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Editor's pick film

Six of the best animated ads this Christmas

Barbour's Christmas 2017 ad: The Snowman and the Snowdog
Barbour’s Christmas 2017 ad: The Snowman and the Snowdog

Over the past decade, UK department store John Lewis has established itself as a source of eagerly anticipated Christmas adverts. Intensely human in their application, it’s the emotion they engender that wins over the hearts of the nation time and time again.

What’s interesting however is that often they’re not really focused on the humans in them at all. Nearly all of them have equally included some level of CGI or animated work, from bears to foxes, snowmen to penguins. This year, it’s a monster living under the bed called Moz and the tale of his unlikely friendship with a young boy that’s generating millions of views.

Whether you like this particular iteration or not, there’s no denying John Lewis’s impact in the space. This year, there are more animated ads than ever; many of them likewise focused on some warm and fuzzy feelings.

Read on for a round-up of six other animated ads that have caught our eye…


Barbour


Barbour continues its partnership with The Snowman and The Snowdog for the second year, introducing a short campaign that follows young boy Billy into adulthood with his family. Included are his wife, his daughter and the now elderly dog, as well as the returning snowman himself. Original footage from the animated film, which was released in 2012 to mark the 30-year anniversary of The Snowman, is featured in the ad alongside 45 seconds of new content.


Tiffany & Co


This animated ad follows a wooden artist’s mannequin in a snowy landscape discovering various Tiffany & Co products in the snow; a diamond encrusted key, a ring adorning a tree and a bracelet around a rabbit’s neck. Throughout the tale, a big snowball is rolling around, eventually doing so over the mannequin until it breaks apart to reveal the best gift of all; the classic Tiffany blue box.


David Jones


This documentary style campaign from Australian department store David Jones, follows an animated gingerbread man as he leaves his home for a backpacking adventure, collecting gifts for his family along the way. He travels through London, Paris and New York, before being knocked over by a dog and falling into pieces. However, hope is not lost, as a confectioner finds and reassembles the traveller, and sends him home where he and his family embrace within the window of the storefront in Sydney. The David Jones Christmas windows are always eagerly awaited in Australia, and this advert cleverly revealed their theme.


Jigsaw


This fully animated ad from UK store Jigsaw follows the story of two neighbours who leave gifts anonymously for each other every Christmas under the tagline “Together through the years”. One year however, the boy, now fully grown, goes to leave a gift at his neighbour’s house and finds she no longer lives there. Fortunately she returns to deliver him his present and tell him where she has moved. Soon he is at her new door with another gift of his own. The closing line for this advert is “Be together this Christmas”.


Christian Louboutin


In this playful advert from Christian Louboutin, when a female homeowner leaves her house, all of the baubles on her tree magically come to life. They dance around the tree unwrapping gifts and playing with what is inside (including various Louboutin gifts). When they hear her getting home they then hastily fix up the decorations and jump back into place just as she enters to see all of her shoes unwrapped and adorning her tree.


Marks & Spencer


M&S presented a family-oriented campaign this year based on a story about Paddington Bear the night before Christmas. Tied into the launch of the Paddington 2 film, this exclusive tale sees the young bear accidentally discovering a burglar (and mistaking him for Father Christmas), then going from house to house redelivering the stolen gifts.

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business Comment

Comment counts: What Jigsaw can teach us about the need to challenge fashion stereotypes in advertising

There’s an air of creative conservatism in today’s fashion campaigns, with little or no meaning behind the majority of them, says Neil Simpson of The Corner. Using Jigsaw as a point of reference, he proves exactly why brands need to stand for something in order to stand out.


Jigsaw_StyleTruth

Step onto London’s Oxford Street at any time of the day, any time of the year, and it’s not just packed – it’s heaving. Heaving with people filling their hands with bags of high street fashion and cosmetics, and you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll be back again in a couple of weeks for their next fix of retail therapy.

So much so, “Fast Fashion” has been the dominant system on the high street for around 15 years. Recognised names ruthlessly replicate catwalk fashion at speed and manipulate the high street with a relentless stream of low-cost fashion. As such, consumers are charged with a “Buy, Dispose, Repeat” mentality.

As one of the founders of The Corner, an independent advertising agency, I’m concerned with how this has left a very saturated – and very bland – advertising landscape. Fashion ads are increasingly conforming to a world that is disposable and homogeneous, and this has bred an air of creative conservatism across fashion campaigns. With little or no meaning behind them, the majority of ad campaigns become shop windows to introduce a new range – failing to provide the brand with the substance it needs to stand out in the fashion world.

In this digital age, it’s no longer enough to simply advertise product. Brands need a platform that brings the whole company together, integrates everything it does and stands for and, most importantly, creates a sense of purpose. This is exactly what we embedded into our creation of Jigsaw’s brand essence, “Style and Truth”. This core idea now provides the basis for everything from a new collection to a window or collaboration, as well as Jigsaw’s ad campaigns.

Jigsaw_lifenotlandfill

Style and Truth is based on quality and permanence in the face of superficiality, speed and short-terms – something human, contemporary and provocative that empowers people not to follow the herd, but to instead discover their own style. And there doesn’t have to be fireworks, rainbows and unicorns either. Simplicity is the very spirit of style – and no matter the newest fad, trend or seasonal craze, style is perpetual.

Style is also very personal. But how can brands promote such a personal message? By encouraging controversial thinking. Our launch of Style and Truth displayed bold and oxymoronic visuals, which defiantly went against typical fashion slogans. Regardless of what’s ‘in’ or what’s ‘back’, Jigsaw is challenging the fashion stereotypes and standing out.

This in turn set the scene for Jigsaw’s “For Life Not Landfill” campaign, which championed the durability of quality, ethically sourced statement pieces. Likewise, with our most recent “Lived Not Modelled” campaign – during the initial brainstorms we thought if the clothes are worn in normal situations, in contrast to the glamourous Monaco poolside shots everyone expects, it would permit freedom for the models to freestyle on the shoot. The result was an authentic and refreshing final piece of work.

“Following fashion” is the very phrase fashion brands need to get away from in order to truly define themselves. Feeding this mindset into Jigsaw’s recent advertising campaigns has helped The Corner portray a unique style that the brand’s customers can identify with.

Fashion brands must stand for something, in their advertising campaigns and beyond, or else risk fading into the crowd.

Neil Simpson is the founder of independent advertising agency, The Corner. Comment Counts is a series of opinion pieces from experts within the industry. Do you have something to say? Get in touch via info@fashionandmash.com.