Steve Carell is stressed Santa in Xfinity’s holiday film

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(SC does not stand for Steve Carell in this case)

This year, working from home has become the new norm, and the ability to stay connected virtually has allowed people to pull off new and inventive ways of achieving what was previously unimaginable. That is the ingenuity taking center stage in the Xfinity 2020 holiday campaign created by advertising agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners (GS&P).

Titled ‘The Greatest Gift,’ in the four-minute film, for which a two-minute version aired during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, features Santa Claus, played by Academy Award nominee, and Golden Globe, SAG and WGA winner Steve Carell, who shocks the North Pole with a last-minute charge to his merry elves.

Given the rough year 2020 has been, the usual toys and gifts just aren’t going to cut it. With just days left ’til the holiday, the elves will have to come up with something bigger and better. After an initial panic, they realise that there’s one thing everyone truly needs in this most unusual year: a little more togetherness.

Magically, they begin packaging up all the little moments that make the season bright – from the smell of grandma’s cooking to family snowball fights – reminding Santa, and us all, of the true meaning of the holidays, particularly this year.

Carell tries to maintain a veneer of calm in between bouts of insomnia and stress-eating binges with his reindeer.

“The holidays are really about moments of togetherness with the people you love, and serve as a reminder for what’s most important, especially given the hardships of this past year. I hope that this sweet little story will bring a bit of cheer,” said Carell. Watch the 3.5 minute film, directed by I Tonya’s Craig Gillespie, below:


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“People have always turned to classic holiday stories for escape and inspiration during difficult times,” said GS&P executive creative director, Jim Elliott. “In fact, some of the most cherished holiday films and songs were born directly from them. Given the year we’ve just had, we decided to go back to the basics of holiday storytelling and revisit a classic narrative through a present-day lens.”

“This year the internet has kept us more connected than ever, allowing us to do more than we thought possible, in the face of less-than-ideal circumstances,” adds Todd Arata, senior vice president of brand marketing at Comcast. “Xfinity is a connections brand and this campaign is all about how our connections to one another can create real magic, particularly at this time of year. It’s part of a rich tradition of heartwarming holiday storytelling that includes our great E.T. campaign last year.

“Getting the chance to tell a story about how Santa and the elves work together to pull off the impossible in a year when we’ve all had to wrestle with what work now looks like has been a special experience,” said GS&P co-chairman, Jeff Goodby. “And the chance to shape it with an actor as beloved as Steve Carell gives the film an extra feeling of warmth.”

Craig Gillespie

“It’s rare to have such a special project come along,” noted director Craig Gillespie. “Being able to collaborate with the agency and craft a message borne of this particular moment that captures a longing for togetherness was very gratifying. And having the opportunity to work with Steve Carell was a dream come true. He brought the heart, warmth and humour that is the magic of this spot.”

Beyond the film, Xfinity is bringing moments of togetherness to life with a Pinterest activation called ‘The Greatest Gift Shoppe‘ – a virtual one-stop – shop designed to help keep families connected through the holidays.

With activities such as custom blanket-fort designs, recommendations on the best holiday movies, and tips on how to make the most of yuletide virtual get-togethers, ‘The Greatest Gift Shoppe’ helps everyone celebrate what matters most in joyous ways.

“For this campaign, social is a vehicle to gift togetherness,” said Nader Ali-Hassan, executive director of social marketing at Comcast. “Pinterest is a place so many people look to for inspiration. It was a natural home for us to share ideas for activities that could help draw families closer this holiday season.”

‘The Greatest Gift’ follows the success of last year’s Xfinity holiday campaign, ‘A Holiday Reunion’, which reunited E.T. and Elliott after 37 years.

Beyond the film and Pinterest activation, Xfinity is bringing moments of togetherness to life with its products and services and also via its social channels starting Thanksgiving Day.


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Xfinity X1 and Flex customers can say ‘Holiday Movies’ or ‘Holiday Music’ into the Voice Remote to watch and listen to their favourites of the seasonX1, and Flex customers can also say ‘The greatest gift’, ‘Togetherness’, ‘Elf Shopping Network’ and ‘Awesome gift ideas’ into the Voice Remote to watch Xfinity’s holiday short film and for audio easter eggs from Santa’s helpers, or ‘Steve Carell’ to browse and enjoy the actor’s work.

CREDITS:

CLIENT: Comcast

BRAND: Xfinity

  • CLIENT CHIEF MARKETING OFFER: Sophia Ahmad
  • SVP, BRAND MARKETING, MESSAGING AND MEDIA: Peter Intermaggio
  • SVP, BRAND MARKETING IMC: Todd Arata
  • VICE PRESIDENT, BRAND IMC: Dustin Hayes
  • SENIOR DIRECTOR, BRAND IMC: Rose Holden
  • MANAGER, BRAND IMC: Gabby Maunder
  • SOCIAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SOCIAL MARKETING: Nader Ali-Hassan
  • DIRECTOR, SOCIAL MARKETING: Jennifer Marder
  • COMMUNITY MANAGER, XFINITY BRAND: Lacey Ketchell

AGENCY: Goodby Silverstein & Partners

  • AGENCY CREATIVE CO-CHAIRMEN: Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein
  • CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER: Margaret Johnson
  • EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Jim Elliott
  • CREATIVE DIRECTORS: Jon Wolanske, Jon Wyville
  • ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Justin Ralph
  • ART DIRECTORS: Hans Schenck, Stevan Chavez
  • COPYWRITER: Mike Gallucci
  • SOCIAL CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bob Cohen
  • ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Ross Fischer
  • COPYWRITER: Shareina Chandler
  • ART DIRECTOR: Katy Wells
DESIGN
  • DESIGN DIRECTOR: Ryan Self
  • DESIGNERS: Benny Gold, Pedro Zuccolini
ACCOUNT SERVICES
  • MANAGING PARTNER: Leslie Barrett
  • EXECUTIVE GROUP ACCOUNT DIRECTOR: Chad Bettor
  • ACCOUNT DIRECTOR: Kirsten Tsitsos
  • ACCOUNT MANAGER: Lauren Berry
  • ASSISTANT ACCOUNT MANAGER: Caroline Lee
  • SOCIAL ACCOUNT DIRECTOR: Tom Powers
  • ACCOUNT MANAGER: Katie Freedman
  • ASSISTANT ACCOUNT MANAGER: Rachel Diaz
BRAND AND COMMUNICATION
  • STRATEGY PARTNER, HEAD OF BRAND STRATEGY: Bonnie Wan
  • PARTNER, HEAD OF COMMUNICATION STRATEGY: Christine Chen
  • GROUP STRATEGY DIRECTOR: Kelly Evans-Pfeifer, Katie Coane
  • COMMUNICATION STRATEGY DIRECTOR: Maren Severtson
  • GROUP DIRECTOR RESEARCH DATA & ANALYTICS STRATEGIST: Cassi Husain
  • SENIOR COMMUNICATION STRATEGIST: Jacob Sperla
  • COMMUNICATION STRATEGIST: Rosie Kerstetter
  • BRAND STRATEGIST: Madison Cameron
  • JUNIOR COMMUNICATION STRATEGIST: Tooba Wasi
  • PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: James Horner
  • AGENCY PRODUCER: Kateri McLucas
  • SOCIAL EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Gemma Edward
  • BUSINESS AFFAIRS DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS AFFAIRS: Judy Ybarra
  • PRODUCTION BUSINESS MANAGER: Yelena Kompaneyets

PRODUCTION COMPANY: MJZ

  • DIRECTOR/DP: Craig Gillespie
  • PRESIDENT/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: David Zander
  • EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Emma Wilcockson
  • PRODUCER: Martha Davis
  • DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Adam Arkapaw
  • PRODUCTION DESIGNER: Jamie Vickers

EDIT: Rock Paper Scissors

  • EDITING COMPANY CITY: Los Angeles
  • EDITOR: Haines Hall
  • ASSISTANT EDITOR: Kevin Goolsby
  • HEAD OF PRODUCTION: Dre Krichevsky
  • EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Shada Shariatzadeh
  • POST PRODUCER: Kevin Gottlieb

AUDIO AND SOUND: Lime Studios

  • SOUND DESIGN COMPANY CITY: LSD, Santa Monica
  • SOUND DESIGNER: Michael Anastasi
  • SOUND DESIGN ASSISTANT: Kai Paquin
  • AUDIOMIXER: Adam Primack
  • AUDIO ASSISTANT: Ian Connie
  • EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Susie Boyajan

VFX STUDIO: a52

  • VFX SUPERVISOR: Patrick Murphy
  • CG SUPERVISOR: Andrew Romatz
  • 2D VFX ARTISTS: Andy McKenna, Urs Furrer, Stefan Gaillot, Matt Sousa, Richard Hirst, Adam Flynn, Michael Vaglienty, Kevin Stokes, Chris Riley
  • LEAD CG LIGHTER: Ariana Ziae Mohseni
  • 3D ARTISTS: Dustin Mellum, Aemilia Widodo, Josh Dyer, Jun Kim, Weiyo Sha, Miguel Salek, Derek Friesenborg, Mike DiNocco, Jaemin Lee, Quinton Woodson, Joe Paniagua, Jose Limon, Bryan Cox, Jade Smrz, Joe Chiechi, Michael Bettinardi, Joey BettinardiMatte Painters
  • ONLINE EDITORS: Chris Riley, John Valle
  • PRODUCERS: Everett Cross, Andrew Rosenberger
  • EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Patrick Nugent, Kim Christensen
  • HEAD OF PRODUCTION: Stacy Kessler Aungst
  • HEAD OF CG PRODUCTION: Michael Steinmann
  • MANAGING DIRECTOR: Jennifer Sofio Hall

DESIGN STUDIO: Elastic

  • ART DIRECTOR: Nadia Tzuo
  • ANIMATOR(S): Trix Taylor, Lucy Kim, Chad Danieley
  • COORDINATOR: Mitchell Fraser
  • DEPUTY HEAD OF PRODUCTION: Zach Wakefield
  • EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Luke Colson
  • HEAD OF PRODUCTION: Kate Berry
  • MANAGING DIRECTOR: Jennifer Sofio Hall

COLOR: a52

  • COLOR COLORIST: Daniel de Vue
  • COLOR ASSISTANTS: Dylan Bursick, Corey Martinez
  • COLOR PRODUCER: Jenny Bright
  • EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Thatcher Peterson

MUSIC: Songs for Film & T.V.

  • MUSIC SUPERVISOR: David Fisher
  • “DREAMER” PERFORMED BY: Roger Hodgson and written by Roger Hodgson, Richard Davies
  • COMPOSER: Eric Kinny
  • COMPOSER: Bruce Driscoll

SOURCE: Goodby, Silverstein and Partners

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