This film is the brand centerpiece of Amazon’s global “Joy is shared” campaign and will run across broadcast TV, cinema, streaming video, online video, and social media until the end of December. The 30-second and 60-second versions will start to air in Canada and the U.S. on November 13, following the launch in Europe and the UK on November 6. In the U.S., the ad will broadcast during the Billboard Music Awards, the Latin Grammy Awards, and alongside festive content on the Hallmark Channel. Preview the ad.
Amazon’s 2023 global holiday campaign shows how joyful holiday moments are made even more special when they’re shared and having fun doesn’t have to stop at a certain age. The campaign centerpiece is a 60-second brand film called “Joy Ride,” which stars three older women as main characters in a story about lifelong friends reviving the joy at the top of a sledding hill—all thanks to a flash of inspiration (and Amazon’s shopping selection and convenience!).
The spot features an instrumental rendition of the Beatles’ “In My Life,” which ranked No. 23 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and ranked No. 1 by Mojo Magazine. The track was chosen as it is one of the Beatles’ most well-loved songs as well as an ode to enduring friendships and shared memories, which marries perfectly with the core theme of the ad.
Against this musical rendition and snowy backdrop, the ad is an ode to friendship—a heartwarming story that unfolds as the three stars gather on a park bench and sip hot drinks, longingly watching on as playful children and teenagers sled down the hill in their local park. There is a sense that this setting is familiar—a daily tradition, now mired by the colder temperatures.
While the world around them whizzes by, the friends stay seated, quiet, and still. But not for long. The lead character takes in the scene, noticing that her friends are looking out longingly. With that, we see an idea spark within her, and a mischievous smile appears. She opens the Amazon shopping app on her mobile phone and adds padded seat cushions to her shopping cart.
The very next day, the delivery arrives, and back in their special spot, the friends are presented with an Amazon box. When they open it, they are mystified with its contents. But with their interest piqued, the gift giver of the group encourages her friends to follow her to the hill.
The scene cuts to the friends, now ankle-deep in fresh snow, placing the new seat cushions into their sleds. With a reassuring smile, their excitement and anticipation take hold, and they join the (somewhat younger) crowds on the snowy slopes. Laughter, cheers, and an emotional flashback to their youth spent together on the same slope comes flooding back. The vivacious trio is full of joy as they zoom down the hill with their arms waving in the air. The younger generation looks on in admiration.
As if the years have fallen away, once the women reach the bottom of the snowy hill, they rise to their feet, and with enthusiasm, begin the walk back up the hill. Their excitement is palpable as they get ready for another exhilarating ride.
“This year’s holiday campaign is inspired by our Amazon customers and their thoughtful ideas and traditions,” said Jo Shoesmith, vice president and global chief creative officer at Amazon. “The stories we tell serve as a reminder that sometimes the joy you receive from doing something special, for those you love, can uplift us all at this time of year. We also wanted to give these wonderful women the chance to celebrate the different facets of themselves and how they express joy, regardless of their age.”
Maya Waterman, the lead character of “Joy Ride,” commented, “I feel incredibly proud to have, quite literally, taken the reins as one of the stars of a global holiday advertising campaign. Nostalgia in older age can often be framed as something overly sentimental that you yearn for, so I feel immensely proud that we were able to flip that narrative on its head and tell a story of three women who don’t just relive memories, but make new ones. I hope audiences of all ages relate to that feeling of shared joy.”
Annie O’Donnell, one of Maya’s lifelong friends in the story, said, “At our age, it’s not uncommon to be typecast. And, while I will happily play the role of someone’s sweet grandmother, it is always exciting to be able to show a different side. An opportunity to shake off preconceptions and show we are not just ‘young at heart’ but still throwing ourselves into life.”
Claudine Cheever, vice president of Global Marketing at Amazon, added, “Sharing joy with others and finding ways to connect is what this year’s campaign is all about. We hope to bring some of that joy to our customers and help them find anything they need to make this season even more meaningful.”
Produced by Amazon’s internal creative team and production company Hungry Man, and directed by award-winning director Wayne McClammy, Amazon’s “Joy Ride” holiday ad goes live November 6 in Europe and the UK, and November 13 in Canada and the U.S., and will run through December. The ad will air during the Billboard Music Awards (November 19) and surround festive content on the Hallmark Channel. It will also run in U.S. cinemas during box-office movies like The Marvels (November 13), Dune Part II (November 22), and Wish (November 22).