German supermarket Penny serves up a tough watch for Christmas, but it’s worth it

Christmas cheer is in short supply in Serviceplan’s latest “festive” epic for German supermarket Penny. The walls are crumbling and the fabric of society has broken down, but at least there is a glimmer of hope and a Christmas tree at the end.

It’s another big social statement for the retailer, which recently won a Cannes Grand Prix for its last Christmas effort, an ode to lost youth.

Christoph Everke, creative managing director of Serviceplan, said: “We’ve loaded our Christmas film with cultural and social themes that really no one can ignore. Opinions clash and literally break an entire apartment block apart. I’m deeply impressed by the courage the Penny team has once again shown in making a painful yet important subject theirs.”

Directed by Seb Edwards (who made the 2018 John Lewis Christmas ad featuring Elton John) this is a very bleak film. It reflects the divisions in Germany, not least over support for Ukraine, exacerbated by the problems of an economy hampered by the lack of cheap Russian gas.

Penny’s brand is all about community and the end line is “Let’s heal the rifts in our society,” which is how they fit this campaign into the bigger picture. Is it a supermarket’s place to sort it out? Every little helps.

MAA creative scale: 8

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