At first, SuperValu Ireland’s holiday ad follows a standard seasonal plot: a young boy hangs ornaments on his tree, bakes holiday cookies and relentlessly asks his parents whether a certain “he” will actually make a trip to the house this Christmas. From a handwritten letter to his homemade Please Stop Here sign, all signals point toward a child who is preparing for a visit from Santa.
But the surprise ending is not what we’re led to expect, as the boy’s wish comes true when another kind of gray-haired man walks through the front door. When the boy hears someone enter the house, he storms downstairs, greets his visitor with a running hug and proclaims, “Grandad, I knew you’d come!”
The ad captures the unpredictability of 2020 and a newfound appreciation for time spent with family members, especially those who are older or immunocompromised. The heartwarming spot reminds viewers that kids this year are increasingly aware of what Christmas is really about.
The spot was created by the supermarket chain in partnership with TBWA/Dublin. It has quickly proven to be a tearjerker for viewers, who have taken to Twitter for emotional support.
“By telling the story from the child’s point of view, we balanced childlike wonder and energy while remaining firmly rooted in the real world. This was crucial to striking the right tone for the film,” wrote TBWA/Dublin’s creative team in a statement. “We believe this piece will achieve resonance and hopefully give audiences a little lift in the run up to the big day itself.”
The commercial was inspired by letters from SuperValu customers about the increased importance of Christmas this year, according to interim marketing director Des O’Mahony.
“While the festive season might be a little different, at SuperValu we know that the real magic of Christmas is being together, and family is what makes it special,” he wrote in a statement. “This advert captures the very real sentiment of the importance of family this Christmas and encourages us all to believe.”