5 artistic concepts that reinterpreted Christmas for prime manufacturers
Reimagining Christmas is a new initiative from Pinterest and The Dots that offers die-hard freelancers and creatives on leave the paid opportunity to redefine one of the annual advertising milestones – Christmas advertising – and give us all that much-needed festive positivity in the age of COVID.
The last five concepts revealed how festive campaigns can be reinvented through the lens of top brands like MADE.com, Birds Eye, British Airways and Sony Music. These were selected by a group of high-level creatives from top agencies including Leo Burnett, Gray London, AMV BBDO, adam & eveDDB and theSOwhiteproject.
Read on to discover the stories behind …
Hide and Seek: Annlin Chao for MADE.com
“2020 is definitely a strange year,” reflects Taipei-born RCA graduate Annlin Chao, who has worked as an independent film and animation director for clients such as Channel 4, Twinings and the National Palace Museum Taiwan since 2017.
Although many live-action productions have been put on hold, it suggests that animation can thrive in remote working conditions. Having that second string on your bow has proven invaluable in a difficult climate.
Chao drew from her own childhood for her reimagining Christmas concept. “I believed deeply in the mysterious bearded man who flew through the sky to bring us gifts and happiness,” she recalls. "But the magic was gone when I accidentally found my presents down in my parents' closet for a year."
Annlin's heartwarming concept brought a fresh and unexpected perspective to our brand. It captured the excitement of being home in the run-up to Christmas
While she was just disappointed at the time, Chao lovingly reflects in retrospect how much effort her parents put into each year and how it was their love that sparked the magic. She chose the brand that best suited that feeling: "MADE.com delivers inspiring designs that are also warm and beautiful," she explains. "It's the spirit of Christmas as I wanted to put it."
Pinterest's video ad format provided the perfect opportunity to tell a compelling story, and Chao developed a series of storyboards based on hide-and-seek stories. Parents try to keep their children's gifts a secret, with MADE.com furniture serving as ideal hiding places.
"Annlin's heartwarming concept brought a fresh and unexpected perspective to our brand," said Ray Murphy, Head of Content at MADE.com. "It captured the excitement of being home before Christmas and the efforts parents make to surprise their children."
“Christmas is about love and reunification, which we urgently need in 2020,” concludes Chao. "I don't think I can go back to Taiwan this year and I miss my family more than ever. I've tried to capture some of that love in my campaign."
pinterest.co.uk/annlin_mation; pinterest.co.uk/annlin_art; pinterest.co.uk/annlinchao
The one who got away with it: Anna Wanczyk & Eleanor Calsy-Harrison for Birds Eye
Anna Wanczyk and Eleanor Calsy-Harrison, both recently freelancers, met for the first time at the London design studio Magpie, where Wanczyk was head of design.
Calsy-Harrison was voluntarily fired that summer, which she found “liberating and terrifying” without a safety net. After making the jump less than a year earlier, Wanczyk failed to qualify for government assistance. Therefore, a steady workflow was essential.
Though they hadn't worked together since Magpie, the duo teamed up after spotting Reimagining Christmas on The Dots. “It was great to be immersed in something positive for a few days,” says Wanczyk.
It is far from certain what Christmas will be like if the cases keep increasing. The duo therefore looked for an idea for their Birds Eye concept that could work in any scenario. "There will always be that pesky pea that manages to escape your plate and the need to get away is something we can definitely relate to," she smiles.
After researching festive content on Pinterest, including popular Christmas searches, they came up with a bold, cut-out style that could stand out from anything. "It doesn't have the usual Christmas feel," admits Calsy-Harrison. "But it's not your usual Christmas."
Given the likely constraints preventing large family groups from gathering for Christmas dinner, the campaign captures the playful spirit of the season through Pinterest's standard video ads and static Pins, though the idea offers ample opportunities to focus on videos and videos of maximum width Carousel formats also expand.
"If you're looking for Christmas inspiration on Pinterest, you'll find Peter the Pea in all sorts of festive scenarios: embedded in a box of balls, peeking out of mistletoe or rolling out of grandfather's new slippers," Wanczyk concludes.
pinterest.co.uk/annawanczyk; pinterest.co.uk/ecalsyharrison; the-dots.com/users/anna-eleanor-848400
#NeverTooOldForChristmas: Alanna Proctor for Sony Music
Alanna Proctor was passionate about photography at a young age. While studying art, she fell in love with the 35mm format, which was influenced by photographers Ryan McGinley, William Eggleston and Olivia Bee. "I was enchanted by the way they captured their lives in such a pure way while portraying this beautiful dream state," she says.
When Proctor saw Sony Music participate in Reimagining Christmas, she took the opportunity to combine 35mm photography with her other deeply rooted passion: music. "Both can capture moments and memories, and I wanted to study how to keep them together with Christmas," she says.
Inspired by her grandfather, who spent most of the pandemic alone and remembers his favorite songs and memories, Proctor found her solution: a series of 35mm photos documenting a family at Christmas, listening to music in their own way and emotions about the pandemic awaken the past, present and future.
"My campaign feels like a family photo album and evokes the warm, cozy, and comfortable feelings we experience when we spend afternoons with family around the Christmas tree," she continues. Pinterest's carousel format allows users to flip through the images and get inspiration to go to the playlist and make their own memories.
Paper planes: Laura Fluture & Carina Toma for British Airways
Laura Fluture began as a planner, then as a copywriter and finally as the creative director of the Romanian agency Kubis. She teamed up with Art Director Carina Tomina to tackle a reimagining Christmas letter for British Airways.
Getting an airline's attention to a time when international travel was kept to a minimum proved to be a challenge. "The trick is to make people think of planes even when they're not on the move," Fluture adds.
“Before we wrote the idea down, we thought about what our headline would sound like,” she recalls. “We found the perfect one: 'Planes fly. Wishes too. Make sure they have a goal. "It all made sense from there."
“The perfect Christmas present is how you feel about someone,” Tomina continues. "And the most common gift is the Christmas card, which can literally say a lot."
The solution: British Airways paper planes to encourage people to reinvent their Christmas cards as paper planes, targeting loved ones. The contextual placement of video and carousel ads on Pinterest brought the concept to life.
“Pinterest is a platform for planning your future. Our idea is to plan something that you can do with your own hands for the following Christmas, ”explains Fluture.
"The idea was so simple that once we got to know all of the Pinterest formats it was easy to customize: step-by-step instructions on how to reinvent a map as a paper airplane based on your 'goal' ;: Mom, dad, brother, sister, lover, best friend and so on, ”she adds. "After all these steps, why not recommend a British Airways destination that goes with both?"
ro.pinterest.com/carinatoma1044/; the-dots.com/users/laura-fluture-322568; the-dots.com/users/carina-toma-toma-832287
It's all about the little things: Andy Poyiadgi for Birds Eye
As a freelance film and video director who relies on live action recording to work, 2020 has been a tough one for Andy Poyiadgi. "The biggest challenge was exploring new career opportunities: it's terrifying, but also a little exciting."
When Poyiadgi read a “sweeping post” about the Christmas redesign by Pip Jamieson, founder of The Dots, it seemed like an ideal opportunity.
"I chose Birds Eye Peas because I love peas, and I also think they embody the spirit of what's important this Christmas: the little things," he explains. “I liked the freedom of the letter, the ability to tinker with something and maybe move in a new direction. Oh, and the excuse to eat more peas. "
The humble pea was the focus of the campaign. "My original idea was to make this Christmas a scaled-down affair," reveals Poyiadgi. "I came up with the idea of heartwarming festive moments with peas instead of people."
His next challenge was to create adequately festive scenes on such a small scale. “At first I wanted to make tiny sets and furniture. In the end, I went for real peas (photographed on my dining table) and hand-drawn illustrations, ”he explains.
Finding the right tone for the subtitles proved difficult, but Poyiadgi is happy with the end result. "I wanted them to have a little wit and a little warmth and hopefully get through to the audience," he says. "Pinterest is a place to be inspired. Hopefully this campaign will inspire not only some heartwarming pea recipes, but the way we approach Christmas as well."
For more visual inspiration for creating compelling branding stories for Pinterest, check out the Creative Strategy Board, which celebrates iconic branding campaigns on the platform. Discover all of the tools you can use to create on Pinterest with the Creative Agency Guide