UNICEF has rolled out a touching new Christmas campaign that highlights the that age-old truism that the greatest gift is giving.
The TV ad centres on Hannah, a child struggling to write her Christmas wish list. While she listens to her friends discussing the instruments, toys, and gadgets they’ll receive this year, she sits quietly, struggling to connect with their desire for such objects. What truly affects Hannah, however, are the charity appeals she sees on TV, featuring children of her age staring out at her through the screen – and her father notices.
Come Christmas day, he lets her know she has one last gift to open that’ll truly resonate with her: a donation on her behalf to support UNICEF.
The Dublin-based agency Principle approached Banjoman director Dermot Malone with the script for a young child to be affected by an appeal from a different area of the world, and for their parent to notice and donate on their behalf.
Reinforcing that core message with a level of authenticity, Malone says he set about building a relatable world around the child, capturing the message of selflessness in the most
accessible way possible.
“To do so, the UNICEF appeals watched by the child are actual campaigns currently running on TV, strengthening the idea that she really is one of us, watching the commercials we’re watching,” he says.
Malone was specific in his casting process for the film, aiming to find a child who could take the story on board and give back an instinctive performance. Eventually, he found actress Amber Cantwell, who perfectly understood the assignment. Offering an expressive yet subtle delivery, she imbues the campaign with a natural empathetic quality.
“I’m really proud to have worked on such an important campaign. Throughout the process I was really struck by the level of commitment, care and work UNICEF bring to the worlds most in need regions. The team at UNICEF have a different challenge in a different location, changing daily. Ultimately, we’ve tried to make it a message about no one specific crisis, but every crisis and every child, and that’s hopefully what we’ve achieved,” says Malone.
Director: Dermot Malone
1st AD: Eamonn Cawley
Trainee AD: Jack O’Higgens
Producer: Matt D’Arcy
Production Manager:Vanessa Briscoe
Production Assistant: Liam Boyd
Production Assistant: Eva Malone
Production Assistant: Jack Collier
Production Designer: Steve Kingston
Art Director: James Donnelly
Carpenter: Stephen Loany
DOP: Kate McCullough
1st AC: Sam Mulcahy
Loader/clapper: Ben Ingoldsby
Trainee/DIT: Robbie McMullen
Sound: Rob Moore
Spark: Paddy Ryder
Genny Op: Greg Savage
Grip: Oisin Fennell
Driver: George O’Dowd
Marquee hire: Brendan Byrne
Wardrobe Designer: Muireann Doyle
Make up: Altana Silvana
Covid Officer:Michelle MaCabe
Editor: Rob Hegarty
Post Production Company: GABHA Studios
Colourist: Andrew Francis
Post Sound: Scimitar Sound
Sound Engineer: Dean Jones + Conall O’Brien
Original Music: Michael MacLennan
Amber Cantwell: Hannah
Elliot Moriarty: Dad
Aisling Goodwin: Mum
Althea Caruso: Friend 1
Clara Diamond: Friend 2
Helena Swords: Grandmother
Tommy Travers: Grandfather
Sabrina Zheng: School kid
Cillian Delamere O Madagaín: School kid
Finn Kavanagh: School kid
Isaac McGinity: School kid