Ad of the Day: A Boy’s Christmas Wish Comes True in This Lovely Coca-Cola Film

Building a bridge to Santa

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Coca-Cola isn't producing a new Christmas commercial for the U.S. market this year (it's doing some festive packaging instead) but has produced an impressive cinematic short film in Brazil that captures the wonder of the season through a child's eyes.

The spot, "Uma Ponte para Noel" ("A Bridge for Santa"), from J. Walter Thompson Brazil, tells the story of a village that Santa Claus appears to have forgotten in recent years. One boy in town speculates that it's because the main bridge into town is broken, and Santa's carriage can't cross it. He leaves a message for Santa in a Coke bottle, and his father, upon reading it, resolves to try to fix the bridge—hoping for a little Christmas magic.

The film was written by author, journalist and moviemaker José Roberto Torero (one of the screenwriters of the 1998 Oscar-nominated short film Uma História de Futebol) and directed by Fernando Grostein Andrade of Spray Filmes. Blasco Giurato (Cinema Paradiso) was the cinematographer.

Coke's famous illuminated Christmas trucks—first introduced in 1995 in a campaign from U.S. agency Doner—obviously play a key role in the new Brazilian film. And they are central to the larger campaign, which will include the story of Mathias being retold on the streets of Brazil through the parades of Coke's caravans. For those who don't see the parades, Coke is also making a special 360-degree animation for viewing on Google Cardboard.

The film was also screened at Kinoplex theaters all over Brazil.

This year also marks the launch of "Caravana Produções" ("Caravan Productions"), a make-believe production company that will (in real life, through Coke and JWT) invite screenwriters and directors to create future Christmas ads involving the Coke caravans. ("Uma Ponte para Noel" is the first in the series.)

"More than a campaign, we conceived this project as an entertainment platform. We want to turn Coca-Cola's Christmas caravans into the main character of a story that is retold every year, touching consumers all over Brazil across several platforms," said Marcelo Páscoa, head of integrated marketing communication at Coca-Cola Brazil.

"Our goal was to bring back the magic spirit of Christmas that Coca-Cola's Christmas caravans help revive, always inspiring us everywhere they go," added Ricardo John, chief creative officer at JWT Brazil.


Client: Coca-Cola

Agency: J. Walter Thompson Brazil

CCO: Ricardo John

CSO: Fernand Alphen

Head of Art: Fabio Simões

Head of Digital: Fábio Simões

Creative Director: Gustavo de Lacerda e Gustavo Soares

Script: José Roberto Torero, Ricardo John, Gustavo Soares

Copywriter: Julia Velo, Ana Cavalcanti e Guilherme Nesti

Art Director: Gustavo de Lacerda, Pablo Lobo, Ricardo Kawano, Fernanda Sousa, Ilka Freitas, Peu Coelho, Pedro Ricci.

Account Team: Felipe Giacon, Stefano Paduan, Daniel Rybak

Project Management: Thiago Segundo, Richard Wolter, Marina Masiero

Media: João Dabbur, Camila Bertoli, Stella Lopes, Beatriz Luna, Ligia Mattos, Allan Gomes, Juliana Magalhães, Mariana Santos

Planning: Isabella Mulholland, Sara Silva, Gisele Bambace

RTV Director/Artbuyer: Marcia Lacaze

RTV Producer/Artbuyer: Marcia Lacaze, Ana Mello

Digital Production:: Maisa Delgado, Sergio Costa

Client Approval: Adriana Knackfuss, Marcelo Pascoa, Bianca Rosenberg, Patricia Pieranti, Vinicius Limoeiro, Andreia Rebello, Carla Dart

Production Company: Spray Filmes

Direction: Fernando Grostein Andrade

Co Direction: Raoni Rodrigues

Photography Direction: Blasco Giurato

Photography Direction (2nd unit): Bruno Vieira

Executive Production: Luiz Ferriani Nogueira e Roberta Reigado

Account team: Lucia Leite, Daniele Pizzo e Carla Onishi

Art Direction: Claudia Calabi

Editing: Raoni Rodrigues, Caio Saad, Renan Cipriano e Kelvin Freitas

Finishing: Lili Carvalho, Driano Torres, Regina Mimi Yokota

Pos-Production: Raoni Santos, Zombie Studio e Dot Cine

Animation Production Company: Zombie Studio

Sound Production Company: B.A.start

Original Sound Track: Lucas Lima

Mixing and sound finishing: Pedro Lima (WeCanDo Audio Post)

Locutor (Traer): Walker Blaz

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.