Don’t Get Between Mariah Carey and All She Wants for Christmas

Which is (checks ad script) pig-in-a-blanket potato chips

Mariah Carey holds a bag of chips with determination while a man in green holds the same chips
Mariah Carey just wants to share love and joy. Unless you come for her snacks, and then she will destroy you. AMV BBDO
Headshot of David Griner

It’s been 25 years since Mariah Carey released her magnum opus, “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” and each passing year has seen the track become more of a festive fixture in the holiday season.

To celebrate the song’s anniversary and its singer’s apparent inability to age, British potato chip brand Walkers has built an entire holiday ad concept around it.

In the spot, from London agency AMV BBDO, we see Carey performing her signature song, then defying her diva image by doling out generous gifts to the crew. But at the craft services table, a conflict is brewing.

“It doesn’t get more Christmassy than Mariah Carey singing ‘All I Want for Christmas,'” says Wayne Newton, head of marketing for Walkers. “As well as entertaining the nation with a great piece of Christmas storytelling, the campaign brilliantly showcases our products and launches our festive flavors for the season.”

The campaign built around the song will promote the core line of Walkers chips, along with five seasonal flavors: pigs in blankets, glazed ham, turkey and stuffing, cheese and cranberry, and Brussels sprouts.

The ad was directed by Joseph Kahn, who has helmed high-profile music videos like Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” and (rounding out his roster of divas) Jennifer Lopez’s “Dinero” featuring Cardi B and DJ Khaled.

According to the brand and agency, the ad is part of Carey’s push to have her song reach No. 1 on U.K. charts in December for the first time since it came out in 1994.

This marks AMV BBDO’s second holiday ad so far this year, with the other being Asda’s “Let’s Make Christmas Extra Special.”

As for Carey, this isn’t the first time she’s poked a bit of fun at her own diva image. In 2018, she found herself accidentally booked into a hostel but eventually decided to make the most of it in Lucky Generals’ ad for Hostelworld,

Client: Walkers
Wayne Newton, Head of Marketing, Walkers Projects
Fernando Kahane, Marketing Director, Walkers
Ian Maybank, Media & Digital Lead, WE Snacks
Nick Day, Brand Manager, Walkers
Stephen Sharifian, Digital Brand Manager, Walkers
Brief (in one line): Walkers are too good to share–even at Christmas.

Creative Agency: AMV BBDO
Chief Creative Officer: Alex Grieve
Chief Strategy Officer: Craig Mawdsley
Senior Strategy Director: Olivia Stubbings
Managing Partner: Brenda Frixa
Senior Board Account Director: Leona McNally
Account Director: Rachel McEwen
Creative Production Partner: Anita Sasdy
Creative Production Assistant: Frankie Burwell-Wright

Media Agency: OMD UK

Production Company:
UK: Caviar
US: Supply & Demand
Director: Joseph Kahn

AMV Interactive:
Interactive Producer: Rosie Denton
Interactive Creative: Kalle Everland
Production Co. Producer: Nicola Doring
Editor: Scott Cato at The Quarry
Grade: Tom Mangham
Postproduction Company: The Mill
Business Affairs: Michelle Holmes, Senior Business Affairs Manager
Sound Engineer: Parv Thind
Audio Postproduction: Wave
Hero Talent: Talent Republic

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."