A Santa Balloon Captures the Heart of a Little Boy Over a Lifetime in Macy's Holiday Ad

Retailer Debuts First Parade-Focused Ad

By Adrianne Pasquarelli. Published on Nov 01, 2016

Editor's Pick

When 50 million viewers tune in for the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year, they'll also catch the department store chain's first commercial dedicated to the event, now in its 90th edition. As part of its holiday campaign, Macy's is airing a 60-second standalone TV spot, "Old Friends."

In the spot, a young boy sees the Santa Claus balloon wink at him as he watches the parade in Manhattan in the 1920s. As the boy ages into a man, he continues to watch for the Santa float at every parade until one year, the man is missing. The Santa breaks way from parade handlers to find the man, who is now much older and sitting at home. The two share a connection before the Santa floats back to the parade.

The 728-unit chain worked with BBH New York, which it tapped in the spring, along with Figliulo & Partners for its holiday marketing. Biscuit Filmworks' Noam Murro directed the spot, which is titled "Old Friends."

The film will run as a 90-second video online, and air on TV in 30-and 60-second versions from Nov. 24 through the end of the holiday season. Macy's plans to highlight the clip in its social network feeds.

"Everyone you meet has a parade story, it's intimate and emotional for them," said Amy Kule, group VP- Macy's parade and entertainment group. "The spot we created does tell that story and an individual story of how the parade is so meaningful to absolutely everyone who's watched it."

Macy's is also introducing the Macy's Parade Time Traveler app this year, where shoppers can view virtual balloons from seasons past in a "Pokémon Go" style reality. Consumers can also download Macy's emojis and stickers.

J. Walter Thompson had formerly handled holiday duties for Macy's for the previous eight years. This is also the first holiday season for Macy's new chief marketing officer, Richard Lennox, who was hired in August from Toys R Us.

"We know from communications with our customers and research that Macy's is a brand that brings friends and family together and we really took that idea and that insight and that's what put us on this journey to create this commercial," said Joe Feczko, senior VP- Macy's integrated marketing. He noted that though the spot was created just for the 90th anniversary, Macy's may use it, with a few tweaks, in future marketing.

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Nov 01, 2016
BBH New York
Noam Murro
Production Company:
Biscuit Filmworks
John Patroulis
Chief Creative Officer:
Ari Weiss
Creative Director/Copywriter:
Hemant Anant Jain
Creative Director:
Shannon McGlothin
Head of Content Production:
Kate Morrison
Executive Content Producer:
Abbie Noon
Head of Business Affairs:
Sean McGee
Global Chief Strategy Officer:
Sarah Watson
Group Strategy Director:
Samantha Cescau
Global Business Director:
Jill Cavanagh
Account Director:
Jennifer Sunberg
Production Company:
Biscuit Filmworks
Noam Murro
Director of Photography:
Simon Duggan
Executive Producer:
Rick Jarjoura
Charlotte Woodhead
Head of Production:
Shawn Lacy
Editorial House:
Work Editorial
Executive Producer:
Erica Thompson
Sari Resnick
Stewart Reeves
Editorial Assistant:
Adam Witten
Sound Design:
Henry Boy
Sound Mixing:
Sound Lounge
Tom Jucarone
Music Company:
Woodwork Music
Philip Kay
Music Producer:
Andy Oskwarek
Visual Effects House:
Managing Director:
Justin Bruckman
Executive Producer:
Camila De Biaggi
Senior Producer:
Brendan Kahn
Visual Effects Supervisor:
Ashley Bernes
2D Lead Artist:
Amanda Amalfi
3D Lead Artist:
Andrew Cohen
Mark Gethin
Executive Color Producer:
Meghan Lang
Color Producer:
Rebecca Boorsma
2D Compositor:
Tobey Lindbäck
2D Compositor:
Elijah Lamond
2D Compositor:
Karen Weiss
2D Compositor:
Leslie Chung
2D Compositor:
Jeric Pimentel

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