Taika Waititi directs Coca-Cola’s Christmas advert, and yes it features the light-up Coke truck

Heartwarming film The Letter sees a dad going on an epic adventure to get his daughter’s letter to Santa in time.

11 November 2020


Taika Waititi has quickly become one of the film industry’s most coveted directors, signed up to direct the upcoming live-action adaptation of Akira as well as the next Star Wars and Marvel films. In the meantime, he’s worked with Wieden+Kennedy London to create one of the Christmas season’s most anticipated adverts for Coca-Cola, and given his recent CV, it’s as epic as you might expect.

The ad sees a father leaving for work on a wind farm, his daughter hastily handing him her letter for Santa. In an effort to get it to the big man in time for Christmas, he embarks on a trouble-strewn journey that sees him knocked off his boat, washed ashore, climbing cliff faces, wading through lakes, fighting off swarms of mosquitoes, dirt biking across deserts and hitching a ride on the back of a rickety truck full of sheep. Finally, he treks across snowy ice caps to deliver the letter to the North Pole, only to find it’s shut.

But there is hope in the form of Coca-Cola’s giant, red, illuminated Christmas truck, which takes him back home to his family, after he discovers all his daughter asked for is for him to be home for Christmas. The heartwarming ending also reveals Santa was at the wheel – a twist on a 25-year tradition, started in W.B. Doner’s Holiday's Are Coming advert in 1995, where an animated illustration of Santa comes to life on the back of the truck. The traditional advert will run alongside Waititi and W+K’s new one in Coke’s Christmas 2020 campaign, though the company’s IRL Coca-Cola Christmas truck tour is cancelled due to Covid. Overall, the message of the new ad is to “give something only you can give” and treasure time together this year, one that will ring true for many.

“Our new advert reflects the real magic of Christmas – our greater appreciation for loved ones, a sense of community and our need to be present with each other this Christmas, above all else,” says Kris Robbens, marketing director at Coca-Cola Great Britain. The film marks 100 years since Coca-Cola created its first Christmas advertising campaign. It will feature in 91 markets around the world.

Waititi’s fellow New Zealanders Flux Animation Studios are behind the Disney ad that has this week made the world cry happy tears, with its film From Our Family To Yours in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Earlier this year, the Jojo Rabbit and Hunt for the Wilderpeople director co-created Voice of Racism, an online audio-visual experience putting users in the shoes of those on the receiving end of racism.

GalleryTaika Waititi and W+K London: The Letter (Copyright © Coca-Cola, 2020)

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Taika Waititi and W+K London: The Letter (Copyright © Coca-Cola, 2020)

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Jenny Brewer

Jenny oversees our editorial output across work, news and features. She was previously It’s Nice That's news editor. Get in touch with any big creative stories, tips, pitches, news and opinions, or questions about all things editorial.

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