The title of the almost four-minute commercial “When Harry met Santa” is an allusion to the romantic comedy “When Harry met Sally…” (German: “Harry and Sally”) from 1989 – with Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in the leading roles. The main protagonist is Harry, to whom Santa Claus brings presents home year after year. The two slowly develop a relationship with each other, but they are always fleeting encounters in view of Santa’s busy schedule.
The spot comes from Norway’s state postal service Posten. Towards the end it becomes clear why: Santa Claus finally hires the Norwegian postal service to help with the delivery. Then he and Harry can finally spend more time together.
In a broadcast, the post emphasizes: “Everyone should feel welcome, seen, heard and included. This year’s Christmas advertising takes this into account. ” This message also becomes clear step by step: Santa Claus is close to everyone and loves them. In the end, however, the spot goes one step further. Santa’s love is more than friendship or brotherly affection. Everything ends in an intimate kissing scene between Santa Claus and Harry.
Behind this is a political message: “We not only want to show the flexibility of our services, but also place them in a socially relevant framework,” the post continues. “This year it’s all about love – in keeping with the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Norway in 2022.” Norway’s state postal service celebrated the decriminalization of same-sex relationships in Norway, 50 years after it was first introduced.
That Santa Claus is gay could also arouse displeasure. According to the spokesman for the postal service, the reactions to the ad have been overwhelmingly positive. For example, the former US ambassador to Denmark, Rufus Gifford, who is gay himself, was delighted. “Oh man, I love Scandinavia. Imagine if the US Post ran an ad like this, ”he tweeted.