The Magic of Christmas Commercials

It was the early 80’s and we used to gather around and watch ITN every evening. Television was new and it was a fascination. There were no commercials, we saw Baccara perform “Yes sir, I can boogie” a few times a day in between programs. And there were fish swimming across the screen endlessly, if the break was too long. Television was ad-less, and Noeline Honter read the news.

Then came a few commercials. I remember the “Khairaz? Kotahena, Kotahena...” ad and the Anchor ad with Rosy Senanayake. She was Mrs World, but my eyes were set on Brooke Shileds. I watched Blue Lagoon at Rio quite a few times in uniform –like any good school boy from Colombo.

But most of all, amongst the handful of ads that ran, I remember the classic Coca-Cola ‘Hilltop’ Commercial.

Many years later, I found a career in advertising and my life was surrounded by commercials. But every time I think of a Christmas ad, “I’d like to buy the world a Coke...” echoes in my head. The tune is so catchy, often I find myself swinging my head like an Indian waiter in a London restaurant.

I guess I’m a sucker for “feel-good” commercials.

In my career as an ad-man, I had the good fortune of working with some world-class directors. Amongst them, is Eric Will, who directed this Christmas commercial for Orange.

The first time I saw it, I wanted to see it again. I knew there was little ‘something’ about the ad, but I couldn’t see it at once.

Then, I found the little magic of this commercial. Did you see it?


  1. I'm stumped! :/ My best guess is the deer in the middle? :D lol

  2. Ok, instead of getting comments I’m getting SMS’s and calls. The magic is the angels. Acts of kindness make them look like angles, with the wings in the background. ;)

  3. oh right! there i was breaking my head trying to find it.
    how easily we miss those acts of kindness looking for something else..

  4. Advertising is such a huge industry.. I love Cheerios commercials