Google Christmas Advert - home alone remake with Macaulay Culkin

“OK, Google – did we just pull off the best Christmas campaign yet?”

That’s [the title] something I could surely imagine the marketing team asking themselves at Google HQ this morning, as they revel in the success of their slightly-late-but-nevertheless-amazing Christmas ad. Which features Macaulay Culkin – or ‘Kevin’ as we know and love him – in a modern remake of the Christmas Classic, Home Alone.

Missing a spot on my top 5 Christmas adverts of 2018 purely due to its time of arrival, this one deserved a standalone post if not only for how much it appealed to me as a potential consumer. It’s quirky and brilliant and has definitely earned a rightful place amongst my list of favourites now.

May I steal your attention for a moment…

I’ve been nominated for a UK Blog Award for best PR blogger, and would love it if you could vote for me (that is if you like my blog and think I’m worthy of course!). There’s just a few days left to vote (it closes on Xmas eve) so now’s the time. Here’s how if you’d like to.

  • Click here.
  • Click on the categories (Public Relations, Marketing and Communications is mine) and view the entries.
  • To find my website, click on the globe.
  • To see my entry information, click on the “i”.
  • And to vote for my entry (please please please), click on the red heart. 
  • OR, you could go straight to my entry page here.

Thank you so very much. Now back to the blog…

All about the Google Christmas Ad…

Some 28 years later than when the film first made its debut, Google’s 2018 Christmas campaign depicts Macaulay reprising his role as Kevin McCallister to demonstrate the many benefits of Google Home Assistant – even amid the obscure situations that the character lands himself in. And I was never sure about A.I. and home assistants before (that story about them chatting to each other in the night was pretty much enough to put me off for life), but now… I kinda’ want one. Emphasis on the ‘kinda’ though, I don’t think I’m 100% sold just yet.

You know when an advert can make you feel like you need something that you didn’t even know you wanted 5 minutes ago? Yeah, it has that effect…

Google Christmas Advert - home alone remake with Macaulay Culkin
The Nostalgiaaaaaaa 😦

Described as an ‘early Christmas present for Home Alone enthusiasts’ the video is around a minute worth of pure advertising gold. Reenacting the movie-based situations we know and love – including the classic ‘keep the change you filthy animal’ scene, but with a modern twist wherein ‘Kevin’ answers his pizza delivery boy via Google’s interactive doorbell. Speaking from experience I’ll say I think that’s something we all need in our lives sometimes (with refrence to hungover Sundays when all you want is a Chinese takeaway dropped at the door with no strings attached).

Every iconic moment of the film – including Kevin’s thief-trapping-thousand-point-plan:  ‘Operation Kevin’ has been included in the advert – which amazingly manages to remain within a minute timeframe (the perfect amount for retaining attention without being too abrupt or too overkill – and that’s not easy to achieve). What’s different here though, comparable to the 1990 rendition, is that Kevin’s life is made far easier with his Google Home Assistant. Who answers doors, adds to his shopping list and even sets his infamous plan in motion.

…And why it’s bloody brilliant

Google’s Christmas campaign is, in my eyes, brilliant because not only is it a stunning effort in terms of entertainment value, but also because it does SO well in promoting the product. Which is something that I find gets lost in a lot of adverts nowadays, and why too many miss the mark – they lose their purpose and therefore they can never be accredited as truly effective.

But Google defies all that. Cleverly deploying the promotion of its products at every twist and turn – yet still staying remarkably in character and preserving the story of which the ad is based on. The modernistic twist on an absolute classic does well on its own as an idea, never mind the flawless marketing efforts of Google to integrate and promote their Home Assistant products too. Tick, tick, tick.

You don’t have to overcomplicate your campaign for it to be successful

And not only does the ad promote the products, but its key message is delivered loud and clear. And that’s that ‘Google Home Assistant will make your life easier‘… Cause if it works for Kevin McCallister, it’ll work for you too, right?

Not to mention, its super funny too – which always goes down well.

I think brands have a lot to learn from this campaign. And no I’m not saying that we need to see mirror image replicas of every blockbuster movie. I think the key takeaways of this stunning Christmas campaign is that you can promote your product and still be thoroughly entertaining. Sometimes, a simple idea works best and too many businesses get lost in trying to overcomplicate their advertisements. Find something you can resonate with, and run with it. That’s exactly what Google has done here, and it’s certainly something other brands can do, too.

What do you think of Google’s Christmas Ad? It travels by leaps and bounds to the top of my 2018 favourites, but would anybody disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please get in touch via the comments below.

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PR and lifestyle blogger jessica pardoe

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