The Beatles' 'In My Life' Powers Evocative Holiday Spot From Amazon

The story's all about now and then

As the holiday season ramps up, the Beatles just keep having a moment.

First, the Fab Four's final single, "Now and Then," hit music charts worldwide. Now, an instrumental version of their 1965 classic "In My Life" drives a festive :60 from Amazon.

Titled "Joy Ride," the commercial was crafted by the e-tailer's internal team and director Wayne McClammy. It does a masterful job of melding art and commerce, distilling the role that Amazon—and indeed, all brands—play in our lives over long swaths of time.

We open on three older women watching kids sled down a frosty hill. This sparks fond memories, and one of them opens her Amazon app. What follows isn't exactly surprising, but it's especially effective, channeling memory and emotion with that sparkly/wistful piano track echoing like a carol.

Amazon | Joy Ride

It's a simple tale, told with few frills—not even dialogue. Sure, some sap seeps through. But that's as expected, and at this time of year, Amazon wouldn't have it any other way.

Naturally, "Joy Ride" shares themes with past yuletide offerings from Amazon. But this one's quieter and more contemplative—yet playful, too, and it never feels forced. You might well up a tad, but the tears feel well earned.

"The stories we tell serve as a reminder that sometimes the joy you receive from doing something special, for those you love, can uplift us all at this time of year," says brand global CCO Jo Shoesmith. "We also wanted to give these wonderful women the chance to celebrate the different facets of themselves and how they express joy, regardless of their age."

Annie O'Donnell, one of the actresses in the spot, adds: "At our age, it's not uncommon to be typecast. And, while I will happily play the role of someone’s sweet grandmother, it is always exciting to be able to show a different side. An opportunity to shake off preconceptions and show we are not just 'young at heart,' but still throwing ourselves into life."

The work breaks today across the U.K. and other markets in Europe, with a North American TV debut on Nov. 13.


Jo Shoesmith – VP Global CCO
Tom Pettus – Global Executive Creative Director
Philip Griffiths – EU Executive Creative Director
Josh Cassidy – Group Creative Director
Vicente Feliciano – Group Creative Director
Kurt Feng – Creative Director
Jeb Quaid – Copywriter
David Connell – Global Head of Creative Production
Vanessa MacAdam – Senior Creative Producer
Paul Lewis – Senior Creative Producer
Juliet Rios – Senior Creative Producer

Claudine Cheever – VP Global Brand and Fixed Marketing
Ed Smith – GM EU Integrated Marketing
Walter Frye – Global Director of Brand Marketing
Laura Downey – Global Head of Campaigns
Tessa Pauly – Sr. Brand Campaign Manager
Maite Molling – Sr. Campaign Manager
Tiffany Carley – Sr. Creative Program Manager
Shareen Kern – Sr. Creative Program Manager
Melissa Somosky – Sr. Content Acquisition Manager, Music Licensing

Director – Wayne McClammy
Production Company – Hungry Man
Managing Partner – Kim Dellara
Producer – Rick Jarjoura
DOP – Jess Hall
Editing House – Cabin Editorial
Editor – Chan Hatcher
Colorist – Ricky Gausis
VFX – The Mill
Sound House – Lime Studios
Sound Engineer – Joel Waters

David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is managing editor at Clio Awards.

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