Coca-Cola’s Christmas ad is an epic struggle against the elements

The spot, by Jojo Rabbit director Taika Waititi, still features the familiar Coca-Cola Christmas truck, but in other respects marks a shift in tone for the brand

Certain themes are emerging in this year’s set of Christmas ads, with many brands opting to highlight the importance of family and togetherness in what has been a truly challenging year.

In this new Coca-Cola ad, created by Wieden + Kennedy London and directed by Taika Waititi, we see this notion taken to extremes as a father is shown battling, with Bear Grylls-style levels of endurance, to deliver his beloved daughter’s letter to Santa.

And boy does he battle, crossing oceans (complete with a giant whale), climbing mountains and enduring icy temperatures to complete his quest. Things get so extreme that I half expected the audience to be required to interact with his mission in the style of You Vs Wild and force him to eat reindeer poo to survive.

But more seriously, the sweet pay off at the end of the ad – where the iconic Coca-Cola Christmas truck makes an appearance but family steals the show – manages to shift it from the beautifully-shot-but-ridiculous into something genuinely heartwarming. And an epic battle against nature to get home for Christmas also seems a fairly apt metaphor for how things are playing out so far in 2020.

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy London
Director: Taika Waititi