November 19, 2018

More Than Just a Spot! These Merry Ads Are Memories-in-the-Making as They Herald the Holidays and Dazzle Audiences Worldwide

Technicolor’s MPC and The Mill tap into the spirit of the season – and their expertise in making the holidays come alive – to connect audiences with the brands they love.

The holidays mean different things to different people: family, food, parties, and of course, presents! For brands, this is the opportunity to connect with their audience, engage with them on an emotional level, and elevate their brand to a holiday tradition.

This holiday season, see a few examples of how The Mill and MPC collaborated on some of the most memorable holiday campaigns.

They’re guaranteed to get you into the holiday spirit!

Heathrow "Making It Home For The Holidays"

The Mill has worked on three consecutive years of the Heathrow Bairs holiday campaign. The campaign features an adorable teddy bear couple, the Bairs, as they travel for the holidays. This year’s spot, “Making it Home for the Holidays,” was created by Havas and showcases the Bairs at home in Florida struggling to get into the holiday spirit amid sunshine, warmth, and air conditioning. After a video call with family back in England, they decide to fly home to spend the holidays together.

The Mill’s Head of 3D, Mike Chapman, said, “From a technical standpoint, we were posed a few new challenges which upped the level of interaction between the bears and their environment. The whole team benefited from the close collaboration with Havas and directors Dom&Nic, allowing ideas to bound around and contributing to The Bair’s best journey yet.”

The Mill provided Color and VFX.

John Lewis "The Boy And The Piano"

U.K. retailer John Lewis has a tradition of creating poignant and sentimental holiday spots and MPC has worked on most of them. This year’s spot, “The Boy And The Piano,” features Sir Elton John and his award-winning “Your Song.” The spot takes you on a loving journey through Elton’s career, touching on some of his most pivotal career moments, until you find yourself at the origin of his talent: a piano gifted to him for Christmas by his mother and grandmother.

Working with Adam&Eve DDB and director Seb Edwards, MPC provided color grading by Jean-Clement Soret and VFX for this delightful spot that illustrates the power of gifting and how one gift can change a life. MPC’s Managing Director Jonathan Davies said: “It’s a real game-changer in the advertising VFX world and without a doubt the best ad of 2018. I’m truly in awe of the MPC team that completed the flawless effects and color work.”

MPC has worked on many award-winning holiday campaigns for John Lewis, including “Buster the Boxer” and “Monty's Christmas”. “Buster the Boxer” won a number of awards, including VES awards for VFX, Animation and Compositing and two Gold awards at the British Arrows for CGI and Animation. Their work on John Lewis’ “Monty’s Christmas” also won Best Crafted Commercial at the British Arrows and the Creative Effectiveness Grand Prix award at Cannes.

ASDA "Christmas Is Coming"

The Mill contributed to ASDA’s Halloween spot and their Christmas spot! In ‘Christmas is Coming,’ The Mill worked closely with AMV BBDO and Director Agustin Alberdi from Stink London to create a spot that is fun, dynamic, and full of holiday spirit. It showcases a huge variety of holiday goods available at ASDA while really amping up the fun. We bet you can’t help running out to shop after viewing this one.

The Mill provided Color and VFX.

Samsung "Be Together"

We can’t always be together during the holidays, so Samsung’s 2018 Holiday Spot, ‘Be Together,’ captures the simple yet powerful emotion of people, separated by necessity, using Samsung devices to connect with their loved ones during the holidays.

Directed by Serial Pictures’ John Hillcoat, the spot features color grade by Mark Gethin and VFX by MPC. For the glacier scene, the VFX team combined live action shot elements into the stock footage of Emperor penguins, placing a high level of attention on lighting direction and the perspective of the live action plates. MPC’s Lead Flame Artist Andre Arevalo said: “We added a variety of elements to the arctic sequence to bring it to life, including matte painting, CG snow drifts, and CG helicopter skids. These elements all created an authentic yet epic feeling.”

Most recently, MPC won a number of awards for their work with Samsung on their “Do What You Can’t Campaign” featuring the Ostrich. Across 2017-2018, this campaign won over 24 craft awards, including VES Gold awards for VFX, Animation and Compositing and two Cannes Gold Lion awards for Animation and VFX.

Amazon "Can You Feel It"

The caroling Amazon delivery boxes are back! Building on last year’s concept of Amazon boxes spreading holiday cheer while en route to their delivery destinations, The Mill partners with Lucky Generals and Director Fredrick Bond from Sonny London to bring people together, all over the world in Amazon’s ‘Can You Feel It’ holiday spot.

The Mill provided color and VFX. 2D Lead Artist Adam Maynard said: “It’s that time of the year when Amazon delivers Christmas with its boxes coming to life to the sound of the Jacksons. Having worked on this project last year with Lucky Generals we managed to streamline our techniques to deliver a fun and engaging spot.”

Audi "Pilot"

MPC handled the VFX for six Audi spots, turning films that were shot over the summer months into a winter wonderland by adding snow and other winter effects. The “Pilot” spot also features a passenger plane created entirely in 3D.

For these holiday spots, Audi wanted to show the more human side of the season, shining a spotlight on the unsung heroes who are there for those who need them most at this time of year. This moving campaign from Venables was directed by Park Pictures’ AG Rojas.

Cesar Gourmet Dog Food "Twinning"

We can’t forget our four-legged family members during the holidays! This year, The Mill partnered with AMV BBDO and Tom Rijpert of Media Monks to bring to life the Christmas spot for Cesar gourmet dog food.  In ‘Twinning’ a trio of dog-owners and their beloved pets take part in a fun and experimental obstacle course which custom builds matching sweater sets for the dogs and their humans.  A warm and fuzzy holiday for all!

Marks & Spencer "Must Haves"

This year Marks & Spencer have made their ‘Must-Have’ products the focus of their Clothing and Home campaign for busy families over the Christmas period.

With post-production and color grade from MPC's Jean-Clement Soret, this playful spot from Grey London features famous celebrities, Holly Willoughby and David Gandy, partaking in various Christmas ‘Must-Have’ festivities – from decorating the Christmas tree to relaxing in new M&S underwear.

VFX Supervisor Dan Sanders gave a glimpse into some of the work involved: “We made a CG forest that is revealed when we pull back from Holly Willoughby, as she's under the tree. All the falling and settled snow in the commercial was created in Maya or as a DMP.”

Tiffany, "Believe In Dreams- A Tiffany Holiday"

When Laird & Partners wanted to create an extraordinary spot for Tiffany & Co.’s eagerly anticipated holiday campaign, they partnered up with MPC once again to help bring their vision to life. Anonymous Content’s Mark Romanek directed the spot, which is best described as “Alice in Wonderland” meets “Santa’s Workshop”. The film stars Zoe Kravitz, and other special guests throughout the spot include models Naomi Campbell, Karen Elson, Xiao Wen Ju, Maye Musk, and actor Brad Calcaterra.

MPC handled all VFX on the spot, which was graded by MPC's James Tillett. Ashley Bernes, MPC’s Creative Director, described the collaborative process: “Working with Mark Romanek was great – he had a very clear direction on what he wanted things to look like,” adding, “We had pretty robust footage to work with, and as most of the environments were built on set and shot in camera, it was a case of bringing the spot to life.”

We hope you have enjoyed this sample of Holiday Ads.

To see more holiday ads, check out the portfolios at MPC and The Mill.