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Scrabble Finds Christmas Cheer in Wordplay With Its Latest Cute Anagrams Ad


Christmas-loving word nerds will probably enjoy this new letter-shuffling ad from Scrabble.

Titled "Anagram Christmas," the minute-long spot puts a holiday twist on the game's "There's Magic in Words" campaign, launched earlier this year by Mattel (the game's European distributor; Hasbro handles the U.S.) and ad agency Lola, Mullen Lowe's operation in Spain.

In the spot, a father finds an abandoned dog in a parking lot, and decides to bring him home. That kindness reverberates through his family's Christmas celebrations, helping to raise everyone's spirits in different ways—though mostly by cheering up his sullen teenage daughter, who decides to actually be nice to her loved ones for a change.

At every step, the narrator describes all the action using what Lola describes as "Antigrams"—words whose letters can also form a word with opposite meaning. "Violence" becomes "Nice Love." "Silent becomes "Listen." "Fluster" becomes "Restful." And so forth.

The ad is aimed primarily at the U.K. and Germany. Ultimately, it's a nice enough story, if an unsurprising one. The word changes themselves—the main point, and a good tack for the brand—feel a little forced, though. Favoring seasonal spirit, they don't quite have the absurd whimsy that made the campaign's first ad, "Anagram Lovers"—which featured weirdly fitting parallels like "forever alone" and "a veneer floor"—such a treat to watch.

Grinch redemption arcs are at peak saturation this time of year. And the fact that everything ends in cheer doesn't quite manage to flip the script as much as Scrabble might hope.

Client: Mattel
Product: Scrabble
Client Contacts: Tharyn Estevez, Montse Franch
Spot: "Anagram Christmas"

Agency: Lola/Mullen Lowe
Chief Creative Officer: Chacho Puebla
Executive Creative Director: Pancho Cassis
Creative Directors: Tomás Ostiglia, Juan Sevilla
Copywriter: André Toledo
Art Directors: Lucas Reis, Saulo Rocha
Global Business Director: Tom O'Brien
Account Director: Rocío Abarca
Account Supervisor: Jessica Otero
Director of AV Production: Cristina Español
Producer: Florencia Caputo

Production House: Canada
Director: Marçal Forés
Executive Producer: Oscar Romagosa
Head of Production: Alba Barneda
Producer: Laura Serra Estorch

Postproduction: Ymagis

Sound and Music: Antfood

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