The birth of Christ story gets the Jerry Springer treatment, complete with taunting crowd, beleaguered guests and a special appearance by God (as a fluffy cloud)—and stopping just short of punch throwing and chair tossing.
But Joseph of Nazareth does get hounded by the studio audience, who chant “Chump, chump, chump!” And no one buys the fact that Mary is actually a virgin.
The tussle-ready crowd has never heard of an Immaculate Conception, and its skeptics aren’t convinced a miracle has happened until they see the results of HomePaternity’s DNA test—in a new satire called “Who’s Your Daddy?”
It’s the first ad for the brand, working with Humanaut, which decided to tackle the most famous paternity case in history for “a holiday campaign that religious and nonreligious people could laugh at and appreciate,” said David Littlejohn, the agency’s chief creative officer. “We hope we equally offended and touched the hearts of everyone in time for Christmas.”
The video, running nearly four minutes, features the familiar setup of talk-show host (as instigator) and guests Mary, Joseph and God (who looks like a mass of pillow stuffing). Baby Jesus and the angel Gabriel get cameos, and the audience is filled with rabid naysayers ready to finger-point, accuse and badger.
It’s a spot-on parody of the kind of daytime series that’ll probably never win a Peabody.
There’s an ad within the ad, explaining how HomePaternity works, noting it’s the same test used by the FBI. The product is sold online, the DNA test is taken at home, and consumers mail in their swabs for lab results.
Privacy is key—but not for Joseph and Mary, who go through the process in public, considering the outcome if Joseph had turned out to be the father, including “changing the entire course of human history, the true meaning of Christmas,” and resulting in far fewer of those fish-symbol bumper stickers.
But (no spoiler alert) the mini-movie ends with a chest bump between God and Joseph, and the brand wishing everyone “peace on earth, and peace of mind.”
Campaign Title: Who’s Your Daddy?
Chief Creative Director: David Littlejohn
Chief Strategist: Andrew Clark
Senior Integrated Producer: Tommy Wilson
Director of Content: Dan Jacobs
Account Supervisor: Michelle Sturgis
Creative Director: Andy Pearson, Liza Behles
Copywriter: Dan Jacobs, David Littlejohn
Design Director: Stephanie Gelabert
Designers: Carrie Warren, Coleson Amon
Production Company: Humanaut Productions
Director: Dan Jacobs
Director of Photography: Sean Webley
Producer: Tommy Wilson
Associate Producer: Caroline Jewell
Art Director: Amelia Jacobs
Art Dept.: Spinster Solutions
Editing: Sean Webley
Visual Effects & Compositing: Bethany Maxfield
Visual Effects & Compositing: Wendell Uren
Final Color: Sean Webley
Final Mix: Tommy Wilson
Media Strategy: RedWood