Aishwarya Ramesh

Waiting for the right message in New Year? WhatsApp says you're not alone

The campaign has been conceptualised and created by BBDO worldwide.

Every year, people from all over the world use WhatsApp to connect, celebrate and share their best wishes for the year with their loved ones. In fact, on New Year’s Eve 2020, WhatsApp set some records: 100 billion messages were sent on the app. It was more than on any other day prior in the app’s 10-year history. Then, 1.4 billion video and voice calls were placed on New Year’s Eve, the most ever in a single day on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp’s new campaign celebrates the most popular messaging day for users. It takes the viewers around the globe on New Year’s Eve to tell the world that, “It’s not the New Year until you get the message you’ve been waiting for.”

The campaign will appear in social, digital video, broadcast and cinema channels in five countries: Brazil, India, the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States. It was created in collaboration between Meta’s WhatsApp marketing team and BBDO.

Directed by Cannes Lions winner Niclas Larsson and shot by Oscar winner cinematographer Linus Sandgren, the campaign shows that the new year isn’t officially rung in at midnight. But rather, when you get that special, celebratory message you’ve been waiting for, whether that's from a partner, parent, or close personal friend.

From a church in Nigeria to a typical Mumbai courtyard and the beaches of Brazil, each clip is a glimpse into a different celebration, where each person is frozen in time until they get that all-important message ringing in the New Year.

Vivian Odior, head of global brand and integrated marketing, WhatsApp, said, "WhatsApp has always been an integral part of New Year's Eve. Every year, people all over the world rely on the app to stay connected with their loved ones and share their best wishes for the year that is about to start. This is why our new campaign focuses on telling a diverse set of stories that all demonstrate the private and personal moments that help people move into the New Year."

Tres Colacion, global creative lead, BBDO, added, “New Year’s Eve is one of the few global moments that really brings people together. So, it was great to pair this with the universal insight that on a personal level, the celebration doesn’t really happen until you hear from the people you know and love, and that more often than not, those people can only reach you in that moment through WhatsApp.”

“In each format, we set out to capture the essence of what it feels like to receive the message you’ve been waiting for. While the work takes us across the globe, the team worked tirelessly to craft a visual world where each of our protagonists is the main character of their own night.”

Larsson said, “One of the most exciting things about partnering with WhatsApp on this project, was to figure out how to convey emotional memory in the story. We approached this by playing with speed, maneuvering between slow motion and real speed, and experimenting with light, using a shutter box to bend light. Playing between these two elements allowed us to create a dramatic visualisation of dreams and memories that I think really brought the emotional performances to life.”

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