Vodafone: “Starting Over” - 2 mins
Vodafone in Portugal have made social purpose an annual feature of the Christmas advertising, but seldom can they have done it as successfully as they have here. The telecoms company are on the side of the angels here, as they ally themselves with a woman embarking on singularly important journey.
The story is cleverly told through the recorded message she leaves on a phone she is about to discard. She is, it emerges, escaping from an abusive relationship, and her message is a defiant one which she knows will be heard by her abuser when he wakes to discover that she is gone. We are witnesses to his reaction as she drives calmly towards her new life, and judging by his fury, her decision was a wise one.
Director Augusto Fraga has imbued this tale with a subtle but escalating sense of triumph and relief. He makes us fully understand this woman's plight, and although this is not an unfamiliar tale, it doesn't feel remotely clichéd.
It's very easy to piece together their whole story, and it's quite the accomplishment to achieve this without recourse to flashbacks... something which would have tempted many directors when considering this idea.
Vodafone get to associate themselves with this laudable proposition and, just as valuably, they remind the audience that our phones are part of who we are these days, and changing our number is a palpable act of reinvention. Which is a handy idea if you happen to be in the business of selling them.