Tasked with creating the retail giant’s 2017 Christmas social activation films, The Gate set about making dreams come true, capturing people’s hearts and minds in the process.

Leveraging the tremendously successful #YouShall TVC, Debenham's digital fairytales were showcased on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube and reached 6 million people. Creating and managing all aspects, from strategy to creative concepts, filming and their implementation, The Gate delivered real stories for real people with just the right amount of magic. The campaign went to win the Best Social Media Campaign accolade at the World Retail Summit 2018 - how's that for a dream come true accolade?!




Debenhams knew that they needed to go beyond the hard-sell with their Christmas strategy and required an inspirational content strategy that would roll out at crucial points during the festive build-up. The “You Shall” campaign takes a modern twist on the classic fairytale Cinderella, with magic and discovery at its core. Debenhams needed a campaign strategy that would capture this concept, evoking an emotional response from customers as well as subtly showcasing their breadth of gifts and products in the process.

We planned a multi-layered campaign encompassing Hero film to deliver against wide-ranging marketing goals. With the “You Shall” concept, Debenhams granted wishes and treated nominees to a fairytale Christmas surprise, all captured through the medium of film and impactive stills. 


What we Did.

After a call for nominations, there were 4 selected nominees, each with a clear message that tied back to Debenhams marketing objectives. 

‘Deck the Halls’, focused on festive decorations...

‘Steal the Spotlight’, looked at beauty makeovers...  

’Find the Perfect Gift’, explored people’s best and worst ever gifts...

‘Make their Christmas’ showcased a community group who received an unforgettable party with toys in abundance...

Each Strand rolled out with a Hero Video campaign across Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, followed by organic and paid social posts to drive engagement.

The Result.

Following from the launch campaign, our community-focused message received an abundance of praise. With an impressive reach just over 6 million, the campaigns amassed 3.6 million views, nearly 500 times more than the forecast figures.

The competition element drove thousands of submissions and surpassed forecast reach by 500%. Engagement Rate was triple the benchmark, with clear brand advocacy and conversation among customers.

The campaign recently received recognition at the World Retail Awards 2018 winning Best Social Media Campaign. An incredible accolade, beating, among others, Marks & Spencer (UK), Tommy Hilfiger (USA) and Bobbi Brown (Turkey) to the punch.


The Feedback.

"We tasked The Gate with helping us bring our Christmas campaign to life on social and we are delighted with the results. Moving from brief to planning in a matter of weeks, they’ve made the complicated task of surprising competition winners with magical experiences look easy, managing the tight deadlines with professionalism, creativity and humour. It’s been a pleasure working with them to deliver such a fun and festive project that our customers have thoroughly enjoyed."

Sean McGinty, Head of Marketing and communications, Debenhams.


Hero Social Media Campaign Production at The Gate.

We work with brands that are hungry for smart, measurable video campaign planning that hooks their audience from the first click. We combine the talents of a video production agency with the expertise of our straight-talking digital strategists who understand how to craft assets and messages that shine across all platforms. 

Every decision made in the planning process is backed up with solid reasoning and geared towards getting the right results with a message that captures the heart and mind of your audience. If you’re looking for support activating your brand’s next Hero Social Campaign, look no further than The Gate.

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