In the land of advertising, we’re traditionally used to working on Christmas campaigns in the summer. In fact, historically, the earliest we’ve had a Christmas tree on set is March. But, the times they are a changing.
With clients keeping their purse strings tight (Brexit anyone?!), and consumer trends changing on a seemingly daily basis, last minute jobs are becoming more and more of a regular occurrence. So when The SHARP Agency contacted us in mid-November wanting to know if we could deliver a project in time for Christmas, we knew we could rise to the challenge….even if it meant finding a herd of baby goats on demand….
SHARP had been set an exciting brief by their client, Best Western hotels - to spread the ultimate feeling of festive cheer from with their hotels being the star.
In answer to this, the SHARP creative team came up with the idea of filling a hotel with baby goats – literally a bunch of kids at Christmas.
The SHARP creative team said -
“When you’re a kid, Christmas is amazing – so many incredible feelings all at once: excitement, happiness, joy, love. As we get older, we lose some of this magic. Christmas becomes a bit samey.
But a break at Best Western can recapture those child-like feelings by offering brilliantly different stays. This video aims to communicate this message by creating an unforgettable Christmas experience for kids.The kids being goats”
Richard Sharp, Creative Director of SHARP, said “We loved developing this idea, and are really excited to be working with Best Western in creating such engaging content.”
And we went along for the ride – and to make an engaging film obviously.
The Grand Plan:
Best Western Derwent Manor Hotel opened its doors to a herd of adorable pygmy goats (baby goats tend to not happen until Spring, so producer Kayleigh sourced the smallest she could find). The plan was to capture their exciting Christmas day experience, following them on their exploration throughout the hotel – from decorations on the tree, to sprouts for dinner.
Kayleigh re-lives the experience -
“We planned to film the goats in key locations of the hotel to create their Christmas day story. First, we’d film them in the bedroom, watching them joyously jump off the bed, take a dip in the bath and get ready to take out their colourful Christmas jumpers from their suitcases. We then see them run down the stairs, giddy and excited, pushing each other aside to get to their Christmas presents first.
We’d then watch them as they race past one another into the communal Garden Room, where they interact with all the Christmas decorations, presents and stockings, running around the furniture and Christmas tree. They’d then head to the dining area where they eat literally everything before settling down for a relaxing afternoon with full tummies – cuteness overload.”
We produced a collection of assets for the agency and client to populate the campaign with. -
- 1 x 45” film
- 4 x 10” cutdowns - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
- 1 x 15” cutdown - Instagram stories
- 2 x 3” teasers
Quirky and unexpected, they marry with the brands personality.
The key takeout – the Best Western experience makes you feel excited and joyful about Christmas again... just like a kid.
PLUS Within three days of going live, the videos had clocked more than 250,000 views between them and over a thousand shares.
Herding Goats - Director Graeme Hill takes us through the experience –
“Working with animals can always be challenging; I'm no stranger to the occasional dog or cat on set. But Goats? And not just one, but eight of them? This was uncharted territory, but I was excited for the experience.
With a small ensemble of fast-reacting, crisis-averting, goat-catching crew, we travelled through the depth and breadth of the Hotel with our festive herd in tow. Not only did we have our list of ideal shots to capture, but we only had a day to do it. The key on this one was speed and mobility. We had to keep things minimal; lighting, kit, crew, sets. We had to capture the magical and embrace the absurd. And with not-always-cooperating farmland friends, we had to think fast and shoot spontaneously.
Ultimately, we captured some great moments: humour, cute pygmy goats, the hotel's considered interiors and grand scale. We created a piece of multi-platform content that reminds us not to take Christmas so seriously. It's meant to be fun, after all!”
WHAT EVERYONE WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS - GREAT FEEDBACK...
Sally Stevens, Account Director at The SHARP Agency said “The Gate's speed and collaborative approach has enabled us to achieve an amazing result”