Big Issue vendors rely on street traffic to sell their magazines and earn a wage. Busy high streets mean that Christmas is normally their most lucrative time of the year. But Christmas 2020 wasn’t a normal Christmas. Because of the pandemic, our vendors’ regular customers, whom they depend upon for their income, were nowhere to be seen. Vendors were at risk of being forgotten. We needed to remind people that they were still there. And that they still needed help.
Vendors often have close relationships with their customers, and these daily moments of connection are what compel people to regularly buy the magazine.
Remind loyal customers of what makes Big Issue special and show that there are new, digital ways to support vendors.
We created a heartfelt and moving film showing the bustling high streets that we all remember from before COVID. We see smiling people greeting and talking with someone happily– the way things used to be. In the end, we reveal that our POV protagonist is a Big Issue vendor, standing alone on the cold and empty streets. A real Big Issue vendor, Martin McKenzie, provided the VO, and the final appeal is voiced by Big Issue ambassador Christopher Eccleston.
The film was the Big Issue’s first Christmas advert, and was placed on multiple “Best Christmas Ad” lists from the likes of Campaign and the Drum.