Most ads featuring Santa Claus show a happy, jolly white bearded man with a contagious belly laugh dressed in a red suit who is eager for Christmas and surrounded by children.
The Santa depicted in this new campaign from the International Committee of the Red Cross shows a very different Santa. He is seen wandering through a war zone in search of a girl separated from her family in the haunting ad by Adam & Eve/DDB.
The committee overturns typical holiday marketing tropes to raise awareness of its work reuniting missing people with their families across the world.
“While most children eagerly anticipate Christmas for its celebrations and gifts, hundreds more live a life far removed from this ideal because of conflict, migration or natural disaster,” the Committee said.
Mike Sutherland wrote the ad, art direction was by Ant Nelson and Gary Freedman directed the spot through Independent.
The social media naysayers are out and about panning the spot. There are, of course, positive comments too. I think the video clearly gets the message across.