Etsy Gets the Storytelling Just Right in Slice-of-Life Holiday Spots

Urging shoppers to gift with meaning

Always up for yuletide tearjerkers, Etsy delivers some serious feels in "Give More Than a Gift," its holiday campaign that launched this week in markets worldwide.

72andSunny collaborated with MJZ directors Will Hoffman and Julius Metoyer on four spots. You might not make it through any of the ads without breaking down. First, we have "Bus Stop," a wintry tale of cross-generational, multicultural connection:

Etsy | Give more than a gift - Bus Stop

"The insight originated from the backdrop of the growing anti-Asian sentiment, and in turn the anxiety that was felt by the community around seemingly everyday activities like walking home," agency creative director Alyssa Georg tells Muse. "As the story developed, it became universally resonant of an unlikely friendship, and the unexpected kindness of strangers."

Georg says the efforts of one 72andSunny team member "to keep her family culture alive as it starts to diffuse from one generation to the next" inspired the mother-daughter scenario in "The Recipe" below:

Etsy | Give more than a gift - The Recipe

In each tale, Etsy gifts serve as symbols of affection and kinship. But the branding—perhaps more important than usual in a season bedeviled by supply-chain issues—never feels forced, nor does it undercut the consistently strong storytelling.

A third spot, "Our Santa," was born from "a conversation with a team member who shared that their family would travel far and wide to find and buy Black Santa decorations during the holiday season," Georg says. "Etsy strives to be a truly inclusive place where you can really make the holidays your own."

Etsy | Give more than a gift - Our Santa

Lastly, in "The Tradition," running exclusively in the U.K., neighbors dispel loneliness and bond over a chilly Christmas swim. (The cast took the icy plunge in repeated takes to get the shot just right.)

Etsy | Give more than a gift - The Tradition

Many retailers play on emotions to stoke sales at this time of year, but the approach feels especially authentic for Etsy. Its customized, bespoke, handmade items can convey deeper meaning than mass-produced products, and these ads do a fine job of conveying that message.

"After the last two years [of Covid struggles], we wanted to tell stories that show the kindness in people," Georg says. "Sorry if we make you cry with these! We definitely shed tears on set while filming ... but they were happy tears."


Brand: Etsy
Creative Agency: 72andSunny New York
Director: Hoffman/Metoyer
Production Company: MJZ
Editorial: Whitehouse Editorial
Editors: Lizzy Graham and Matthew Wood
Music: Alexander Wolf David

David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is managing editor at Clio Awards.

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