Lemsip is celebrated as a lifelong winter hero in Havas’ new campaign with UNIT9 and Tag Collective Arts. With sneeze season upon us, it’s always nice to know we’ve got that extra little bit of support. Luckily, cold and flu expert Lemsip has our back – and has done for years. Lemsip’s new campaign, ‘Look To Lemsip’ was conceived by Havas and developed by Tom Brown at UNIT9, with full post production by newly-positioned Tag Collective Arts.
A celebration of Lemsip’s undeniable reliability, the velocity of each sneeze catapults our protagonist, Ella, through a time travel experience, bringing about a warming nostalgia whilst giving a glimpse into a personal history of seasonal sickness. Lemsip remains a steady constant throughout, forever on hand to provide relief. As the ad concludes, we’re transported forwards to the present day as a grown-up Ella joins a family video call, still fully supported by her lifelong friend, Lemmy.
"Getting the relationship between Ella and Lemmy right in this film was vital”, explained creatives, Pat and Nick. “They're on a lifelong journey of recovery together, so they had to have the chemistry to prove it. Having the team at Tag Collective Arts on set was fantastic: they made sure Lemmy was in the spotlight for every shot, making him a proper little character and a loveable ally who was always there, at Ella’s side.”
Director, Tom Brown, commented: “We wanted to create a story with moments everyone recognises – feeling sick at work or leaving a cosy house to take the rubbish out – with Lemmy always coming to the rescue. Telling this story was a huge team effort and the VFX team helped us breathe life into each scene. Adding a vibrancy to bold colours to create instantly cosy atmospheres and adding misery to outside chills was imperative to the overall feel. Lemmy was seamlessly integrated as a real character into almost every shot, building out the storied friendship with Ella.”
With ‘Look To Lemsip’ marking the third consecutive winter campaign collaboration between Havas and Tag Collective Arts (formerly Big Buoy), Amsterdam-based character animator, Willie Torres, explains the advantages of familiarity during the challenging Covid-19 era. “This new Lemsip project was a pleasure to animate and the piece contained so many great shots of our good friend, Lemmy", he said. "Familiarity and good communication allowed us to combat any issues Covid threw at us and we were able to deliver a great result. Having our VFX supervisor, Kristaan Cain, on set and face-to-face (or should I say mask-to-mask) with the client, was invaluable for the smoothness of the project.”
"From a VFX point of view, as ever, early collaboration is key to the smooth running of any project so it was great to collaborate with Tom and the team from the offset”, agreed Kristaan. “I'd never done a shoot in the middle of a pandemic, so that required a new way of working! Making sure only one person handled reference props, operating safely in compact spaces and effectively communicating to the crew behind a mask all presented additional challenges. Huge thanks goes to Tom, UNIT9 and Havas for making the shoot a professional, efficient and safe environment. And, of course, the Covid officer who took temperatures and made sure everyone had an ample supply of anti-bac!"
London-based VFX lead, Tim Davies, concluded: “It was great to see it all come together: 3D from Amsterdam, Grading from Portugal (c/o Mark Horrobin’s remote setup) and VFX from London and Brighton. We’re all connected to our data centre in Soho using Teradici hardware which gives us lossless HD playback at home. We also rolled out our new custom built ‘virtual post suite’ for collaborative interactive sessions, which makes the creative process so much easier.”