Spain's answer to the John Lewis ad puts the focus on feel-good family traditions

Ogilvy brings you Spain's most awaited Christmas ad of 2023, and it's a feel-good classic.

It's crazy when you think about it. Spain is one of our closest neighbours, and Madrid is just a short flight from most UK airports. And yet, outside of our Mediterranean holiday bubbles, the majority of us know very little about the country. For example, could you name its current president or the party they represent?

Yet this thriving, dynamic, culturally rich nation has a ton to offer, not least when it comes to creative inspiration, from the inspiring work of Spanish illustrator Van Saiyan to Studio Xuxa's brilliant retro travel posters.

We can learn a lot, too, from the best of Spanish advertising. And so having extensively covered the best Christmas ads in the UK, we thought we'd share Spain's equivalent of the John Lewis ad for 2023.

Led by Ogilvy, the highly anticipated commercial for renowned nougat brand Suchard is entitled 'La Vida Es'. It's a simple animated story about the importance of keeping the magic of Christmas alive through genuine human connections.

The spot shows an older couple looking back at how they've celebrated the different Christmases together with their family over the years. After a life filled with moments of connection, they wonder: "Did we do it right?"

It's all quite reminiscent of the Pixar movie Up in terms of its tone, animation style and the quiet efficiency of its visual storytelling. And so, although the ad is in Spanish, you don't need to speak the language to follow what's going on.

Authentic moments

Miguel Alonso Lamamié de Clairac, senior brand manager of Suchard, explains the thinking behind the ad. "Christmas is the most magical time of the year when connections with our loved ones take on an even deeper meaning," he says. "For this reason, we wanted to remind Spanish families of the importance of keeping the Christmas spirit alive and inspire them to protect those authentic moments. Life is what happens between Christmases. Let's never stop celebrating it."

It's an attitude that perhaps some of the makers of UK ads could have learned from this Christmas. Ogilvy has not tried to do anything particularly clever or sophisticated here and has certainly avoided any level of irony or cynicism. Instead, they've just given the Spanish public what most of us want in turbulent times: a feel-good story about an ordinary family enjoying a lifetime of Christmases at a very human level.

The commercial was created in collaboration with two prominent European animation teams: London's Passion and France's MegaComputeur. It's currently being rolled out across major television channels and the brand's official channels.


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