BMF’s senior copywriter and senior art director talk to LBB’s Zoe Antonov about why we should derail from tradition and make Darude bigger than Mariah Carey this holiday season
After a tough year of separation, isolation and loneliness, ALDI Australia has decided to give Aussies the green light to finally let loose. In collaboration with BMF, they told audiences it is absolutely fine to have a completely overcooked Christmas this year. In a campaign that is pure chaos, joy and top-notch holiday spirit collide they remind all of us that we deserve something different this time around.
One would never usually put ‘Christmas’ and Darude’s ‘Sandstorm’ in the same sentence, but ALDI ditches the classics on the musical front as well. Surprisingly, this beat is what shaped the initial idea for the ad. No overplayed Christmas tunes, no melancholic snowy scenes, nothing old and nothing predictable about this piece of work. It truly takes viewers on an unforgettable joyride made of colour, neon lights and open fire. Still, the ad manages to stay goofy in a memorable and funny way, without crossing the line to cheesiness.
Lisa Down, BMF’s senior copywriter and Leila Cranswick, senior art director took LBB’s Zoe Antonov backstage to tell her why we need to ‘go bananas’ this Christmas.
LBB> How did the idea for this campaign come about and what were the conversations around it?
Lisa & Leila> Giving people permission to let loose a bit this Christmas and forget tradition, felt like something they were ready to hear this year. We just had to figure out how to bring that thought to life in a way that felt uniquely ALDI. After writing approximately 10,000 scripts, luckily the Spotify algorithm came to the rescue one Sunday afternoon when Darude’s Sandstorm came on and the image of someone stuffing a turkey to that iconic beat popped into our heads. And off we went.
LBB> Many post-pandemic campaigns rely on a more nostalgic, melancholic take on reunion and love over this holiday period. Why was it important for Australians to see something different and more full-on?
Lisa & Leila> We didn’t want to go down the road of telling people how to feel about Covid – we’ve all lived it. It’s been a very serious two years, and we thought the opportunity to just be joyously silly again could be a breath of fresh air. So instead of pulling on the heartstrings, we decided to have a ‘nan-pull’ on the apron strings and set her pudding on fire. Amongst other things.
LBB> What was the filming process for the campaign like and how long did production take overall?
Lisa & Leila> Production took a few months. Restrictions made things difficult but our director Benji Weinstein did a brilliant job shooting remotely in Toronto.
LBB> The lighting and colours in the ad contribute a lot to the general message – what were the creative decisions surrounding them like?
Lisa & Leila> Our general approach to the whole campaign was ‘is this cooked enough?’. From the song choice to the lighting style, camera work and performance, our aim was to make everything as OTT as possible. Benji, our DOP and the crew really got into the spirit of that idea.
LBB> The music choice is also very bold for a Christmas campaign! Why did you decide to go for this particular track?
Lisa & Leila> The idea of making an iconic late ‘90s trance a Christmas anthem was too good to pass up. It’s totally bananas so it felt like the only choice for showing people going bananas on Christmas, too. Hopefully we haven’t horrified too many nannas.
LBB> What was the most challenging part of the production?
Lisa & Leila> Ensuring that at every stage we’re being silly in a good way, rather than a cheesy way.
LBB> And what about the most fun parts?
Lisa & Leila> Blasting Sandstorm as loud as we could in a sleepy neighbourhood while filming a life-sized prawn walking up a driveway with his esky under one arm, even though it didn’t make the final cut. Basically anything to do with the giant prawn, actually.
LBB> What have the responses to the campaign been like so far?
Lisa & Leila> You’ll never please everyone but the response has been overwhelmingly positive, especially from non-ad land people who have a giggle when they see it on the telly. We’ve heard that it’s huge with the under-fives crowd too, which we’re pretty pleased about.
LBB> Any final thoughts?
Lisa & Leila> Let’s make Darude bigger than Mariah and Michael Bublé this Christmas?