Singtel embraces the weepy Christmas ad with spotlight on the lonely elderly

Singtel has has upped the angst in the emotional Christmas ad stakes with a film showing a grandmother preparing festivities alone while her family remains glued to their smartphones.

Following in the footsteps of the typically heart-wrenching seasonal ads by John Lewis, the Singaporean telco has released ‘Ah Ma’s Christmas’, a two-minute video showing a grandmother feeling neglected and excluded by her family during the Christmas period.

Chancing upon an unused phone, the grandmother tearfully records her sadness and isolation on a video on Christmas Eve – only to then accidentally send it to her grandson.

The mix-up leads to the the final scene whereby the family members learn to put down their smartphones and reconnect with their ‘Ah Ma’ over her Christmas chicken curry.

Created by BBH, which won the Singtel creative account from Ogilvy earlier this year, the campaign uses a similar tearjerking theme to ads such as John Lewis’ ‘Man on the Moon’ and the German retailer Edeka, which famously showed an old man faking his own death to bring his family together at Christmas.

The film was directed by filmmaker K. Rajagopal, the film will be aired on Singtel TV and social media channels until December 30.

“It’s a simple tale that warns against the regrettable phone habit of phubbing – where we inadvertently snub others in favour of our mobile phones. In today’s hyper-connected world, it’s easy to lose sight of the most important things in front of us,” said Lian Pek, Singtel’s vice president of group strategic communications and brand.

“We may be all about connectivity as a company but we also value connectivity in the deeper sense of the word. We’d love to see people dropping phubbing in favour of better relationships.”



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