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The adorable little homemaker of Rothco and Woodie's - #BehindTheIdea

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Who remembers the Acts of Homemaking campaign from Woodie's? It was one of the highlights of the 2020 Christmas ads, and a chance for Woodie's and Rothco to tell a lovely story about the kindness of a neighbourhood at Christmas time.

Arguably, 2020 was a year in which we all spent some time doing some pleasant acts of homemaking, and the brand wanted to follow up their beautiful Christmas ad with a new film to open the summer season. The adorable ad below follows an adorable little homemaker as he finds an unlikely friend throughout many adventures – real or otherwise...

Following a chat with the creative folks at Rothco, today we are getting Behind the Idea to learn more about the lovely advert below.

What was the brief?

We were asked to create a Summer brand ad to follow up on the success of the Woodie’s ‘Mrs Higgins’ Christmas ad from late last year. This time we needed to focus on the gardening side of Woodie’s business and we wanted to capture the optimism of the new Summer season. 

How did the initial pitch/brainstorming phase go?

We wrote a number of different scripts, all focused on the garden, but the ‘New Best Friend’ script just stood out.  

Tell us more about the concept. How did it come to life, and why was it the right choice?

The idea is based on those people who talk to plants to help them flourish. We loved that the little boy might have picked up this habit from his mum. Much like the other bits and pieces he’s picked up from her, like knowing the neighbour’s profession for instance. The joyous way he introduces his new best friend to his amazing garden seemed to capture the optimism of the new season perfectly. The reveal that his new best friend is a little plant from Woodie’s was a lovely twist. 

 

What was the production process like? What was the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge was always going to be finding the perfect kid for the role. We did an exhaustive search and finally found James in round three of casting. We knew he was perfect as soon as we saw him. The other challenge was finding the right director to bring out the best performance. Mark Abliston was so good at this. The fact that he was directing remotely all the from New Zealand in the early hours of the morning, provided its own challenges. Neither the agency nor the client were on set either due to Covid restrictions. Despite all of this the production went remarkably smoothly. 

What is one funny or notable thing that happened during the production of the campaign?

We shot over two days in Dublin. On the first day we had hailstones and a little sunshine. On the second day we had no sun whatsoever.  Welcome to Irish weather!

What’s the main message of the campaign and why does it matter?

This ad is all about encouraging children and families to plant together – a hobby that will grow with them as they get older. Woodie’s end line is ‘We’re all homemakers’. Anyone can make their home environment that little bit better. Even a little six year old boy. 

What is one unique aspect of the campaign?

The campaign always shows one person doing a small act of homemaking. They are simple human stories. We have always tried to tell our stories in an understated way that connects emotionally while having a Woodie’s product right at the core. 

How long did it take from inception to delivery?

I’m guessing about six months from initial brief to final ad on air.  

What do you hope it achieves for the brand?

The hope is that this campaign will help build a stronger emotional connection between the brand and the Irish public. Hopefully it will also encourage more people to discover the joys of gardening. 

Credit list for the campaign?

Client:                                                                                     Woodie’s Ireland
Marketing & Digital Director                                               Suzanne Quinn
Head of Marketing                                                   Hilda Lyon
Head of Digital and CRM                                                     Caroline Coughlan
Brand and Communication Manager                                Rachael McKenna
Brand and Communications Executive                              Hannah Armstrong

Agency:                                                                                 Rothco
Agency Producer:                                                                Jess Derby & Conor Hamill
Executive Creative Director:                                              Jen Spiers
Creative Director                                                                Shay Madden
Creative Team:                                                                    Lisa O’Hanlon, Orla Byrne
Account Director:                                                                Emily Lyons
Account Executive:                                                             Anna Byrne
Account Manager:                                                              Amy Harrington
Strategy:                                                                              Joe Ronan, Lucy Remitz
Photographer:                                                                      Doreen Kilfeather
Production Company:                                                         The Sweet Shop
Director:                                                                               Mark Albiston
Producer:                                                                             Jessica Wylie
Director of Photography:                                                   Luke Jacobs
Post House:                                                                         Tenthree
Sound: Screen Scene:                                                         Will Farrell

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