intu, owner of the UK’s largest and most popular shopping centres, has launched a new ‘Guide to Christmassing’ campaign, which aims to get everyone into the festive spirit early on in the season.
Created by Now and directed by Joseph Mann through Blinkink, the creative builds on last year’s Christmas campaign and sees a return to its range of charming bird puppet characters, each representing different shopper personality types, which everyone can humorously identify with.
With a voiceover appearance from comedian Matt Lucas, the campaign reminds us that whether you’re in a flap like a Last Minute Panic Shopper (the chicken) or way ahead of the Christmas rush, like a Wise Shopper (the owl), intu can help make your Christmas shopping experience even better, either through its national network of shopping centres or online.
The campaign aims to bring to life the art of ‘Christmassing’ – that period in the run up to Christmas where you might over excitedly eat your whole advent calendar in one go or have a naughty mince pie for breakfast, or delight in getting the lights and decorations out of the attic – because you just can’t wait.
Building on the success of last year which helped to drive strong footfall to intu’s 14 shopping centres, the integrated campaign launches during the X Factor on Sunday 5th November. The media, planned and booked by Blue 449, extends to VOD, radio, OOH, digital, social and print activity.
Roger Binks, the Customer Experience Director at intu said “This year we’ve used our shopper types to tell a different story. Christmas day is what people look forward to, but we know there is a lot of fun to be had in the build-up to the big day. That brilliant feeling of when you just can’t wait. The Christmas build-up is where intu's role really lies. Now took us on a journey with ‘Christmassing’, and we can’t wait to show the country what it’s all about. Our aim is always to make sure our customers smile and to help our retailers flourish. There’s no better time to do that than Christmas”.
The puppets, film and photography were produced by Blinkink, masters of visually inventive craft and animation techniques. The puppeteers include specialist performers from Henson and War Horse.
Remco Graham, Executive Creative Director and partner at Now said: “Christmassing. Christmassing. Christmassing. From the first yuletide mince pie. To dancing at the work do. To enough Christmas lights on the house to be seen from space. This campaign for intu is a ‘how to’ of Christmassing. With bird puppets and revolving sets. A deliberately different take on the usual Christmas schmaltz. All from the clever people at Blink.”
Blinkink director Joseph Mann, said: "It was great to be reunited with our feathery friends for another festive intu spot with Now. This year a spinning turntable of Christmassyness became the stage for intu’s 'Guide to Christmassing'. To show the audience how the puppets come to life I wanted to keep the puppeteers in each scene. This year was a delicate balance as space on each set was very limited. The puppeteer Jimmy did a great job on the second shot hiding underneath Mr Peacock. Blink and you'll miss him!"