Christmas Campaigns: The One with the Little Girl with Big Dreams

It’s beginning to look a lot like that magical time of the year when companies are releasing ads to pull on our heartstrings and pull consumers in.

Oh yes, it is the beginning of November, but they are already in the swings—Mariah Carrey has defrosted after all.

Asda and Marks and Spenser were the first ones to enter my feed. Not really centered on the heartwarming sentiments of old, but they did do the trick of getting attention. Good job they did. With names like that, I can imagine the look on the faces of the financial team when they had to write the cheques.

So Much Depends on the Advertising Budget

Video, motion, concepts, big budgets—these are the things you need to sell yourself nowadays. Let’s face it, as anyone who deals in advertising and marketing, you have to move with the times. The problem is I don’t have the budget, and as much as I have the drive and the determination to get everything else jingling all the way, I can’t pull that sleigh without the all-expensive petrol.

If I could feed the engine, this is my script to advertise my writing services.

Grab some popcorn if you have any, and imagine the scene.

Lights, Camera, Action!

England, 1985, a busy coffee bar. The camera goes from wide frame to zoom, showing a seven-year-old girl waiting anxiously behind the counter. She sees the him she has been waiting for, picks up her books, pushes through a long queue of people, grabs his hand, and takes him to their usual table.

Note: All through the advert the camera stays steady at the little girl’s height. We do not see the man’s face; we only hear him.

She gives him the books, and he starts reading. We see the wonder in her eyes. In this one shot, we see time passing by and her growing up until the age of 11. All the while, the wonder never goes out of her eyes as he reads.

Then we see it get dark. She is sitting at the table alone, very sad. As we see Christmas lights reflect from the window next to her, her books are closed, and the seat opposite her is empty. A woman stops and asks if she can sit there. The young girl just shrugs her shoulders, so the woman sits down and realises she is sitting on something—a present wrapped up in Christmas paper.

She reads the note on it: ‘To Maria.’

The young girl tells her that she is Maria, and the woman gives it to her. Maria opens the present and finds a notebook inside. She opens it and on the inside cover, she reads the following. (We hear the man narrating this as she reads.)

“I have no more stories to tell you; we read them all. Isn’t it sad to think that there are no more stories in the world for all the other children to discover? You know all the ways stories can be told; you know how they start and end, and you are always so good at guessing what will happen next. I think you should tell the world some new stories. I know you have many stories within you; write them down and read them to others so you will feel all the happiness I felt when I read them to you.”

She runs to her mother and asks her for a pen. Her mum gives her the pen, and she runs off.

The camera stays on the mum and for the first time, it moves up and away from the girl’s height. We see her mum turn to her dad and they smile at each other while he takes the wrapping paper the notebook was wrapped in from the staff table and goes towards the kitchen.


The backstory to storytelling

The girl is me, and my parents did own a café in England at that time. I always carried the books my mum bought for me around, and there was a man who would come for a coffee and read to me.

He died many years after we left England to come to live in Cyprus, and I had started writing a long time before that. I have been given notebooks over the years from friends with notes in them.

This is the story of me.

It is real.

It is one of the sides of the story to how I became a writer.

This is why I feel that tingly feeling others feel on Christmas morning every time I write a piece that tells a story.

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