Meijer’s Holiday Ad Confronts the Way It All Feels ‘Wrong’ This Year

Meijer's Holiday Ad Confronts the Way It All Feels 'Wrong' This Year

In a scene that undoubtedly takes place in living rooms across the country, a family is putting on their holiday decorations and trying to end the long and tumultuous year with some familiar rituals and bright splashes.

But there is a sullen teenager grin in their midst. Along with heavy sighs and eye rolls, she complains that it doesn’t even feel like Christmas, and criticizes her little sister’s ability to decorate trees. “You’re doing it wrong. It’s all wrong,” she says. “You might as well cancel Christmas. You canceled everything else.”

Can these festivities be saved? Watch as Meijer, a Michigan-based grocer and retailer, takes that dark 2020 vibe and turns it into a moment of sibling bonding:

The campaign, titled “You Better Not Pout,” is from The Distillery Project, a long-time record agency for the brand, along with filmmaker and commercial veteran Noam Murro.

The almost 2-minute piece deliberately leaves out product gaps and images in favor of a “Christmas wish for the community,” said John Condon, the founder and chief creative officer of the indie shop. “This spot is about empathy and hope – we’re not at our best pouting, even though it’s a perfectly legitimate reaction to everything that happened this year.”

Meijer, a family-owned company that operates 256 Super Centers in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin, wanted the seasonal ad to “drive brand loyalty through customer relevance and compassion,” said Renee Vought, director, creative and visual Merchandising and marketing. It continues the chain’s tagline, “Believe,” and adds an uplifting coda: “Christmas is Coming”.

It was shown in its long-form, 60- and 90-second versions on cable and network television during tentpole programs such as The American Music Awards and The Sound of Music at ABC and NFL games on Fox and NBC. It is also distributed to YouTube and paid social media.


Client: Meijer
Agency: the distillery project
Founder / Copywriter: John Condon
Founding partner / CSO: Ben Kline
Operations manager / partner: Kim Tanner
Production manager / partner: Nik Traxler
Producer: Brenda Cortés
Creative Director: Chris Pollock
Account Director: Annie Gray
Business Affairs Manager: Bonnie Kalaf

Production: Biscuit Filmworks
Director: Noam Murro
Partner / Managing Director: Shawn Lacy
Executive Producer: Andrew Travelstead
Producer: Emily Skinner
Production Manager: Rachel Glaub / Sean Moody
Cameraman: Eric Schmidt
Production Designer: Brock Houghton

Editorial: Rock paper scissors
Editor: Damion Clayton
Editorial assistant: Sebastian Zotoff
Producer: Sasha Grubor
Production manager: Dre Krichevsky
Executive Producer: Shada Shariatzdeh
Managing director: Eve Kornblum

Color: a52 color
Colorist: Daniel de Vue
Producer: Jenny Bright
Executive Producer: Thatcher Peterson

Music company: JSM Music
CEO / CCO: Joel Simon
VP / Executive Producer: Jeff Fiorello
Producers: Norm Felker / Andrew Manning / Sharon Cha

Audio House: Margarita Mix Santa Monica
Re-Recording Mixer / Sound Designer: Nathan Dubin
Auxiliary engineers: Sean Melia & Mike Murzyn
Operations Manager: Brian Frank
Executive Producers: Whitney Morris & Paula Arnett