New World brings back Noel to uncover his true identity

It’s not Christmas until New World’s heart-warming Noel character makes an appearance, and this year he’s back to confuse more children, and even the police, in a madcap journey by 99.

Noel has become a favourite Christmas character over the years, however, the truth behind his identity has been kept a secret. Since 2014 the unsuspecting New World staff member has been making people take a second look as his white beard, round belly and name share similarities to Santa, and now New World is taking a look at what might happen if the truth is revealed.

The 60-second TVC kicks off with a child asking Noel “Are you the real Santa?” and then taking a photo of him. The photo is quickly shared around the internet and a global frenzy ensues as people try to establish whether or not Noel is in fact Santa. The situation escalates until he is arrested for millions of cases of breaking and entering.

But as the flash of a camera taking his mug shot goes off, Noel returns to reality where he carries on as usual—after a suspiciously Santa-sounding “no no no”.

99’s chief creative officer Craig Whitehead says this is definitely not your standard run-of-the-mill Christmas campaign.

“It’s a madcap journey that explores Noel’s deepest darkest fears about being ‘uncovered’. And I have to say this one was just as much fun to make as it is to watch.”

For New World, the TVC is a result of it wanting an entertaining piece of work, as well as an illustration of the little extra magic its supermarkets provide at Christmas time.

Retail manager Stephanie Pyne says it believes the charm and fun of the Noel character is a really special and unique way to bring to life New World’s range of food and commitment to service.

“He’s clearly captured Kiwi’s imagination in the past, and we’re sure this next chapter will do that again.”

The eight-week campaign runs until Christmas on television, cinemas and across digital channels.


Client: Foodstuffs New Zealand (New World)
Group general manager marketing: Steve Bayliss 
Head of retail marketing: Stephanie Pyne 
Brand and sponsorship manager: Jen Mariu

Agency: 99
Chief creative officer: Craig Whitehead 
Creative director: Chris Long
Business director: Katherine Sliper
Head of content production: Therese Bielawa

Agency: Colenso
Executive creative director: Steve Cochran 

Production company: Fish
Director: Gregor Nicholas
Producer: Penelope Sinclair 
Executive producer: James Moore

About Author

Comments are closed.