The BBC’s Christmas ad responds to the tumultuous events of 2019 with a celebration of all the activities that can only be enjoyed during the festive period.
"#XmasLife", by BBC Creative, makes its TV debut on Sunday (1 December) after Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One. It will also be available on iPlayer and social media channels.
The fast-paced short film mixes live action and animation, with cameos from BBC stars such as Graham Norton and Rochelle Humes. It shows families and friends living their best "Xmas life", whether by indulging in gingerbread, staying in pyjamas all day, avoiding political chats or bingeing on TV.
It reminds people that Christmas is the best time to kick back with loved ones and the BBC’s programmes. The soundtrack is a re-recording of Gorillaz’s Feel Good Inc by rock choir Some Voices.
The BBC also worked with animators and illustrators, including Alex Grigg and Teddy Hall, to create upbeat idents to run alongside the film.
The work was created by Michael Tsim and Rachel Miles, and directed by Ernest Desumbila through Iconoclast.
Chris Hooper, head of marketing for BBC One and iPlayer, said: "Christmas is a time when we come together through the shared treats and rituals of the season to take care of ourselves. BBC One has a special role in helping to bring people together and, understanding that poignant festive brand films are a territory that feels well-explored, we wanted to demonstrate this in a way that was relatable and fun."
"#XmasLife", which is BBC Creative’s third Christmas ad for the broadcaster, takes a more lighthearted tone compared with its last two campaigns. In 2017, the Cannes gold Lion-winning "The supporting act" told a heart-warming stop-motion tale about a dad who helps his daughter overcome stage fright at the school play.
Last year, "Wonderland" was a live-action story about a mum and her teenage son who get to spend a day together at a seaside fairground when time freezes.
Helen Rhodes, executive creative director of BBC Creative, said: "Christmas doesn’t officially start until BBC One release their Christmas campaign, so we hope we’ve done the nation proud with a film that shakes off the shackles of 2019 and embraces our favourite time of the year. If showing a yoga-clad woman destroying avocados with a giant gingerbread and a Maine Coon breed of cat riding on top of a Roomba is wrong, then I don’t want to be right."
BBC Creative’s former executive creative director Laurent Simon left the in-house agency in September for the top creative job at VMLY&R, with Rhodes succeeding him. His former creative partner and joint executive creative director Aidan McClure departed BBC Creative last year for David Abraham’s start-up Wonderhood Studios.