2020 Brand Holiday Ads: Part Two

WestJet makes a "miracle" from its in-flight inventory, Stella gives a family a taste of home and Coors builds a "beerman."

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Tis the season when we hate-to-love binge-watching classic Christmas flicks, creamy eggnog and carols by the fire. It’s also the time of year when brands pull out the red-and-green carpet on their holiday ads. So we’ve rounded up a few that made it to air this week, and invite our readers to share their brand commercials by giving us a shout. And be sure to check out part one here.

WestJet turns a tough year into a “miracle”

Even though many Canadians won’t be flying this holiday season, WestJet is still finding a way to ship out some Christmas surprises.

The annual “Christmas Miracle” has typically involved WestJet giving away flights and travel, alongside other gifts, to deserving Canadians and those who would simply appreciate it. But it might be some time before Canadians are willing or able to travel again – the airline’s business has taken a significant hit this year, with many routes shut down for much of it.

But many people are still in need, so instead of trips, WestJet is donating supplies that otherwise would have been given to passengers on flights – amenity kits, pillows, blankets, snacks, sanitization supplies and PPE – to Canadians in need across the country. The airline’s fleet and staff delivered food to Canadian shelters, hot meals to frontline workers and gifts to seniors and children (like a blue Santa hat). It continues a focus on giving WestJet has adopted since the onset of the pandemic, having donated more than 1.3 million items nationally to places like Ronald McDonald House, Calgary Health Foundation and Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter.

WestJet is relaying that it’s still there for Canadians and that the brand can still help them during this difficult time. With increased usage of Canadian food banks, and 68% of charities having seen a decline in donations since the start of the pandemic despite 46% of these charities reporting an increase in demand, there are a lot of people in need this holiday season.

Rethink was tasked with the creative for the campaign, while Media Experts handled the media buy. There is paid digital and social.

Stella Artois gives families that can’t be together a “taste of home”

With families likely be spending the holidays apart to keep each other safe, Stella Artois wanted to bring a “Taste of Home” to at least one family.

The video shows Danielle, a member of a Jamaican-Canadian family that, like many others this year, will have to be apart from other family members as her sister is away at school, her grandmother lives in Jamaica, and her mom and aunt live together in their own house. And also like many other families, food and authentic cuisine is a major part of family get-togethers.

So the beer brand got chef Craig Wong to help the family enjoy a holiday meal together. Wong owns Toronto’s Patois, a fusion restaurant that reflects his own Jamaican and Chinese heritage. And to ensure Danielle gets the exact kind of food and flavours she is expecting, Wong cooks alongside her mom and aunt over video chat, making ackee and sailfish for breakfast and jerk turkey for dinner. Danielle later gets to enjoy the meal privately at Patois, with her family joining her virtually as they eat their own versions.

Anomaly was the creative agency tasked with the campaign, while Vizeum handled the media buy for the video, which is being driven to with paid digital and social.

The holiday effort builds on a number of initiatives Stella Artois has undertaken this year. Earlier this month, the brand partnered with local restaurants across Canada to launch holiday meal kits inspired by each chef’s own “taste of home,” like Canadian-British cuisine found at Toronto’s Marben Restaurant, or French cuisine found at Montreal’s Les Enfants Terribles. Stella Artois is offering to add $25 to every $100 gift card for a local restaurant purchased through its “Rally for Restaurants” program, redeemable on a Taste of Home meal kit with participating restaurants.

As part of “Rally For Restaurants,” Stella also brought the likes of NHL player Evander Kane and hip hop artist Kardinal Offishall to their favourite hometown restaurants to drum up support in a challenging business environment.

Coors Light gives Canadians a beer buddy for the holidays

The feelings of stress and isolation most people have been dealing with this year look like they are going to continue into the holiday season, as Canadians are being advised to celebrate only with those in their household.

To offer a bit of levity, Coors Light has created the “Coors Light Beerman,” the brand’s “perfectly imperfect holiday drinking buddy” designed to “keep your beer cold and your spirits up.”

In a 30-second spot, created by DDB, it shows a woman using her snowman to keep her beer cold. After she takes the beer from her “beerman,” the figure comes to life, saunters over to the piano and starts jamming out to Boston’s “More Than A Feeling,” accompanied by an abominable snowman on guitar.

As part of the North America-wide campaign, Coors Light is asking Canadian to try and build their own “Beerman” and share it to social media.