Holiday Campaign Interview: #YouShall

"We needed to come up with the next generation of the ‘Found It’ Christmas campaign."


In a few words, tell us about your role in the creation of "#YouShall Part 2"


I’m the Creative Director on the account and I came up with the concept.
What was the original brief for this campaign?
We needed to come up with the next generation of the ‘Found It’ Christmas campaign. One that was bigger, braver and more emotive than ever before.
What inspired you to approach the campaign this way?
At the heart of the original Cinderella story is a tale of finding and giving, so this seemed like a great place to start. But I was very aware that I wanted to make our story more modern and diverse, to best reflect today’s society. Our ‘Cinderella’ needed to be independent and not just passively sit back and wait for prince charming. And so, having them both reach out through social media to find each other, seemed like a great way to do this. But all wrapped up with the charm and magic you’d associate with a Christmas fairytale.
How difficult was it to sell the idea to Debenhams?
Not very difficult at all to be honest. We all fell in love with writing something around Cinderella, and so it was all about the best approach to bring this to life. Even when I wrote in a (costly) celebrity cameo at the end, Debenhams were fully supportive.
What was the biggest challenge you faced during the process?
The biggest challenge was trying to keep our idea under wraps having got there at a very early stage, (January) and then making sure we did it justice. Oh, and signing up a very busy and popular Hollywood “A-lister” is never easy.
What did you learn from the experience?
When you’re all on the same page and work closely together, from client to Director, the process will always be so much more pleasurable and the results will reflect this. And don’t write anything that involves mostly shooting through the night. After four night shoots in a row, I lost the plot a bit.
What’s a “behind the scenes” story that only you know about?
The ‘snow’ for a few of the scenes was actually burnt paper embers that really smelled. So, in between takes our cast had to wear face masks to combat this. That would have made for a very different end scene kiss.
What do you think the advertising industry's New Year’s resolution should be?
There’s no doubt it’s been a turbulent year and there’s more tough times ahead. But there’s also been some fantastic work produced as well as more transparency and dialogue about issues that our industry needs to address. So, let’s resolve to keep going in the right direction.
What is your favorite holiday campaign of all time?
John Lewis ‘The Long Wait’ commercial. Brilliantly clever and beautifully made.