Crisis at Christmas – creating the TV ad


Being aired on prime-time TV right now is the 2019 ad for Crisis at Christmas. The ad tells the story of Ben, who struggled to survive on the streets before visiting Crisis and turning his life around.


Being aired on prime-time TV now is the 2019 ad for Crisis at Christmas. In the ad, we tell the true story of Ben, who lived on the streets before visiting Crisis. Ben describes how he used to sit in the train station for hours, stuffing newspapers in his clothes to try and stay warm. He was scared he would die of cold and went days without food.

When he went to Crisis, the first thing he saw was a friendly face. (Watch the ad and you’ll see that friendly face was our account director Rachel!).

Crisis helped Ben rebuild his life and in the advert, he asks viewers to reserve a place and give more people like him warmth, friendship and the long term support they need to get off the streets for good.


The advert opened with a cityscape and featured pouring rain – a more realistic threat than snow over Christmas. Ben provided the commentary, via a talking head shot, while the ad featured a range of people on the streets. This was designed to raise awareness of the many people who are struggling to survive the cold on the streets across Britain right now.

Playing quietly in the background is Silent Night – a traditional carol chosen to emphasise the stark contrast between a traditional cosy Christmas and the horrifying reality of a night on the streets.

We took a brand-led approach to the TV media, choosing big TV spots on prime time TV, rather than the traditional DRTV approach of numerous small spots on smaller channels. This supported our integrated appeal, where TV activity acts as a halo for increasing awareness and effectiveness of the other mediums, while also driving a good response.


Donations are currently pouring in, ensuring Crisis can help thousands of people this year and beyond. Watch this space for an update in the New Year.

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