Sometimes, the most attention-grabbing, heart-rending videos on the internet don’t require anything but an idea, a video camera, and a few willing friends. For a small hardware store in Wales, that was the case this holiday season.
Haford Hardware, a family-owned hardware store in the town of Rhayader, Wales — population 1,879 — has created holiday ads for three years. In the past, the primary audience was locals and storekeeper Tom Jones’ family and friends.
This year’s ad, published Sunday, stars Jones’ two-year-old son Arthur. Arthur’s grandparents, who run the shop with Tom, make cameos — as does his mom, Laura, according to Media Wales.
In the advertisement, the boy runs the shop, sweeping floors, running the cash register and wrapping gifts, all with a thumbs-up and a smile. It closes with a reminder to “be a kid this Christmas.” As Arthur leaves the frame to pick up a Christmas tree, he re-enters the commercial a moment later, now played by his father.
Arthur’s part in the ad isn’t far off from what he actually does around the shop, his dad told CNN. “He comes to the shop most days and tries to help out,” he said.
“We’ve had a great response these last two years, but nothing like this year,” Jones told CNN. He told the BBC that locals have come in to congratulate them for the success of the ad, sometimes with bottles of champagne. He’s also received “nice messages and emails from all over the world,” he told the PA news agency.
It only cost $130 to make, he told the BBC. His best friend, Josh Holdaway, filmed it — and the only cost was to pay for a singer, Andrea von Kampen, to cover Alphaville’s “Forever Young,” used as the soundtrack for the ad.
But, beyond keeping the childlike spirit of the holidays alive, Jones told both CNN and the BBC that he wanted to put a spotlight on independently-run small businesses such as his family’s.
“I understand Christmas can be a very expensive time for everyone and they need to save money where they can,” he told the BBC, “but if they can afford to, just try and shop at your small independent shops and support us, it makes a big difference.”
Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote