An Alien Falls to Earth in the Spanish Lottery’s Lovely 18-Minute Christmas Ad for 2017

Oscar winner Alejandro Amenábar directs 'Danielle'

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Blockbuster Christmas ads are mostly a British thing. But Spain has elbowed its way into the fun in recent years, thanks to one advertiser in particular—the Spanish Lottery, which has taken to rolling out long-form ads celebrating the hope and togetherness that its famously communal Christmas lottery represents.

Following the remarkable, award-winning animated story “Justino” in 2015, and last year’s charming “Carmina,” agency Leo Burnett Madrid is going extra long this year, releasing an 18-minute film from Oscar-winning director Alejandro Amenábar that finds its magic in an otherworldly, extraterrestrial theme.

Titled “Danielle,” it tells the tale of an alien who comes to Earth, takes the form of a human woman, and awkwardly tries to assimilate into Madrid culture—without knowing how to communicate whatsoever, at least in the beginning.

First, she is befriended first by a dog, then by a handsome (though somewhat lonely) Madrid tour guide named Daniel. In their first interactions, she can’t do much but repeat his name. Thinking she’s a foreigner who doesn’t speak Spanish, Daniel mistakenly thinks she’s saying her name is Danielle.

Their verbal communication doesn’t improve much from there, but this being a heartwarming Christmas film, they soon connect on a deeper level—in fact, it becomes cosmic. And soon, you begin to wonder whether Danielle will ever want to go back home.

Settle in with the popcorn and watch the film here:

Setting aside the obvious point that any alien visitor to Earth in 2017 would almost certainly know a shitshow when it saw one and hightail it out of here pronto, it’s a charming little story—shot beautifully, with appealing performances all around, particularly by Charlotte Vega and Dani Luque in the lead roles. We also liked the sly move by Burnett to have Danielle take the form of a billboard model—clearly the ideal of human beauty there.

The film, like other entries in the series, makes the lottery central to the story, but not obtrusive. And it poignantly gets across the message that the best part about the Spanish Christmas lottery is sharing it with the ones you love.

The campaign has a cool digital component. Spaniards “share” the Christmas lottery (a tradition since 1812) by purchasing tickets in groups with friends and family, or with neighbors at local bars. This year, at, they will—for the first time—be able to create connections with unknown lotto players who share their same number.

The film will get an airing on TV, and the campaign will extend to print, radio, out-of-home, cinema and other digital assets.

Agency: Leo Burnett Iberia
Brand: SELAE
Product: Christmas Lottery Draw
Campaign: “Danielle”
Brand contact: Jesús Mayoral, Federico Fernández, Margarita Moreno

Chief Creative Officer: Juan García-Escudero
Creative Directors: Gaston Guetmonovitch, Mercedes Lucena, Iñaki Martí
Art Directors: Javier Lopez Canle, Sergio García, Juan Frias
Copywriters: Jorge Castro, Federico Botella

Digital Team:
Art Directors: Sergio Garcia
Copywriters: Iris Fernández, Teresa García

Account Director: Sara Iglesias
Account Manager: Sara Cubillo
Digital Leader: Carmina Serrano
Account Executive: Carlos Martín
Tech Team: Víctor Moreno, Horacio Panella
Channel Planner: Ana Matesanz
Agency Producer: Esther García, Gustavo Samaniego
Production Company: Caviar
Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Executive Producer: Alfonso Cazalilla
Producer: Mafe Bello
Music (original soundtrack): “Danielle” created by Roque Baños
Pieces: Spots/video Web: 17:30″, 3:30″, 45″, 30″

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@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.