Enzo’s Monday Motion #70: Pre X-Mas

Santa Claus is coming to town and he’s not only early, but also packed with many commercials! In part one of the merry season I present six commercials who all follow the same principle: win the heart, win the head and in the end win the wallet!

Cats & Dogs

I’m skipping King of Christmas John Lewis.. Everyone has seen Buster the dog jumping for joy too many times. We stay close with the spot from cat snacks brand Temptations. Our fury friends aren’t the biggest lovers of this stressed period. Imagine 22 cats in one room together with our Christmas trees and presents…

Concept by Creative Christmas supplier number one Adam & Eve DDB. Directed by Sam Brown and produced by Rogue Films. The latter build the set in five days and trained twenty-two cats and kittens for three weeks. It took the cats three days to tear it all apart again.


When a young boy is so excited for Christmas, he decides to create his own time machine. Even though the story is set in a typical Milka style Austrian village, the story itself is universal.

The creatives extended the universality by eliminating the spoken words, thus over coming the issue of different versions for every country. The commercial was directed by Jean-Pierre Jennet, famous for ‘Amelie’ and the concept is form Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam.

Kevin the Carrot

Aldi retells the story of The Night Before Christmas starring a bright orange carrot who makes his way across a festive dinner table to meet Santa. Aldi paid well attention to their competitors choosing a character and adding a rich story to share the Christmas spirit.
In their first season spot they used award-winning actor Jim Broadbent as the narrator and borrowed the music from Home Alone.
Another learning from last year comes from John Lewis: the main character Kevin is now for sale in stores.

The Solar Experience

What do you do if you’re not selling the typical present that’s written on every Santa’s wish list..? Energy supplier E-on chose the environment. Combine this with the Christmas theme and a a pinch of humor and you have a worthy season spot!

The Ginger-deer Man

Lowe home improvement tells the tale of a Frankenstein kinda gingerbread man who accidentally has a deer antler baked on his head. Lowe’s angle on the Christmas feeling is that the best part of the holidays is feeling at home. After a series of (mis)adventures the ginger-deer-man is eventually accepted into the larger gingerbread community. Concept by BBDO New York

Number one

If you ask me, this year’s number one isn’t John Lewis. Another heavy hitter can claim this award and it’s name is Sainsbury!

Their campaign is not only more like-able, it’s also more complete. The story is based around a typical British family who’s juggling how to divide their time around Christmas. Our main character Dave come with the solution, which is the core of Sainsbury’s campaign: The best gift of all, is giving your own personal attention and simply being there where it counts.

The theme song is composed by ‘Fly of the Concords’ Bret McKenzie and was sang by James Cordon, who’s famous for his Carpool Karaoke and The Late Show.

High end production

This elaborate and ultra long commercial is made with stop motion. There for it shouldn’t come as a surprise the project started already around Easter this year. It took over 16 weeks to build the sets and characters. Over a 1000 separate puppet faces were 3D printed in colour which was a first for British stop motion. The average production on set was 12 frames which stands for half a second. Add a 180 man crew spread out over time and you have yourself a costly production!

The concept is from BBDO and the spot is directed by Sam Fell of Passion Pictures. Extra credits go out to the puppet makers Mackinnon and Saunders and set builder Clockwork Frog.

Complete Campaign

The short is spread out over social media. But it doesn’t stop here: They created a one minute version where there’s room for product placement making it more efficient and affordable for broadcasting.

Sainsbury tested the video with their target audience and created custom made stop motion footage for it, which leads to more free media attention.

Kids can create their own stop motioned story with the paper set which is available in stores. Together with the matching smartphone app, Sainsbury creates more free publicity. Add the logical a making of video and you have yourself a winner campaign.

Last Week

Bad special effects can break the spell of the story. But blending visual techniques doesn’t always result into bad work. Check out these mash ups with surprisingly strong outcome.

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Enzo Greco

Enzo is motion director van Born05 en schrijver van het blog Enzo's Monday Motion. Vimeo

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