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Image / Editorial

WATCH: This Christmas ad about a phone-obsessed teenager is a parable for our times


by Grace McGettigan
02nd Dec 2019

Christmas ad for Singtel

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Christmas ad for Singtel

Singtel’s family-focused Christmas advert will pull at your heartstrings 


‘Tis the season for emotive Christmas adverts, and this new one from telecommunications firm, Singtel is a must-watch. While the characters’ acting leaves a lot to be desired, the message behind the ad is powerful; with many viewers commenting on its familiarity.

Its message, ‘never lose connection with family’, resonates with people from all over the world, from all walks of life.

The Gift

The ad – or rather, short film – is called The Gift, and it tells the tale of a Singaporean teenager called Jessie. The young woman places more focus on material goods (namely her smartphone and clothes) than her family, and she is oblivious to the fact that her mother is working extra shifts in order to pay for her Christmas presents.

Jessie is self-absorbed and cares only about maintaining popularity with her peers. For example, she chooses to party with friends on Christmas Eve rather than spend time with her loved ones. What’s more, she is very demanding; requesting money to buy new clothes, despite showing no respect for her parents or the money they earn.

It is only when Jessie returns home to retrieve something she’s forgotten, and overhears her parents arguing about her, that she becomes aware of her behaviour. Rather than return to the party with friends, Jessie decides to join her parents and sibling at the dinner table. Apologising to her mother, the teen says the phone isn’t that important, after all.

Watch the ad in full below:

Criticism

While the ad has mostly been well-received, some viewers have said it acts as ‘a lesson in bad parenting’. YouTube users have questioned why the mother would work so hard to give the child what she wants when the child appears so ungrateful.

Others have said it’s Jessie who should be working to buy her own phone and party dress, rather than her parents.

Photo: Singtel


Read more: 5 Christmas movies on Netflix that are so bad they’re good

Read more: 9 of the cosiest Christmas pyjama sets we could find

Read more: 7 of the best celebrity Christmas trees 2019 (so far)

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