H&M has released a feel-good campaign for the festive period focused on fantastical storytelling with a touch of female empowerment.
Directed by Johan Renck, the tale sees rapper Nicki Minaj and Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams getting their young daughter to bed. To do so, Williams must read her a bedtime story, which results in him improvising with his own version – a fairytale based on a little girl who saves Christmas.
“Once upon a time, there was a girl who had a chemistry box, and one day she happened to create a tiny black hole, a hole that plunged her into a parallel universe,” he begins. That subtle move is seemingly H&M’s way of nodding to the idea of science for young girls, as is the fact the daughter then becomes the protagonist and hero of the story.
In this parallel universe there lives the evil brother of Father Christmas, played by John Turturro, who must be stopped. The little girl turns to the “Wisest Thingy” (Minaj) and the “Fastest Fairy in the World” (Williams) to try and find him, but eventually is able to only do so by, quite naturally, enlisting the help of the internet.
Said Williams to Billboard magazine: “I’m a parent of a brilliant, imaginative daughter and story time is one of our favourite things! I make sure we tell stories with empowered female roles, and that’s what attracted me to this H&M campaign.”
The film rounds out with a message about kindness and sharing over the holiday period, ending with the tagline “Happy Giving”.
It follows last year’s campaign from H&M, which saw Hollywood director Wes Anderson create a charming tale titled Come Together starring Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody.
This year’s ad is also accompanied by a 12-piece collection inspired by Minaj’s love for Japan, which will be released on Thursday, November 30.