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Heathrow is in a lot of Brits' bad books over its proposed expansion – especially Londoners. But in the run-up to Christmas, the airport is looking to get back into people’s good graces with a heart-warming ad that taps into growing desires to escape the UK for the first festive season following Brexit.

The spot – which has been viewed more than four million times – ticks plenty of the classic Christmas ad boxes. It’s got a family-centric narrative. It’s got an airport. It’s got adorable stuffed animals that are both animated and anthropomorphised. It shows two teddy bears embarking on a trip back to their family, only to transform into an elderly human couple when they reach the gates and bask in the joy of their excited grandchildren. The message? Coming home for Christmas is ‘the best gift of all’.

Whether heading home or making an escape, Christmas commutes are unavoidable
Heathrow Airport (2016) ©

Except the people coming home for Christmas aren’t the ad’s only target audience. It may not be a regular on the Christmas ad circuit – predominantly reserved for supermarkets and department stores – but with holiday getaways (or ‘Brexmas breaks’) on the rise, an airport fits right in between the places Brits will head for gifts and Christmas food. 

Almost half of Britons (44%) intend to head abroad for Christmas this year, with less than two-thirds happy about the prospect of staying at home. “It really does seem to be a case of ‘brrrrr, humbug’ for Brits this year,” says Andrew Shelton, managing director at Cheapflights. “The Brexit vote and devalued pound may put a dampener on high street Christmas spending this year, but seem to be less of a deterrent to travel than the prospect of a dreary Yuletide at home with the in-laws and the Strictly special.”

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Lore Oxford is Canvas8's deputy editor. She previously ran her own science and technology publication and was a columnist for Dazed and Confused. When she’s not busy analysing human behaviour, she can be found defending anything from selfie culture to the Kardashians from contemporary culture snobs.


28 Nov 16
2 min read

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