This film kicks off Amazon’s integrated “Joy is shared” festive brand campaign and will run across Broadcast TV, Video On Demand, Online Video and Social until the end of December. The campaign centrepiece is a 60-second brand film called “Joy Ride”, which stars three older women as main characters in a story about life-long friends reviving the joy of their youth atop a sledging hill – all thanks to a flash of inspiration (and the Amazon shopping app).
The spot features an instrumental rendition of The Beatles’ “In My Life” which ranked 23rd on Rolling Stone’s The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and #1 by Mojo Magazine. The track was chosen as it is one of The Beatles’ most well-loved songs as well as an ode to enduring friendships and shared memories, which married perfectly with the core theme of the ad. The rendition, developed exclusively for this campaign, was a collaboration with a 40-piece orchestra (recorded live in Prague) and, as a nod to the much-loved sound of the Liverpudlian rock band, an old upright piano (recorded live in London).
Against this musical rendition and snowy backdrop, the ad is an ode to friendship – a heart-warming story that unfolds as the three stars gather on a park bench and sip hot drinks, wistfully watching on as playful children and teenagers sledge down the hill in their local park. There is a sense that this setting is familiar – a daily tradition, now mired by the colder temperatures.
While the world around them whizzes by, the friends stay seated, quiet and still. But not for long. The lead character takes in the scene, noticing that her friends are looking out longingly. With that, we see an idea spark within her and a mischievous smile appears. She opens the Amazon shopping app on her mobile phone and adds padded seat cushions to her shopping basket.
The very next day, the delivery arrives and, back to their special spot, the friends are presented with the Amazon box. When they open it, they are mystified with its contents. But with their interest piqued, the leader of the group encourages her friends to follow her to the hill.
The scene cuts to the friends, now ankle-deep in fresh snow, placing the new seat cushions in their sledges. With a reassuring smile, their excitement and anticipation take hold and they join the (somewhat younger) crowds on the snowy slopes. Laughter, cheers and an emotional flashback to their youth spent together on the same slopes comes flooding back. The vivacious trio are full of life as they zoom down the hill with their arms waving in the air. The younger generation look on in admiration.
As if the years have fallen away, once the women reach the bottom of the snowy hill, they rise to their feet and, with enthusiasm, begin the walk back up the hill. Their excitement is palpable as they get ready for another exhilarating ride down the snowy slope.
“This year’s Christmas campaign is inspired by our Amazon customers and their thoughtful ideas and traditions,” said Jo Shoesmith, VP Global CCO, Amazon. “The stories we tell serve as a reminder that sometimes the joy you receive from doing something special, for those you love, can uplift us all at this time of year.”
“We also wanted to give these wonderful women the chance to celebrate the different facets of themselves and how they express joy, regardless of their age.”
Maya Waterman, the lead character of “Joy Ride”, said: “I feel incredibly proud to have, quite literally, taken the reins as one of the stars of a global Holiday advertising campaign. Nostalgia in older age can often be framed as something overly-sentimental that you yearn for, so I feel immensely proud that we were able to flip that narrative on its head and tell a story of three women, who don’t just relive memories, but make new ones. I hope audiences of all ages relate to that feeling of shared joy.”
Annie O’Donnell, one of Maya’s lifelong friends in the story, said: “At our age, it’s not uncommon to be typecast. And, while I will happily play the role of someone’s sweet grandmother, it is always exciting to be able to show a different side. An opportunity to shake off preconceptions and show we are not just ‘young at heart’ but still throwing ourselves into life”.
“The festive season is a time when people revel in traditions, past memories and embrace their inner-child," said Ed Smith, General Manager of EU Integrated Marketing at Amazon.
"We recognise that many customers may still be feeling the impact of economic uncertainty this year and that is why we’ve focused on the joy of shared experiences in our new Christmas campaign. If Amazon can play a small part in helping customers share that joy, then we will be delighted.”
Produced by Amazon’s internal Creative team and production company Hungry Man, and directed by award-winning director, Wayne McClammy, Amazon’s “Joy Ride” will run through the end of December across Broadcast TV, Video On Demand, Online Video and Social channels.