Chick-fil-A’s Christmas Ad Searches for the Magic That Can Reignite a Town’s Dimmed Spirit

McCann continues last year's storyline, this time with a 2020 twist

In a year of darkened storefronts, Chick-fil-A tells the story of a spark that can re-light a town. Chick-fil-A
Headshot of David Griner

Holiday ads often like to show families coming together as they remember the spirit of Christmas, and fast food chain Chick-fil-A was no exception last year with its animated spot from McCann.

The brand’s 2019 spot focused on a magical business called The Time Shop, where a child named Sam finds a way to get her parents to break away from their adult responsibilities long enough to make a snowman.

Now Sam and fam are back for a second year and discovering a new shop, SwitchWorks, which has switches to activate just about anything. Will the business have a way to light back up the town in a year of darkened windows? The spot is clearly referencing the bleak experience of wandering communities amid Covid-19 lockdowns, and the cure is, perhaps unsurprisingly for a holiday ad, acts of kindness toward others.

“2020 has been a tough year for a lot of people and has brought challenges and heartaches we never could have anticipated,” said Ashley Callahan, Chick-fil-A senior marketing director. “But it’s also been a year where many have shined brightly, extending acts of kindness and generosity—many of which we’ve experienced firsthand through the actions of our guests, team members and others throughout our communities. Those little acts of kindness give us all hope and are the inspiration for this year’s holiday film and digital experience.”

In addition to the 2-minute spot, Chick-fil-A and McCann created a microsite to send messages of “hope, gratitude and kindness” to loved ones.

Here’s a look back at last year’s holiday spot:


Client: Chick-Fil-A

Jon Bridges, EVP, Chief Marketing Officer

Joe Saracino, SVP, Brand Strategy, Advertising & Media

Ashley Callahan, Sr. Director, Integrated Creative

David Rowe, Sr. Principal Team Leader, Integrated Creative

Haley Shue, Sr. Project Coordinator, Integrated Creative

Emily Thomson, Sr. Product Lead, Customer Technology & Insights

Sara Storck, Director, Brand Strategy

Rich Cutter, Sr. Principal Team Leader, In-house Creative Agency

Alok Nath – Principal Team Leader, In-house Creative Agency

Nikki Barnett, Sr. Project Specialist, In-house Creative Agency

Alston Foster, Design Lead, In-house Creative Agency

Monique Birkeli, Director, In-house Creative Agency

Allison Fortune, Project Lead, Restaurant Communications

Georgia Gray Wilson, Sr. Project Specialist, Integrated Creative

Gillian Mauldin, Design Lead, Brand Strategy

Emily Randall, Sr. Team Leader, Integrated Creative

Lynah Stone, Sr. Project Coordinator, Integrated Creative

Katie Joiner, Principal Team Leader, Integrated Creative

Lindsey Harrison, Sr. Coordinator, Integrated Creative

Amy Wells, Sr. Lead Advisor, Marketing Investment

Tresa Spencer, Sr. Principal Team Leader, Marketing Investment & Consulting

Chelsea Lee, Principal Team Leader, Public Relations

Arlenis Almonte, Sr. Project Lead, Integrated Creative

Dustin Britt, Sr. Director, Marketing Investment & Consulting

Ross Grimes, Sr. Principal Team Leader, Marketing Investment & Consulting

Rachel Geist, Sr. Counsel, Corporate Legal

Bill Hightower, Director, Corporate Legal

Natalie Williams, Sr. Counsel, Corporate Legal

Hannah Cataldo, Sr. Project Lead, Operator Communications

Agency: McCann

Devika Bulchandani, President, McCann North America

Sean Bryan, Co-Chief Creative Officer, McCann North America

Tom Murphy, Co-Chief Creative Officer, McCann North America

Veronica Bertran, Chief Client Officer, McCann North America

Larry Platt, EVP Executive Creative Director, McCann New York

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."