The best Christmas ad ever (sorry John Lewis) gets a second helping as animated snowman enters into high speed (and high altitude) chase across Scotland, writes Laura Swinton
Move over Kevin the Carrot, Heathrow Bears and, yes, the Coca-Cola trucks – the ultimate Christmas ad sequel has launched. It might help if you’re Scottish, mind you.
Bright orange soft drink (and surprisingly effective vodka mixer) Irn-Bru has released a direct sequel to its 2006 Raymond Briggs parody Christmas ad – and this one is a tale of vengeance served very cold.
The original ad paid homage to the pencil animation classic The Snowman, based on the book by Raymond Briggs. It transported the action from somewhere vaguely British to a terribly specific flight across Scotland that took in well-known landmarks from across the country. In that spot, a snowman flew across Scotland with a distinctly red-headed young boy to the strains of a re-written version of the Aled Jones song ‘Walking in the Air’. The ad ends when the snowman pinches the boy’s can of Irn-Bru and leaves him falling to the ground.
In this year’s sequel, the anger-fuelled young lad brushes himself off and pursues his snowman adversary – only for Santa to upstage the pair, wearing a kilt. And, well, we hope no eager kids looked upwards. This time round, the spot takes in some newer landmarks, including the recently-opened Victoria & Albert Museum outpost in Dundee, alongside Scott of the Antarctic’s ship The Discovery, which is also berthed in the city. Fans of gigantic whimsy will can also spot the 30-metre high Falkirk sculpture, The Kelpies – inspired by legendary Scottish horse spirits who had a thing for drowning unsuspecting riders.
This time around, animator and director Robin Shaw who directed the 2006 spot has returned and has drawn together as many of the animators who worked on the original as possible. Also returning was Edinburgh-based creative shop The Leith Agency. The spot premiered on Facebook at 8.45pm on December 1st.
Director Robin commented: “It's been phenomenal to continue the story of the IRN-BRU snowman and boy with this sequel, which stays true to the humour and style of the original in every way. One thing that's made it so special has been teaming up with so many of the artists and animators who worked with me on the first ad and to use the same traditional pencil-on-paper animation techniques.”
Simon Burford, IRN-BRU’s account director at Leith said: “We’ve kept fans waiting a long time to find out what happens next in the iconic IRN-BRU Snowman story and we’re thrilled to now be announcing the launch of the sequel. Fans have waited in suspense to find out if the wee boy finally gets his IRN-BRU back and now all will be revealed in this thrilling follow-up which sees him soar high above Scotland once again. The new script, again set to the tune of ‘We’re Walking In The Air’, stays true to IRN-BRU’s quick wit and humour and marries perfectly with the beautifully hand-drawn illustrations. We hope fans will fall in love with this new story just like they did the original.”
The brand and agency are no strangers to spiky, controversial ads. Previous campaigns have urged drinkers ‘Don’t be a Can’t’ (ahem) and have proclaimed ‘I Love Irn-Bru and So Do My Bitches’… so this spot is about as gentle as it gets for the brand. And this time round, the creative team have kept the story open for a further sequel. And as the popularity of Kevin and co proves, these days familiarity really is festive.