Ogilvy teamed up with Coca-Cola Germany for “Make Someone Happy,” the brand’s holiday ad which notably replaces the polar bears of recent years with Santa, also a longtime holiday standby for the brand. According to AdAge, this “marks the first time since 2011 that the brand’s classic Santa character has been the centerpiece of its holiday TV campaign in the U.S.,” although that publication points out that the polar bears will still have “a supporting role for store-level retail executions.”
In the 60-second spot, set to the Jimmy Durante version of the song of the same name, we see Santa drinking a Coke while thumbing through a book called “How to Make Someone Happy.” The ad then focuses on a series of small good deeds performed by people to make others (often strangers) happy, such as a man giving up his umbrella to a passer-by during a snowstorm and a young man giving a stranger waiting for a train a bottle of Coke. At the end of the spot, Santa has a surprise for everyone. “Make Someone Happy’ manages to communicate a holiday-specific sentiment while also functioning as a continuation of Coca-Cola’s general “Open Happiness” campaign.
Andy McMillin, VP of the Coca-Cola trademark for North America, told AdAge that while the polar bears are ” a very important equity for us,” Santa was a better fit with the message to “look beyond the presents and focus on the true spirit of the holidays,” adding that the character “just fits that so well as the ultimate symbol of giving and caring and bringing joy to others.”
“Make Someone Happy” will debut on NBC Thanksgiving day, and will run until the end of December on broadcast and cable channels including NBC, ABC, ABC Family, USA, Lifetime, TBS and Food Network.