WhatsApp is making quite the statement about New Year's this year in a global ad campaign. The idea? It isn't actually 2022 until you've received a load of WhatsApp messages.
To be fair, the Meta-owned messaging service is working on the basis that midnight on New Year's Eve is its busiest time in terms of traffic; in 2020 100 billion messages were sent on WhatsApp on New Year's Eve, more than on any other day prior in the app’s 10 year history. Plus, 1.4 billion video and voice calls were placed, the most ever in a single day on WhatsApp.
The spot, airing in the U.S., U.K, Brazil, India and Germany, depicts people around the world counting down to midnight, frozen in time as they wait for those all-important "happy new year" messages to appear. The scenes include a church in Nigeria, a Mumbai courtyard and the beaches of Brazil. "It’s not the New Year until you get the message you’ve been waiting for,” says the tagline.
The ad was created by BBDO's San Franciso and Berlin offices and directed by Niclas Larsson via Iconoclast.
"WhatsApp has always been an integral part of New Year's Eve. Every year people all over the world rely on the app to stay connected with their loved ones and to share their best wishes for the year that is about to start", said Vivian Odior, head of global brand and integrated Marketing at WhatsApp, in a statement. "This is why our new campaign focuses on telling a diverse set of stories that all demonstrate the private and personal moments that help people move into the new year."
“New Year’s Eve is one of the few global moments that really brings people together, so it was great to pair this with the universal insight that on a personal level the celebration doesn’t really happen until you hear from the people you know and love, and that more often than not those people can only reach you in that moment through WhatsApp," added Tres Colacion, global creative lead at BBDO. "In each format, we set out to capture the essence of what it feels like to receive the message you’ve been waiting for. While the work takes us across the globe, the team worked tirelessly to craft a visual world where each of our protagonists is the main character of their own night.”