Air New Zealand has launched “Summer Wonderland”, the Christmas 2016 commercial featuring Irish singer Ronan Keating and rising Kiwi acting star Julian Dennison. Julian (Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Paper Planes) collaborates with Ronan in and out of the studio to record a uniquely Kiwi take on “Walking in a Winter Wonderland”, rewritten to celebrate the magic of a Southern Hemisphere Christmas. Ronan starts off in the studio wrapped in a warm woollen sweater, watched by two Air New Zealand staff. Julian, in the mixer’s seat, constantly interrupts with suggestions for new lyrics. The final straw for Ronan is adding “snoozing on a competitively priced Air New Zealand sky couch”. The action moves outside where Ronan has discarded the winter woollies and picked up an out-of-tune guitar. The collaboration moves to a much more equitable songwriting partnership. The lyrics, sheet music, mp3 recording and video are all online at airnzchristmas.co.nz.
The US Postal Service 2016 Holiday campaign features a young girl who sees a hippopotamus and is immediately smitten. Her parents pick up on that and rely on the postal service to deliver hippo-themed surprises ordered online to delight their daughter, until she becomes infatuated by another member of the animal kingdom. The US Postal Service Hippopotamus ad is part of the USPS Holiday 2016 campaign, designed to emphasize the US Postal Service’s tradition of delivering cheer and the value the Postal Service offers consumers and businesses during the holidays. The campaign, online at usps.com/holiday, features direct mail, TV, radio, print, digital and social media promotions.
Apple is making the connection between Halloween and Christmas this year with “Frankie’s Holiday”, a commercial starring Brad Garrett (Robert Ramone in Everybody Loves Raymond). Frankenstein’s monster records his music box rendition of the “There’s no place like home for the holidays” on his iPhone before collecting his mail order Christmas light fittings and heading down to the local town square. His appearance inspires gasps in the crowd gathered around the communal Christmas tree, and no-one’s too sure what to do when he launches into song. However, when Frankie’s green bulb fizzes out, a young girl gets his light working and provides her own vocal support for the song. Soon the locals join in to complete the chorus. The tagline: Open your heart to everyone.
Save The Children’s sequel to “The Most Shocking Second A Day“, “Still The Most Shocking Second A Day”, has been recognised with Gold Arrows for Editing, Sound Design and Best Actress at the British Arrows Craft awards, along with a Silver Arrow for Directing. The first film, released in March 2014, covered the story of a nine-year old girl living in London, forced to leave with her family when her country was torn apart by war. The sequel shows her being separated from her family, fleeing the country by boat, and turning up as a refugee in France. The Still The Most Shocking Second A Day film, launched in May 2016, was produced to promote Save The Children’s Child Refugee Crisis Appeal.
Hennessy The Piccards, a commercial featuring father and son duo Auguste Piccard and Jacques Piccard, has won Gold Arrows for cinematography and colour at the British Arrows Craft awards. On May 27, 1931, over the course of seventeen hours, physicist/explorer Auguste Piccard became the first man to reach the Earth’s stratosphere, touching 51,775 feet in a pressurized balloon. On January 23, 1960, Auguste’s son, Jacques, used a bathyscaphe to dive 11 kilometres below the ocean’s surface to reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench. The commercial ties the two stories together with the Hennessy VS cognac brand, featuring the question “What’s your Wild Rabbit?” and the motto, “Never stop. Never settle”.