The 2019 Christmas ad that cost just £12.50

This year’s John Lewis ad campaign is rumoured to have cost a whopping £7 million to make1. Creative budgets like that are out of reach for most, but one charity has released a Christmas campaign with a more modest cost. To be exact, STOP THE TRAFFIK’s Christmas video ‘Looks just like Christmas, doesn’t it?’ cost a meagre £12.50. 

While we’re all being pressured to spend, spend, spend over December, it’s easy to forget about the people on our doorstep who aren’t so lucky. Human trafficking has been all over the news recently, and it doesn’t stop at Christmas. 

Recent research has shown that homeless people and rough sleepers are alarmingly vulnerable to human trafficking and labour exploitation.2 Finding yourself homeless is devastating, but also increases your risk of going missing, or receiving no pay for working under exploitative conditions. 

The campaign video is called ‘Looks just like Christmas, doesn’t it?’ and tells the story of a man sleeping rough in the cold night, remembering Christmases from his childhood. We see his younger self decorating the tree and opening presents, and then we’re transported back to the present day, where the rough sleeper is approached by someone ready to take advantage.  

Charities have to be incredibly stringent with their funding — STOP THE TRAFFIK relies on donations from the public as they receive no government funding — so that’s why they’ve tried to do something a little different, on as little money as possible. 

Ruth Dearnley, STOP THE TRAFFIK’s Chief Executive Officer said: 

“In the 13 years STOP THE TRAFFIK has been running, we’ve had to be smart with our funding to make the maximum amount of change for vulnerable people. 

“Christmas campaigns are magical because people remember a story for how it made them feel. You don’t need a Hollywood budget to raise awareness. It’s testament to the creativity and dedication of our brilliant team that we were able to create our campaign on such a small budget.” 

In the end, STOP THE TRAFFIK spent just £12.50, calling in favours and borrowing camera equipment and props from friends and family. They contributed £11.50 towards borrowing a van from a local business, and £1 bought sweets for Harry, the little boy who stars in the video. Harry is the son of a friend of STT’s Communications Officer, and he’s definitely earned an extra treat from Santa for his help towards the campaign. 

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2019's cheapest Christmas campaign

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