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Russian Christmas Ad Causes Major Backlash

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A new commercial for Credit Bank of Moscow has caused a wave of criticism from some quarters over its depiction of working mothers and of the hitherto benevolent figure of Santa Claus.


 

The five-minute film, called Christmas Wishes [below], features Ded Moroz, an Eastern European version of Santa Claus and the fictional figure which is the symbol of Russian winter, kidnapping a working mother who has seemingly neglected her eight-year-old daughter.

The little girl had written to Ded Moroz to tell him that "all I want for Christmas was my mommy" after the mother seems too engrossed in work to take much notice of her child. 

When the letter is received the admittedly slightly sinister and unspeaking Ded Moroz springs into action by kidnapping the mother and leading her, tied up, through the wilderness until finally handing the letter over to her whereby the mother breaks down. 

 

 

We next see her in the same location but this time enjoying time with her young daughter. The film is brilliantly shot by the Cream UK-represented Charley Stadler with creative coming from Russian agency 3SBA and the film certainly has an engaging premise but the content of the campaign has caused controversy with many people accusing it of sexism and of casting working mothers in an unfairly negative light.

"The first thing the authors of this clip tell us," one Russian feminist, Anastasia Karimova, wrote, "is that a successful woman cannot be a good person. We have one question: where is the father?"

Another, Alena Popova, the co-founder of StartUpWomen, a networking website for female professionals, also commented via soical media on the commercial, writing; "Where did you find that a working woman is a bad mother? Where are those statistics from? Russia is a country of working mothers."  

The film's director, Charlie Stadler, has been ardent in his defence of the film and says it has been misinterpreted by its critics. Subscribers can read an exclusive interview with Stadler about the film and his thoughts on the reaction to it by clicking here

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