Spaniards queue for hours to buy their tickets for the Fat One (“El Gordo”) Christmas lottery – the biggest in the world by total payout – and the release of the advert in the build-up to the draw is becoming almost as big as the event itself.
This year’s ad was created by Spanish film director Santiago Zannou, who mercilessly tugs at heartstrings by crafting a story around an elderly lady who mistakenly thinks she has won the lottery.
Instead of letting her know she’s wrong, her family, town, and even the local police construct an elaborate day of celebrations to keep the charade – and presumably her spirits – up.
Whether you find it moving or just cheesy, there’s no doubting the hype-factor around the ad. The hashtag #LoteriaNavidad (“Christmas lottery”) was the top Twitter trend in Spain on Monday, and the video had been watched almost 20,000 times on Youtube within hours of being released.
— Loterías del Estado (@loterias_es) November 14, 2016
Last year’s advert, a Pixar-style animated story about Justino the lonely nightwatchman, attracted millions of viewers worldwide and was hailed as the best Christmas advert of 2015 by several international outlets.
This year's video will struggle to match that, but it is likely to inspire the now habitual string of parodies which tend to follow the release of the spots.