Written by By Katchaturra Yee and Jenny Ye , CNN London Written by Katchaturra Yee and Jenny Ye , CNN London
A 91-year-old gay man from Norway performs a near perfect rendition of the “Verdi Variations” on the “Messiah” in an ad for the American Express Open campaign , making him the first person to be named “The World’s Best Gay Santa.”
The video, which was posted on YouTube in September, is chock full of colorful costumes, cute kids and stunning music.
“I wanted the pieces to be evocative of the Open online platform,” said Fredrik Stystad, a brand and marketing director for American Express in a press release. “I love this ‘very Norwegian’ Christmas and this celebration resonates with what we stand for.”
The advert breaks down expectations that the Advertiser of the Year category is a generally focused on mascots and other mannequins. But the major theme of the ad is that having gay themes is often more thought provoking than traditional Christmas activities.
Watch the video below to see the full ad and check out more thoughts from the Advertiser of the Year hopefuls:
Producer, writer and actress
I’m having a really good season. I’m so excited about Christmas this year and I actually went to Venice for Christmas and it was the best Christmas I’ve ever had.
Director, actor, musician
I’m preparing Christmas dinners for my kids and grandkids, I’m going to be lighting the Christmas tree this year, I’m buying gifts for people in the next few days and I’ll have a good week and that’s all I can ask for this year.
Production Designer, writer and actor
I was scared to even send the email from my agent, saying “please say yes” because I don’t even see myself in that category. I was very nervous and after reading the emails, sent them an email back. I can’t complain, they all said yes, because that is what I want.
Odeon manager and co-founder
Growing up as a gay man in Northern Europe I grew up surrounded by traditional, patriarchal society. It is very important to me that I can celebrate my queer identity and gender diversity at any time.
Design and visual effects supervisor
I love Christmas, I don’t like to think of it as bad or depressing, I live it. Why? Because it is my birthday and there’s always cake.
Director, photographer and civil rights activist