Last year, Amazon made one of the most noteworthy ads of the holiday season, a lovely spot celebrating the friendship—and the likeminded gift giving—of a vicar and an imam.
That spot was always going to be hard to top. And while Amazon’s 2017 effort might not be quite as evocative, it’s certainly festive. While moving away from the expertly handled political commentary inherent in last year’s effort, the new 60-second ad has its own charms—and should put a smile on plenty of faces, mirroring that on the Amazon boxes that are so central to the plot.
Last year’s ad was done by London agency Joint. Amazon stays in London for this follow-up, choosing Lucky Generals—part of the TBWA network since last February—which dreamed up the idea of having Amazon boxes sing their way to their shipping destinations.
These boxes are certainly happier than the ones in Uber’s bleak manifesto spot recently. After all, they aren’t cooped up in traffic jams—instead, they get to fly all around the world and bring gap-toothed smiles to young girls, days after their aunts are struck by perfect gift ideas (and happen to have handy access to Amazon’s Christmas Store right on their mobile phones).
The singing-boxes idea is hardly revolutionary, but it’s nicely executed. The choice to set part of the spot in a distribution center is unexpected, but leads to some of the nicer moments—like when the boxes squeal as they’re tickled by the stamping machine.
The soundtrack is well chosen, too—a version of Roger Hodgson’s “Give a Little Bit” that lends itself well to voices coming and going, in solos and in groups. The single box that opens and closes the spot bookends it nicely, bringing the narrative full circle.
It’s never made entirely clear what’s inside the box, but that’s a good choice in the end. It adds to the universal feel of a spot that’s clearly been meticulously designed to appeal to audiences globally.
Whatever the girl is getting, it’s probably not knee pads.
Agency: Lucky Generals
Production Company: Somesuch
Director: Nick Gordon
Postproduction: The Mill
Editing: Final Cut
Sound Design: 750 MPH