Create a promotional film to encourage shoppers to come to the town centre and do their Christmas Shopping. Also to give a much need morale boost to the town which had recently had annoucements of huge job losses.
The aim was to get people not familiar with the town talking about it, sharing the ad and importantly coming to visit the town. So it needed to be something different, with viral appeal. Especially as there was a small promotional budget.
For our inspiration we looked to the big budget Christmas Ads: John Lewis, Sainsburys, Tesco etc. The ones with an engaging story that gets people sharing online
We eventually came up with a story about a little handmade bear that gets lost in the town over Christmas and while looking for the child he is detined to be with, also explores all that the town has to offer.
People identity the easiest with a simple character, they see themselves as the character. So when the character is something like a toy bear, something we all had as a child then we connect emotionally with that character through the eyes of us as children. Which is why there’s such a strong emotional impact when it’s lost, sad or frightened because we remember how that felt when we were that age.
It’s a simple story with some very deep themes. Purpose, hope, loss, love, fear, family.
Grown men were reduced to tears, children said it was the best thing since that film with all the ice, within five days it was viewed by more than twice the population of the town and several online polls rated it the best Christmas Ad of the year.
Local people were talking about it for weeks and there’s no doubt it helped give a local morale boost and increase the profile of the town. The national trend is of a decline in the high street and the town was undergoing a lot of roadworks at the time which will have played a factor in keeping people at home.
However even with all of this, footfall counters showed that the decline in numbers was lower than the national average.