Meijer’s Holiday Ad Confronts the Way It All Feels ‘Wrong’ This Year

Meijer’s Holiday Ad Confronts the Way It All Feels ‘Wrong’ This Year

By  |  December 5, 2020  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

In a scene that’s no doubt playing out in living rooms around the country, a family puts up its holiday decorations, trying to end the long and tumultuous year with some familiar rituals and splashes of brightness.

But there’s a grinch, in the form of a sulky teenager, in their midst. Along with heavy sighs and eye rolls, she complains it “doesn’t even feel like Christmas” and criticizes her little sister’s tree-decorating skills. “You’re doing it wrong. It’s all wrong,” she says. “They might as well cancel Christmas. They’ve canceled everything else.”

Can these festivities be saved? Watch how Meijer, a Michigan-based grocer and retailer, takes that dark 2020 mood and turns it into a bonding moment between siblings:

The campaign, dubbed “You Better Not Pout,” comes from The Distillery Project, longtime agency of record for the brand, along with filmmaker and commercial veteran Noam Murro. 

The nearly 2-minute piece purposely leaves out product pitches and store imagery in favor of “a Christmas wish for the community,” said John Condon, the indie shop’s founder and chief creative officer. “This spot is about empathy and hope—we’re not at our best when we pout, even though it’s a totally legitimate reaction to everything that’s happened this year.”

Meijer, a family-owned business that operates 256 “super centers” in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin, wanted the seasonal ad to “spark brand connection through customer relevancy and compassion,” said Renee Vought, director, creative and visual merchandising and marketing. It continues the chain’s tagline, “Believe,” and adds an uplifting coda, “Christmas is Coming.”

It has been airing, in its long-form and 60- and 90-second versions, on cable and network TV during tentpole programming like The American Music Awards and The Sound of Music on ABC and NFL games on Fox and NBC. It’s also getting YouTube and paid social media distribution.


Client:  Meijer

Agency: The Distillery Project

Founder/Copywriter: John Condon

Founding Partner/CSO: Ben Kline

Head of Operations/Partner: Kim Tanner

Head of Production/Partner: Nik Traxler

Producer: Brenda Cortés

Creative Director: Chris Pollock

Account Director: Annie Gray

Business Affairs Manager: Bonnie Kalaf

Production: Biscuit Filmworks

Director: Noam Murro

Partner/Managing Director: Shawn Lacy

Executive Producer: Andrew Travelstead

Producer: Emily Skinner

Head of Production: Rachel Glaub / Sean Moody

Director of Photography: Eric Schmidt

Production Designer: Brock Houghton

Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors

Editor: Damion Clayton

Assistant Editor: Sebastian Zotoff

Producer: Sasha Grubor

Head of Production: Dre Krichevsky

Executive Producer: Shada Shariatzdeh

Managing Director: Eve Kornblum

Color: a52 Color

Colorist: Daniel de Vue

Producer: Jenny Bright

Exec Producer: Thatcher Peterson

Music Company: JSM Music

CEO/CCO: Joel Simon

VP/Executive Producer: Jeff Fiorello

Producers: Norm Felker/Andrew Manning/Sharon Cha

Audio House: Margarita Mix Santa Monica

Re-Recording Mixer/Sound Designer: Nathan Dubin 

Assistant Engineers: Sean Melia & Mike Murzyn 

Operations Manager: Brian Frank

Executive Producers: Whitney Morris & Paula Arnett

About the Author: T.L. Stanley

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