A Little Boy Puts Santa on a Diet in Grocery Chain’s Cute Christmas Ad

Intermarché wants a little less jelly in that jolly

Headshot of Angela Natividad

How Santa must suffer, trying to eat all those cookies on Christmas Eve!

With help from agency Romance, French grocery store Intermarché has released its holiday ad. Titled “I’ve Dreamt So Much,” it follows a boy whose family takes him to sit on Santa’s lap ahead of the holidays, at which time something troubling occurs to him.

Santa’s sure got a big belly. How will he ever fit down the chimney?

The work is punctuated by Henri Salvador’s “J’ai tant rêvé,” which inspires the ad’s title. With help from his sister, our concerned kid embarks on a pre-holiday mission to find healthier eating options for Father Christmas … and in so doing, falls in love with the culinary arts.

“I’ve Dreamt So Much” closely follows the format of an ad Intermarché released earlier this year, “L’Amour L’Amour,” in which a young man discovered his gastronomic affinities on a larger quest to win the heart of a grocery store cashier.

That doesn’t make the trajectory any less moving—amid amusing shots of the boy offering Santa massive heads of lettuce, or considering the merits of pairing a glass of milk with an artichoke, we also fall in love with the lush imagery of fresh produce being cut, combined and tested for the big night.

“The transformation of lntermarché’s marketing and communication is putting us on the path of becoming the ’emotional leader’ of the market,” says the brand’s strategic and operational marketing head, Vincent Bronsard. “More than anything else, these choices are bearing fruit”—food pun!—”store traffic has gone up 0.5 points. Our ambition with this film is to take the ‘Eat better’ crusade even further, and to continue our progression.”

It isn’t always easy to take charming fables and turn them into parables about healthy eating; “I’ve Dreamt So Much” walks this line but never fully crosses it.

Earlier this year, German grocer Edeka gave us “Eatkarus,” a bizarre tale of a big-boned boy who theoretically starts eating better so he can learn to fly. The intent was clear, but the delivery murky; some viewers accused the brand of fat-shaming and even encouraging unhealthy eating habits. (Inspired by a bird, the kid mostly eats berries to slim down.)

But like McDonald’s holiday tale of the little girl with her reindeer-ready carrot stick, Intermarché’s treatment is more of a study in the way obsessions grab children. It’s easy to imagine a kid considering Santa’s size and comparing it to the width of the chimney; it’s just such questions that, over time, erode the mythologies that lend inventions like the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy their magic.

”l’m extremely proud of this film,” beams executive creative director Alexandre Hervé of Romance. “The year has been rich in successful lntermarché campaigns. My role here is to strengthen and mobilize the creatives in the agency and to keep them on track. Above all else, we’re lucky to have a client as ambitious and courageous as lntermarché.”

The spot premiered Nov. 26 and will run through the holidays.

Client Team:
Caroline Peuchoultres
Vincent Bronsard
Vincent Fievre
Véronique Legueult
Sandrine Bousque

Executive Creative Director: Alexander Hervé
Creatives: Frederick Lung and Philippe Pinel
Account Team: Christophe Lichtenstein, Marie-Laure Dangeon, Estelle Littaye
Strategic Planning: Romain Roux
TV Producers: Sophie Megrous, Sylvie Dumas

Production: Carnibird
Director: Katia Lewkowicz
Sound Production: THE

@luckthelady angela.natividad@gmail.com Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.