A floating dad, a gift bazooka and a Lego boat: The Warehouse brings that Christmas feeling to life

Halloween and Guy Fawkes have been and gone, marking the time to get into the Christmas spirit with in-store carols and themed campaigns. And getting in early is The Warehouse with a new spot that builds on the ‘Bargain Feeling’ brand campaign released around a year ago. 

Seeking inspiration for the ad, the retailer conducted a survey asking New Zealanders what Christmas feels like to them, with results including camping with family, the opportunity to play Santa, and “the time to be in our own world”.

Also included is a man who uses the chance to recall a memory of his brother buying a huge tree with lots of lights for the family to celebrate with, followed by a young boy who closes the ad with, “Christmas feels like I’ve been waiting all year long”.

Each of the feelings has been played out on the screen in a series of dream-like scenarios, featuring a floating dad, Lego boats, friends arriving via parachutes and a bazooka-like gift shooter.

General manager of marketing at The Warehouse, says she is excited to see how New Zealanders respond to the campaign. She says it’s been helping New Zealand families create wonderful Christmases since it opened, and this year it wanted to put some of those people at the forefront.

“We hope that Kiwis connect with it and are reminded of their own special holiday memories.”

DDB chief creative officer Damon Stapleton says this is brave campaign for The Warehouse, because it moves the brand into a creative space, not usually associated with the retail industry.    

“With many agencies retail is about 50 percent of the billings, so it’s important to do it well and with a bit of style,” Stapleton says. “If you think about what the retail sector usually does, it moves it into a pretty interesting space.”

Stapleton says the aim of the new campaign is to build a long-term platform (‘Bargain Feeling’) that can be used across channels to give the brand consistency regardless of where it’s eencountered by consumers.  

“It becomes way more important to have a clear platform when you have so many media choices,” Stapleton says. “You need something that holds everything together. I do think there’s an argument for cohesion. It’s about building something over time.” 

The new campaign is certainly a significant step away from the previous two years’ efforts, which saw kids let lose in the stores in the ‘What if we let kids do the family shopping?’ campaign (also by DDB).

While every major retail brand will probably always engage in slightly shoutier advertising, it is encouraging to see a few embrace more creative approach during Christmas.   

New World’s suspiciously Santa-like Noel character (by 99) is on the screens again, as well as Briscoes’ award winning ‘Xmas’ ad. The Ogilvy & Mather creation received Colmar Brunton’s ‘Most Impactful ad of 2015’ award, so it will be interesting to see If the retailer brings out a new campaign this year to top it.


Client credits:

General Manager Marketing – Lorraine Breheny
Marketing Manager – Communications – Sarah Slawson
Category Communications Manager – Stephanie Holland
TV & Radio Producer – Rob Linkhorn

Agency credits:

Chief Creative Officer – Damon Stapleton
Executive Creative Director: – Shane Bradnick
Creative Director -Brad Collett
Art Director – Paul Kim                
Copywriter –  Graeme Clarke
Lead Business Partner – Nikki McKelvie
Business Director –  Crystal Clark
Business Manager – Krish Maharaj
Business Coordinator – David Owen
Chief Strategy Officer – Rupert Price
Executive Planning Director at Large – Lucinda Sherborne

Production Company – Sweetshop
Producer – Andy Mauger
Director – Damien Shatford
DOP – Ginny Loane
Editor – Luke Haigh
Soundtrack/composer/Music –  Pete Van Der Fluit (of Liquid Studios)

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