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Monday, November 06, 2017

A NZ Christmas ad series


The video above is the new ad for New World, a New Zealand-owned and operated chain of supermarkets. This ad is part of a series featuring a store employee named “Noel” who seems to be Santa Claus—or is he? The ad just began airing on television in New Zealand, and was posted to YouTube today.

When I shared the Farmers Christmas ad the other day, I said, “the best television and video advertising tells a story,” but this ad is part of a multi-year story. I think that makes it more interesting than a single ad would be—and pretty unusual for Christmas advertising.

Here’s the Noel ad from last year:


That ad is the same ad as the Noel ad from 2015 [WATCH], except that in 2016 the backing music was a song, not just an instrumental version used the year before, too. I haven’t been able to find the song or anything about it anywhere, so it could be one of those stock music compositions.

There are the three ads from 2014 available to share, all of them short:







The three ads from 2014 sort of set the stage, while the ads from 2015/16 push the story along. This year’s ad is really quite dark, imagining what could happen if Santa (or, someone thought to be Santa…) was publicly identified as such. That thought leads Noel to tell a the child he’s not Santa. In 2014, he either swore a child to secrecy or played along with her mistaken belief, depending on your assumption of who Noel is.

That’s the point of this multi-year series: Noel could be Santa, or maybe he’s not and for obvious reasons everyone thinks he is. That uncertainty combined with the plausibility of either conclusion is what makes the series work: They tell a story, but in this case it’s one that people can draw their own conclusions about.

The supermarket also runs ads specifically about various promotions and specials in the weeks leading up to Christmas, so the ad up top won’t be the only Christmas-related ad from them—but it will probably be the most creative.

Because this is a multi-year ad series, it seems a little unfair to rate this ad, though if I was pushed I’d probably give it four out of five Santas for being clever, but maybe a bit dark for a Christmas ad. On the other hand, I give the multi-year series five out of five Santas for creativity and for creating a mini holiday tradition.

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