Publicis Groupe has stripped back its Christmas video this year, featuring a lone Arthur Sadoun delivering festive wishes, because everyone else is too "exhausted" for him to dare to ask for help.
The video was filmed this year by just Publicis chairman and chief executive Sadoun and his assistant on a smartphone, he explains, because everyone else is too busy to help.
In keeping with Publicis festive video traditions, the film contains a few interruptions, thanks to the poor filming skills of the assistant – who is revealed to be Maurice Lévy, chairman of the supervisory board and former Publicis CEO, when he accidentally switches the camera round to his own face at the end.
The video was based on an original idea by Sadoun and Lévy, Pubicis said, and was edited by Lévy himself.
Last year, the agency holding group used the annual Christmas video to mock the negative feelings among some staff about its new artificial-intelligence robot, Marcel – showing a lonely Marcel wheeling around the offices and being ignored.
Sadoun announced at the 2017 Cannes Lions that Publicis would withdraw from entering and paying to attend all industry awards for a year in order to help fund Marcel's development.
Its jokey 2017 festive address featured Sadoun appearing to have aged by two decades since taking on the top job, with grey locks and deep wrinkles. In contrast, predecessor Lévy entered the video halfway through, boasting newly darkened hair and a healthy complexion.