Creating an emotive and engaging Christmas advert is an aspiration of brands the world over. The likes of John Lewis, Aldi and Coca-Cola produce eagerly anticipated campaigns widely seen as marking the beginning of the festive season, but also the start of a highly competitive race to produce the best.
This year, Centurion – a manufacturer of protective equipment, helmets and respiratory apparatus – wanted to deviate from their usual product-specific marketing. Its new communications lead, who had previously worked in luxury automotive and high technology, wanted to try something new: a heart-warming campaign with brand focus that expresses Centurion’s objective to protect the wellbeing of its customers.
Our challenge was to work with a budget that’s just a small fraction of what is afforded by the big brands, but deliver a concept and production that competed with their output. Challenge accepted!
Here’s an overview of how we created Centurion’s 2021 Christmas advert…
The key to success with any video production project is preparation. Pre-production is the most important stage of the process. This involves: concepting – development of the idea; planning – timelines and schedules; copywriting; casting; location scouting; sourcing videographers (finding the right collaborators is essential); shot lists and shoot schedules… the list goes on. However, it’s important to plan effectively and cover all bases.
One of the best parts of the pre-production process is storyboarding.
Storyboards are the perfect way to visualise the concept of a video and articulate it to the client, but they also inform production too. They help create camera cues for the videographer, which gives the director a tool to guide the actors and everyone involved – a clear vision of the content being created together.
We develop all of our storyboards in house, utilising the diverse skills of our talented design team. With our experience and understanding of creating and telling stories, it’s a perfect solution for this type of project. Taking static illustrations and roughly cutting together the keyframes gives a great insight into the pace, flow and duration of a video.
With the proper planning and everyone invested in the concept, we moved into the production phase: the shoot. We sourced the perfect location and filled it with a real family of actors who were perfectly cast – they were made for their parts! We partnered with Emmy Award-winning production company, Ember Films (who were utterly outstanding and we can’t wait to collaborate with them again).
With the set decorated perfectly to represent a typical family Christmas morning, the shot list prepared, and a team of creative and talented people on set, we began. Everything was captured using a cinema-quality RED 8k camera, shooting full sequences from multiple angles to achieve perfect continuity and seamless transitions.
We were delighted with the footage captured and eager to begin editing the files!
This exciting and pivotal part of the process involves taking the raw camera footage and piecing it together to execute our plan – the culmination of both production phases of the project. This is where you discover how successful your concepts, planning, and shoot have been.
Editing is complex, but it’s an inspiring stage to be part of. It’s about perfectly pairing the sequences and actions of the actors to create a seamless and engaging final product. There’s no denying it’s hard work with an essential requirement being attention to detail. The task of grading and matching footage, accounting for subtle variations in light from clip to clip, is a painstaking one. While sourcing the perfect music to accompany the visuals is essential to elevate the production even higher.
We have an exceptional editor in our Studio and, working alongside our Creative Director, we created an advert that wowed our client. The fact they didn’t require a single amend shows how successful we had been in turning concept into reality.
This Christmas, protect the ones you love.
We’re incredibly proud of Centurion’s Christmas advert and can’t wait to put together another in 2022!
The advert is having an impact online. In its first six days online:
It’s received over 7,900 likes and over 615,000 views on TikTok.
YouTube views have exceeded 20,000.
There have been in excess of 4,000 views on LinkedIn.
These early statistics indicate Centurion’s Christmas campaign will provide huge brand awareness through social channels, but, in less than a week, it has already beaten the levels of engagement previous content posted by the client has achieved.
You can watch the advert below…
A good brand-building effort based on class-leading communications can never be achieved without an excellent agency team. Creative Sponge has been instrumental in crafting a new way of telling the story of Centurion. None of our amazing success could have been possible without them. Dennis Juenger