Powerful and Haunting, This Holiday Ad Highlights the Complex Stories in Our Own Families

Nord DDB creates an incredible 4-minute film for retailer Elkjøp

Isolation hides a rich life story in this cinematic ad for Scandinavian electronics retailer Elkjøp. Nord DDB
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This year, the ad world was once again filled with “oohs” and “ahhs” over the spate of gorgeous holiday advertising—especially from the U.K.

John Lewis wowed with its ode to Elton John, Waitrose made people chuckle about holiday food traditions, and Sainsbury’s children’s pageant was a winter warmer.

In a surprising turn, Nordic electronics retailer Elkjøp has joined the mix with a gorgeous, sprawling long-form rollercoaster. Created by DDB Nord in Stockholm and directed by Rune Milton, this isn’t a garden variety fuzzy Christmas ad, but rather a stirring, wide-screen-worthy immersive experience that is a reminder of the power of not only giving but the impact of rich life stories.

A young girl visits an older relative who, at first blush, seems to be distant. As she sneaks into a barn, she finds a broken plane, which is filled with poignant memories. We learn that the older man is an aviator and flashbacks show his seemingly complicated story. The simple pleasure of being in the air as a young man makes way for his adventures around the world in war, peace and conflict zones. We see joy, victory, love, pain, loss and just about every powerful emotion that can be put into a 4-minute film.

At the end of the film, tying into the brand position of “To Give More,” the girl crashes her drone into a tree and the man recalls his own peril. Though there is a vast difference between their situations, the man finds empathy at that moment and refuses to let the girl go without her own story of flight.

“We didn’t want to make a classic ad, so we drew inspiration about how to tell the story from more majestic and grand storylines rather than the classical ones we tend to find in commercials,” said Hanna Stenwall, a Nord DDB copywriter who worked on the project. “It came naturally to tell a story about how a product from Elkjøp could create a greater bond between two people around Christmas.”

Further creative inspiration came from the sheer authenticity of life itself. While other ads may get points for their stylish, polished narratives, this ad—filmed in Lithuania and South Africa—is an ambitious, poignant reflection of life, warts and all.

“We love the fact that despite the story having a happily ever after ending, it’s not simply a happy story,” added Stenwall. “Just like life, it’s filled with beautiful moments and ugly experiences. Sometimes you have to follow your heart, even if it means giving up things that you love.”

“To Give More” begins airing today and will be broadcast in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.


Nordic Marketing Director: Eddie Hernandez
Chief Brand Officer: Åshild Indresøvde

Agency: Nord DDB
Art Director: Kristofer Gullard Lindgren
Copywriter: Hanna Stenwall
CCO: Andreas Dahlqvist
Creative Lead: Fredrik Simonsson
Planner: Elias Betinakis
Communications Planner: Jesper Andersson
Account Manager: Lena Gallon
Executive Producer: Mattias Yngwe (DDB House)
Producer: Lars Nordenson
Agency Producer: Nils Ljunggren
Business Director: Jens Welin
Account Director: Hanna Ternström

Production Company: Bleck
Director: Rune Milton
Photograph: Paul Meyers
Final Art: Patrick Emt, Marie Persson

Music: Jonas Larsen

VFX: The Gentlemen Broncos: Michael Balle, Kim Fersling

Online: Robert Eskekärr, Jakob Andersson (DDB House)

Sound: Kevin Koch
VO-Recording: Redpipe
Actors: Terrence Hardiman, Savannah Hayes, Mark Elderkin, Jenna Upton, Anele Matoti

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@zanger doug.zanger@adweek.com Doug Zanger is a senior editor, agencies at Adweek, focusing on creativity and agencies.