Sorry, Reindeer. Llamas Took Over Cost Plus World Market’s Cute Christmas Ad

A young trumpeter's most loyal audience

Headshot of T.L. Stanley

Is the llama about to have its moment? Will it be the new sloth? The next baby goat?

If a long-form holiday ad from Cost Plus World Market has anything to say about it, the gangly camelid could at least become this season’s reindeer.

“The Performance” follows a young boy as he preps for a school recital. His trumpet playing is dreadful at first, and he has considerately taken his wailing outdoors, saving the family from his nails-on-a-chalkboard practice sessions.

But a herd of llamas in a pasture nearby (in some scenic unnamed locale) migrate to the kid and patiently stand around while he noodles and screeches. They’re so calm and nonjudgmental, and fluffy and adorable, and perhaps deaf.

Time comes for the holiday show, and the boy’s mom has attached a hand-sewn llama ornament to his trumpet. (Available at Cost Plus World Market! Prudently, that’s the only product placement in the ad.) No spoilers here on the outcome of the youngster’s event, but it’s safe to say there’s no stampede (human or animal).

The digital short, from barrettSF, will run in its full three-minute form on YouTube and the retailer’s website. Shorter teasers will air on Hulu, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and other platforms.

As part of its seasonal push through December, Cost Plus will stage in-store treasure hunts, offering merchandise to customers who find the hidden llama trinkets, and live concerts by young local musicians. On Black Friday weekend, the chain will give away trips to Peru, home of the wooly mammals, via scratch tickets.

There will be a social media-based celebration of National Llama Day (a real thing) on Dec. 9 that will give out $500 gift cards.

Cost Plus has also aligned with VH1’s Save the Music Foundation for a limited-edition tote bag, with proceeds going to music education in schools.

Agency: barrettSF
Executive Creative Director: Jamie Barrett
Creative Director: Todd Eisner
Sr. Copywriter: Phil Fattore
Art Director: Mike Muench
Executive Producer: Conor Duignan
Managing Director: Patrick Kelly
Director of Brand Strategy: Jillian Davis
Brand Strategist: Kevin Albrecht
Account Director: Molly Warner
Account Supervisor: Lyndsey Sotwick

Cost Plus World Market
Chief Marketing Officer: Adrian Stevens
Sr. Creative Director: Colleen Cavanaugh
Director of Media: Kimberly Gonzales
Cost Plus World Market Stylist: Caitlin Blaze Morgenrath
Production Company: Sanctuary
Director: Cole Webley
Executive Producers: Preston Lee
Line Producer: Chris Cho
Director of Photography: Khalid Mohtaseb
Production Designer: Jennifer Dehghan
Editorial: Cabin
Editor: Isaac Chen
Managing Partner: Carr Schilling
Senior Producer: Michelle Dorsch
VFX / Finish: MPC
VFX Supervisor: Andrea Arevalo
Colorist: Ricky Gausis
Producer: Christian Downes
Executive Producer: Meghan Lang
Music: Future Perfect
Composer: John Connolly
Executive Producer : Maxwell Gosling
Audio Mix: LIME
Engineer: Eben Carr

The Fans. The Brands. Social Good. The Future of Sports. Don't miss the upcoming Brandweek Sports Marketing Summit and Upfronts, a live virtual experience on Nov. 16-19. Early-bird passes available until Oct. 26. Register now

@TLStanleyLA T.L. Stanley is a senior editor at Adweek, where she specializes in consumer trends, cannabis marketing, meat alternatives, pop culture, challenger brands and creativity.