Comcast Taps Steve Carrell in Holiday’s latest advertising effort

An unexpected guest has appeared among the dozens of Broadway actors, “Today” hosts, and other celebrities who regularly participate in NBC’s annual broadcast of “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.”

In a two-minute commercial from Comcast, actor Steve Carell takes on the role of playing Santa Claus, part of a budding tradition that the entertainment and cable giant has in Philadelphia hoping to gain attention during the annual event, which is broadcast via his network. Last year, Comcast raised eyebrows by reviving ET, the iconic alien object from the 1982 blockbuster, showing fans a new adventure with actor Henry Thomas, who played Eliot, ET’s best friend, in the original movie.

The company’s 2020 commercial announcement is not that big. Inspired by the plight of consumers during the coronavirus pandemic, Comcast put Karel in the vignette – it will last for three and a half minutes in some places – making him work like Santa Claus who this year decided that regular toys and gifts simply aren’t good enough. He told his aides, “After the year we just spent, the usual gifts won’t cut them.”

His dwarves created an alternative, devising a way to bring together life’s most joyful moments, whether it was a family fight with a snowball or the scent of Grandma cooking her favorite food. There is definitely more than just a feel in the game: The advertisement features Comcast’s Xfinity service that helps keep Santa in touch with his crew, and gives many in the story the ability to watch TV or surf the web.

“Holidays are truly about moments of teamwork with the people you love, and serve as a reminder of the most important, especially given the struggles of the past year,” Carrell said in a prepared statement. “I hope this sweet little story brings a little joy.”

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Comcast enlisted Omnicom Group’s Goodby Silverstein & Partners to help craft the commercial, along with director Craig Gillespie, who directed the 2017 movie “I, Tonya” as well as production company MJZ.

The company has a reason to improve its pioneering cable and broadband services, which are a growing portion of its business during pandemic conditions. This division accounted for $ 6.4 billion in revenue in the company’s third fiscal quarter, up 2.9% from the same period last year. Meanwhile, NBC’s global division saw revenue drop 18.9% to $ 6.72 billion, as this media conglomerate grappled with a downturn in advertising and theme park attendance, as well as cancellation and rescheduling of sporting events – a major driver of the cash flow. Moreover, Comcast, like many other cable distributors, is dealing with consumers’ migration to other types of communication to get video entertainment. Many one-time cable customers rely on broadband for their entertainment. It is in Comcast’s interest, especially at the start of the holiday season, to highlight its communication services in a positive light.

Comcast has created several clever concepts that it hopes will motivate customers who see the ad to take action to use its Xfinity services. On Pinterest, a “Greatest Gift Shoppe” is launched that users can use for everything from holiday movie recommendations to tips on virtual holiday get-togethers. Xfinity customers who say “Holiday Movies” or “Holiday Music” on their audio remotes can watch or listen to seasonal favorites. Xfinity customers who utter phrases including “The Greatest Gift”, “Teamwork”, “Elf Shopping Network” and “Great Gift Ideas” on their remotes can watch the commercial. People who say “Steve Carell” can browse examples of the former actor’s work.

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“We made the internet more connected this year than ever before, allowing us to do more than we thought possible, in the face of less than ideal conditions,” said Todd Arata, Comcast senior vice president of branding. statement. “Xfinity is a communications brand and this campaign is about how our communications with each other can create real magic, especially at this time of year.”

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