The Marines Give Back Through Toys for Tots Campaign

By Kyle O'Brien 

It’s Giving Tuesday, and Marine Toys for Tots, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s community action program, is hoping to inspire donations to children in need through a new PSA campaign.

The hero 60-second spot, “Anyone Can Be Santa,” tells a story centered around the connection between a donor and a child in need. It shows a woman going about her day in New York, walking dogs, exercising and generally living a normal life. Over the video, a voice over of a little girl reads a letter to Santa telling him that she has been a good girl, but he didn’t come to her house. The story concludes by showing the woman giving a toy train to Marine Toys for Tots, which in turn goes to the little girl for Christmas.


The ad was designed to show viewers that a bit of Santa’s magic exists inside of each of us—the power of giving in action.

Creative agency Wunderman Thompson worked with director Madeline Clayton to create a piece that showcases how ordinary people can make a difference by donating to Toys for Tots.

Wunderman Thompson shot the spot with production house Curfew across Brooklyn and Queens, casting local Marines in the scenes. Bleeding Fingers Music developed the score.

“We hope this spot inspires the viewer to recognize that this holiday season, it’s simple to make a child’s Christmas wish come true: anybody can donate, anybody can help a child in need and anybody can be Santa,” said Jared Kozel, evp, executive creative director at Wunderman Thompson in a statement.

Over 830 local toy collection and distribution campaigns will be conducted by U.S. Marines and volunteers in all 50 states, plus Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and U.S. Virgin Islands.