Pick of the Week: Amazon’s love letter to the arts is the boost we need

Taïs Vinolo plays a young dancer whose dreams are temporarily dashed by Covid.

Amazon has made some splashy advertising in recent years, such as its Super Bowl spot starring Ellen DeGeneres (it’s the most-viewed ad ever from the big game, no less), with Droga5, Lucky Generals and Joint all creating excellent work. But the brand has so far refrained from a glossy, emotional Christmas blockbuster along the lines of John Lewis and Sainsbury’s, with recent festive campaigns centring on its animated delivery boxes.

Not so this year. Now that it is the world’s biggest advertiser, it is not a surprise that Amazon has decided to join in the Christmas creative arms race and, while it is early days, the brand might even win it. Lucky Generals, once again taking charge of the festive spot, has truly – sorry – delivered.

It’s a smart move not to focus too heavily on Covid-19 but the arts, in a year when the sector has been hit so badly by the crisis. We see the hard work involved in mastering a craft (no retraining for you, Taïs Vinolo) and the pay-off of a beautiful performance that brings joy and light amid the darkness. It’s a reminder of what real art can do – something that our government doesn’t seem to understand.

The ad is filled with spot-on details: Zoom classes, doing grand jetés the minute there’s outdoor space, leg stretches on the banister – all things that even amateur dancers like me immediately recognise. For dancers, the show really must go on and the film truly captures that dedication.

Finally, kudos to Lucky Generals for using a real ballerina. It sounds obvious, but you would not believe how often models are cast to pretend to be dancers – it’s so common, there’s a whole hilarious/horrifying Instagram feed dedicated to it. Ballerinas, look away now.

Brand Amazon
Title The show must go on
Agency Lucky Generals
Director Melina Matsoukas
Production company PrettyBird

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