5 Holiday Videos from 2016 That Bring Joy to the World

Wes Anderson is one of my favorite directors, and I think this short film is spot-on holiday advertising. While most brands can’t necessarily afford Adrian Brody, Wes Anderson, or a set decorated like a 1970s transcontinental train, the stylistic elements in this video are easy to apply. Unless, of course, you can keep your cat occupied over the holidays. For this year’s holiday video, Mercedes Benz chose not to tackle any holiday traditions, but instead to look at the sometimes unfortunate aspect of being a kid during winter — isolation. Especially on those wintery nights when all you want to do is get out of the house. Mercedes Benz steers towards a predictable ending — 4MATIC all-wheel drive saves the day — but it’s still an endearing video that thankfully features few holiday frills. At 21 million views on YouTube, it’s seen more play time than all of the other videos in this post combined, and for good reason. Buster the boxer wants nothing more than to bounce like nobody is watching. And it ends with a simple message from John Lewis: gifts everyone can enjoy. Much like the videos we’ve featured in this post!

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I never really liked the holidays, I’m not going to lie. Working at a grocery store in my teens meant angry shoppers fighting over the last frozen turkey, hearing the grocery store’s grainy loudspeaker belt out Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” several hundred times per day, and of course, snow. None of this was my jam.

But now that I’m older, the holidays represent some new fun traditions. Putting up our tree, visiting family, and preparing myself for the barrage of holiday-themed advertising that will come at me from every possible angle. That last one may not seem like the most enjoyable part of this cold, wintery season, but every now and then a brand or two gets it right. And that’s what I want to talk about today.

Before we bust out the mistletoe, let’s take a moment to appreciate a few examples of holiday videos that are guaranteed to fill you with cheer. Or at least, make you laugh:

H&M’s Come Together

I’m starting with this one for purely selfish reasons. Wes Anderson is one of my favorite directors, and I think this short film is spot-on holiday advertising. It follows the most basic story arc — conflict, action, resolution — but it does so with classic Anderson deadpan delivery, and stylish elements baked into every scene. H&M doesn’t try to sell clothes in this video, unless you count the clothes that everyone is wearing. They created a video that embraces their take on the holidays, and used a well-recognized actor-director combo to seal the deal.

While most brands can’t necessarily afford Adrian Brody, Wes Anderson, or a set decorated like a 1970s transcontinental train, the stylistic elements in this video are easy to apply. Sungard designed a series of videos last year around holiday survival that feature a similar style and sense of humor – and reaped some festive holiday results too.

Temptations’ Keep Them Busy

Having spent a lifetime with cats — my parents’ house was overrun with four of them for my entire childhood, and I own one myself — this video struck home for me. Cats, despite their loving and gentle nature, are destructive machines around the holidays. Remember the scene from Christmas Vacation where the Griswold grandmother’s cat plays a pivotal role in destroying Christmas? This stuff actually happens. Unless, of course, you can keep your cat occupied over the holidays.

This video does a great job setting the scene, with a laboratory-style room filled with all manner of holiday staples — decorated trees, festive holiday train sets, and tables set with Christmas…

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