Let’s rewind to January 2022 - our decorations had barely left the shelves, Christmas dinner leftovers still in the fridge, but work was already beginning on one of our biggest projects of the year… House of Fraser’s Christmas advert.

The team from House of Fraser came to us early this year for some Blue Sky thinking - to take an idea that their internal team had to the next level. We got in-house director James Clancy on board to help deliver A Christmas campaign that would cut through the other advertising noise at the busiest time of year. It was also vital that the TV campaign worked across social channels and in-store as HOF have over 40 stores in the UK as well as a strong online presence. 


Having worked on their previous Summer and Autumn fashion campaigns, we had already formed a good working relationship with their internal creative and marketing teams, so we were thrilled to be involved in bringing their festive campaign to life.

There’s an overwhelm of advertising noise at Christmas, so we needed something that would stand out, but that viewers could relate to. Playing on the nostalgia of the Christmas season, the creative paid homage to classic Christmas movies such as Love Actually, Home Alone and Bridget Jones. 



Shooting across three days, we began on location in Bolton for the Bike Ride scene. We had our camera operator secured into a camera cart which we travelled down the hill ahead of/behind our cycling dads to get the action shots (and close-ups of Pep, the superstar pug!). We then headed over to Foundry Film Studios, where we captured the interior shots for the Karaoke, Christmas Party, Bathroom and Christmas Morning scenes on a series of custom-built sets.

Take a look at how we brought the set design drawings to life:


Our in-house Post Production team handled the offline and online edits, with Jessica Vile covering the colour grade. We secured 90’s dance classic “The Key, The Secret” by the Urban Cookie Collective to soundtrack the ad, to make sure all eyes were on the screen when it came on. The nostalgia for the track, combined with the scenes themselves make for a really engaging ad that feels fun, in contrast to other Christmas commercials which can lean on the side of saccharine.

Check out what went on behind the scenes on set:


We delivered 1 x 30” TVC which went live during the launch episode of ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!’ on November 6th, as well as 5 x 10” TVCs. We also supplied 10 x 10” online specific commercials, 80 stills - including POS and OOH, plus social content to support the campaign across Instagram and TikTok.


Rhiannon Lewis, Head of Production at The Gate said of the project:

“We wanted to capture the feeling of Christmas nostalgia – a rush of warmth in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. It’s a time machine. It takes us to a place where we ache to go again. Having the parodies of Christmas classics and the amazing 90s house track The Key: The Secret by Urban Cookie Collective, helped us achieve this.”


Leanne Leitch, senior retail marketing manager at House of Fraser, added:

“The Gate have been great to work with, the whole project has felt very collaborative from start to finish and we are very pleased with the end result. The balance of storytelling vs showcasing the key brand commercial moments was a challenge, but somehow perfectly achieved. The process from concept through to execution has been seamless and we couldn’t be happier!”



Bike Dad | Roddy Walker

Bike Dog | Pep the Pug

Fellow Dads on Bikes | Gavin Pettfor, Josh Lamptey

Bike Extras | Fabio Firooz, Cameron Wort, Elliot Cooper

Dad’s Family | Paige Phillip, Roman Dalton, Acacia Morrison

Karaoke Mum | Liv Hackland

Karaoke Dad | Edmund C Short

Karaoke Family | Louie Carter Ripler, Phoebe Glowdansky, Alan Elder, Sharin Elder

Dancing Woman | Yasmin Ogbu

Aftershave Shocked Man | Matt Penman

Christmas Partygoers | Rebecca Eastham, Fiza Salim, Sally Jayne, Aaron Gill, Will Panter, Mike Cooke

Partygoer Extras | Cindy Dacosta Bavutudia, Shannon Ellis


Client & Crew:

Brand | House of Fraser

Senior Retail Marketing Manager | Leanne Leitch

Retail Marketing Manager | Nick Wild

Marketing Manager (Beauty) | Josephine Cournil-Daly

Senior Marketing Executive | Luke Sperry

Head of Marketing Operations - Luxury | Dan Freeland

Brand Partnership Assistants | Maya Boer, Lynn Willmann

Social Media Executive | Paige Bernard


Director & Creative | James Clancy

DOP | Shaun Atherton

Producer | Rhiannon Lewis

Production Manager | Lindsay Cowan

Junior Production Manager | Nathan Miah

Production Assistants | Ellie Martin, Robbie Shirley

Production Runners | Oliver Haigh, George Wroe

1st AD | Sarah Jones

2nd AD | Dom Child 

Focus Puller | Trevor Henen

AC | Henry Northrop

Grip | Dave Leigh

Playback | Duncan Lees

DIT | Lauchlan Scott

Camera Car Driver | Neil McKay

Best Boy | Russell Greenhalgh 

Sparks | Joe MacDonald, Matt McGinn

Art Director | Lisa Westwell 

Standby Art Director | Antony Wright

Art Assistant | Gillian Morris

Construction Manager | John Bruce

Construction | Rick Carr

Stylist | Rosie Farnworth

Stylist Assistants | Sammie Jones, Olivia Kelly

MUA | Lou McCann

MUA Assistants | Natalie McKay, Kim Lumsdon, Abigail Turner

Stills Photographer | Will Cornelius

Digi Assist | Henry Jackson

Lighting Assist | Tom Cunliffe

Vintage Vehicle Driver | Paul Whittle

Vet | Natasha Clark

Unit Medic | Lee Tait

Catering | Palmer Catering

Dining Bus | LWF Facilities


Offline/Online Edit | The Gate Films

Colour Grade | Jessica Vile

Like what you see? Think we could bring your idea to the screen, then contact us below.

Comedy  Animals  Christmas  Commercial Film Production Manchester  James Clancy