurai, WhatsApp’s director of brand and consumer marketing, in a statement. "We play a meaningful role in ensuring people are able to create and nurture the deep connections and relationships in their lives that really help them move forward. That role was further amplified this year beyond what we could have ever imagined, as we have all been separated from our loved ones. That connection for billions of people around the world meant that they could share the highs, lows, mundane and extraordinary moments with those closest to them—despite not being together in person."

The spot, which will be running on Instagram and Facebook in the U.K., U.S. and Brazil, was a global effort via BBDO. It was created by BBDO agencies BBDO Berlin and Almap BBDO, with global creative lead Josy Paul at BBDO India heading up the project. Joanna Nordahl at Anorak was the director.