Heathrow Brings Back the Holiday Bears and Tells Their Whole 50-Year Love Story

Havas London crafts a fun period piece

Headshot of Tim Nudd

London’s Heathrow Airport had a surprise holiday hit last year with “Coming Home for Christmas,” a spot by Havas London that showed two elderly teddy bears landing, going through immigration, getting their baggage and more. The sweet ad proved to be a balm of sorts for a Brexit-ravaged nation.

Of course, you can’t leave success like that alone. And so, Havas and Heathrow went back to the well for a sequel. And it expands on the story Doris and Edward Bair by telling their entire 50-year love story going back to the 1960s.

Check out the new spot here:

Ah, so it turns out their love affair actually began on an airplane at Heathrow, blossomed with a bit of airport-bought merch, and grew each decade via sweet homecomings at the Heathrow arrivals hall.

The through-the-years setup makes for a nice opportunity in terms of craft, and Havas—along with directors Dom&Nic of Outsider Productions and animators at The Mill—make the most of it with period costuming and other historical touches. Plus, much of the ad was filmed in the Terminal 1, which closed to passengers in 2016 after over 50 years.

British Airways also helped out by providing an original BOAC aircraft, as well as vintage air hostess uniforms.

“After an overwhelming response across the globe to Doris and Edward last year, we had to bring these lovable bears back to our screens,” says Ross Baker, Heathrow’s commercial director. “We hear from our passengers that there is no greater feeling than being wrapped in the arms of a loved one at Christmas. We wanted the advert to capture this unique feeling and make people feel even more excited to welcome friends and family this festive season.”

The ad, set to Petula Clark’s “Couldn’t Live Without Your Love,” will be shared via social channels, programmatic video, broadcast VOD and OOH. Passengers who use Heathrow’s complimentary Personal Shopping service will get a limited-edition scarf with a bears design, created by Karen Mabon, when they make a purchase.

See last year’s Heathrow holiday ad here:

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