BBC One Christmas ad shows the joy to be found in turning off your screen

BBC One’s Christmas ad is a festive tear-jerker in which a mother and her teenage son ditch their responsibilities to spend a lost afternoon of quality time together.

Made by BBC Creative, it tells the story beautifully and avoids schmaltz skillfully, but seems to miss the point entirely. A film in which two people choose an afternoon at the seaside over screen time (mum turns off her work computer and son turns away from his computer games) can’t really be convincing as a way to sell screen time to its audience.

Last year’s ad, “Christmas together,” was also about a too-busy parent who came up trumps in the end. Both ads demonstrate the BBC’s skill for great content, but great content is available in lot of different places these days.

They should give this year’s ad a spin-off TV show, though. That would be worth watching.

MAA creative scale: 6.5

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall
Emma Hall is the former London Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.

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