Coca-Cola Just Made Its Most Charming Christmas Ad in Years

DentsuMB stages some fantasy DIY

In Coca-Cola's festive 2021 holiday film, a young boy frets about his new apartment's lack of a chimney. How will Santa Claus deliver presents for Christmas?

A large-scale DIY project ensues, much to the surprise of the boy's mother, with neighbors helping the kid construct a funnel from delivery boxes and other materials.

Ultimately, there's a charming twist at the end, as you'll see in the nearly three-minute spot from DentsuMB and director Sam Brown:

Coca-Cola | Chimney | Real Magic

"We don't just re-amplify the Christmas values and benefits, because everybody understands what Christmas is about," says Tom Hidvegi, Coke's director of creative strategy, in the BTS film below. "We manage to tell the story of why Coca-Cola and Christmas can be so special together."

"It shows the importance of friendship, connection, love, caring for each other," adds Poliana Sousa, Coke's Latin America TM lead.

All in all, it's a sweet sentiment, propelled by strong, Terry Gilliam-style visual storytelling, with expert editing and a perfect pace. The music is also noteworthy—a rousing orchestral version of "Chim Chim Cher-ee" from Mary Poppins, as performed by the London Metropolitan Orchestra.

Coca-Cola | Chimney | BTS

The work shares themes with holiday fare from Amazon, Etsy and other brands, with inclusivity at the fore, along with a message about gifting from the heart and looking out for others in our troubled, frequently isolating times.

Various versions of "Chimney" drop today across nearly 100 markets. It's part of Coke's global "Real Magic" platform, which made an e-sports-themed debut in September that generated a "Bah, humbug" from many quarters. "Chimney," however, delivers classic feels and should avoid such Scrooging. (Come on, people, give the kid a break. He built an entire chimney in one night!)

Coke's going all-in for Christmas, with a chance for fans to request personalized Santa videos on Cameo in English, Spanish or French:

Other campaign elements include:

  • A live virtual event on Dec. 1 with Santa presenting the "Chimney" film and celebrity guest pop-ins.
  • The return of Coke's cross-country Holiday Caravan. It launched in 1997, and features a sparkly-lighted red truck, Santa, and a chance for folks to donate to charities.
  • Fresh glass bottle packaging with the Jolly Old Elf himself:

The effort marks a bittersweet season for Dentsu. Yesterday, Coke dumped a big lump of coal in the agency network's stocking, shifting the lion's share of its account to WPP. Dentsu retains some media duties in Asia.


Coca-Cola: Real Magic at Christmas

Agency: dentsuMB UK

CCO: Simon Lloyd
Creative Director: Sarah Bamford
Creative Team: Joe Stamp, Tom Prendergast

Business Director: Tom Adamson
Senior Account Director: Jenna Livesey
Account Director: Raffi Churcher
Project Manager: Michelle Lemon

Agency Producer: Helen Powlette
Print Producer: Gemma Hose
Production Assistant: Callum Sharp

dentsuMB UK CEO: Gareth Collins
dentsu UK & EMEA CEO Creative: James Morris
dentsu Americas Chief Client Officer: Ida Rezvani

Production Company: Rogue
Director: Sam Brown
Producer: Polly Ruskin
EP: James Howland
Director of Photography: Ben Fordesman
Production Designer: Andy Kelly

Editor: Paul Hardcastle
Editorial House: Trim Editing
Post-production: Selected Works
Post Producer: Polly Kemp

Music Arranger: Chris White
Music Composer: Robert B Sherman, Richard M. Sherman
Music Supervisor & Producer: Sian Rogers
Music Supervisor: Joshua Gibbard
Production Assistant: Chris Christoforou
Music Company: SIREN
Recording Studio: Abbey Road, studio 1 with the London Metropolitan Orchestra
Engineer: Paul Golding

Audio post-production: Factory
Sound Engineer: Anthony Moore & James Utting
Producer: Deborah Whitfield

Post House: Selected Works
VFX 3D: Francois Roisin
VFX Supervisor: Wes
Animation: Hocus Pocus – Justin Lowings
Exec producer: Alex Fitzgerald

David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is managing editor at Clio Awards.

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