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Anything Goes for Deliveroo this Christmas #BehindTheIdea #HolidaysMonth

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Deliveroo’s 2023 Christmas campaign, ‘Anything Goes' celebrates how our behaviour around food changes this time of year as we enjoy our own unique festival rituals. The campaign is built off the insight that in the run up to Christmas, we let go of our inhibitions in favour of the weird and wonderful food traditions we’ve built around the festive period. “Mince pie for breakfast? Go on, it’s Christmas!”

Written by Charlie Gee & Tian Murphy, Creative Directors at Pablo, the campaign is built from extensive research into the lives of Deliveroo customers during the festive period. Informed by insights collected from social listening, order data and customer research - the campaign celebrates putting brussel sprouts on your pizza, pouring gravy on anything, or that Cantonese feast enjoyed as a family on Christmas Eve. Summed up in the hero 30” TV spot; ‘The rules are, there are no rules.’

To learn more, we spoke to CD Charlie Gee and Oliver Edridge, Planner at Pablo London.

What was the brief?

As a brand without an obvious connection to Christmas we wanted to find a way we could authentically show up to encourage relevance and order frequency during the festive season.

Food deliveries are a small element of what is a storm of activity and communication during this period, and we knew we had to take a different approach to cut through this noise. Deliveroo also loses relevance on the big day itself and so could not fall back on usual tropes of food brands at this time of year.

Both these turned out to be aids to the work rather than limitations, as they forced us to think wider than the expected and allowed us the freedom to create something different amongst a sea of turkey dinners.

How did the initial pitch/brainstorming phase go?

The first challenge was to ensure that what we did felt true to the brand and our role during the festive season, and so a lot of the early work was built around social listening to get a feel for where we showed up and added to the festivities.

What we found was highly encouraging – not only did we exist in abundance, but we also did in many different Christmas related ways from November to New Years. While we struggled to impact established older traditions like Christmas day itself, what we found is we were a major part of many emerging modern traditions.

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This is the time to treat yourself and others and we found that a food delivery was often the tool used to achieve this and elevate these seasonal moments – from the first mince pie delivered on November the 1st, to the office party hangover cure, to the return to your hometown local takeaway, to Christmas eve Chinese’s, all the way to the Jan 1st delay to resolutions.

We knew now that we had a genuine right to show up, we just needed to find a way to do that they went beyond purely holding a mirror up to the activity, and instead showed we understood the human reason behind this behaviour.

What was the process behind ideating the concept?

Next we started playing with some broad areas that felt like they might sit behind this activity, show we got it, and encouraged more behaviour like it.

Again with a heavy influence of social listening we found acts of self-love, where a food delivery might be the gift someone gives themselves during a busy and hectic time, which led to one area around not forgetting to gift yourself this year.

Another Twitter rabbit-hole showed how eager people were to create new and unique ways to celebrate, which led to one area around creating new traditions. And another stream of conversation showed how people just wanted more ways to celebrate, and we created an area around facilitating this.

But whilst all were true, they felt like they explained parts of the activity, rather than the full crescendo of food delivery adoration we were reading through.

It was when we stumbled across the ‘f*** it, it’s Christmas’ thread that things clicked into place for us. We’d talked internally about the ‘Christmas mode’ we all go into as we delve deeper into December, but looking around we found this seemed to be the constant thread that tied together all the flippant, joy-filled, ‘I’ll look at my bank account in January’ behaviour.

This mode we all go into where normal rules no longer apply; ‘because it’s Christmas’ can be used to justify pretty much anything. And this is where it got juicy – as we found it really was used to excuse anything when it came to food. People use Christmas as the time to be their true food-selves. The rules really do go out of the window.

Once we had decided on this ‘anything goes’ attitude as the heartbeat of our work, we stress-tested it on our audience & found it really resonated. The idea was loved almost unanimously, with one of the biggest takeouts being that it felt like we were adding to, and encouraging, the excitement of the period – which we felt meant we’d found our place amongst the noise.

One key takeout of the qual however was that ‘Anything goes’ has limits, it can’t be disgusting, and it has to be relatable even if untrodden ground for many. So despite this success it probably led to one if the harder parts of the process, which was sorting through examples from breakfast mince pies, to strawberries on pizza, to find the sweet spot we landed on.

What was the production process like?

The production was a mixture of live action shot on location, 2D animation for the ‘cartoon’ elements, stop frame motion and VFX. So, a little bit of everything to bring its Christmas magic to life.

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

Trying to find a British looking carrot in Lithuania. They have strange carrots. Or maybe ours are strange. Either way, we think we found the only carrot in Vilnius that could do the job.

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

Do what makes you happy this festive season and squeeze every drop out of it.

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In this age of doom and gloom and perma-crisis this message probably has as much relevance as it ever has – and if we can help to lighten that gloom even a little, and encourage a little self-love (even our weirder and more niche parts of ourselves), and a little guilt-free indulgence this Christmas, then that feels like it matters a little. 

How long did it take from inception to delivery?

4 months

What do you hope it achieves for the brand?

A seat at the table during the Christmas period, appreciation and enjoyment of the work from our audience, and hopefully a greater anticipation of future festive work.

Credit list for the work?

Deliveroo Credits:

  • VP Marketing UK&I - Caroline Harris
  • Head of Planning Media and Campaigns - Emma Bucknall
  • Senior Marketing Manager - Mel Caplan
  • Senior Marketing Manager - Russel Jackson-Pugh

Pablo Credits:

  • Partner & Head of Planning: Mark Sng 
  • Executive Creative Director: Dan Watts
  • Creative Directors: Charlie Gee & Tian Murphy
  • Managing Partner: Sam Morgan
  • Business Director: Jamie Isaac-Richards
  • Account Manager: Lucy D’Urso
  • Account Executive: Alex Deleon
  • Head of Planning: James Broomfield
  • Planner: Oliver Edridge
  • Senior Producer: Pete Thornton
  • Project Manager: Kelly Watts

Production Credits:

  • Production Company: Stink Films
  • Director: Watts
  • Producer: Charlotte Jones
  • Exec Producer: Andrew Levene
  • DOP: Nick Bupp
  • Editing Company: Stitch
  • Producer: Maggie McDermot
  • Editor: Jack Singer
  • Post House: Rascal Post
  • Producer: Andrew Grayshon
  • Creative Director: Markus Lundqvist
  • 2D Lead: John Thornton
  • 2D: Holly McLean
  • CGI: Adam Alhgren
  • Colourist: James Bamford
  • Exec Producer: Matt Towell
  • Colour Producer: Jai Mhach Durban
  • Head of Production: James Beck
  • Motion Graphics: Studio Orca
  • Lead Design & Animators: Ed Bulmer & Nelly Michenaud
  • Animators: Ed Smith & Patrick Selby
  • Recording Studio: Jungle Studios
  • Engineer: Ben Leeves
  • Music: Birdbrain Publishing

Initiative Credits:

  • Director, Client Advice and Management - Rebecca Bell
  • Director, Communications Design - Andrew Bittle
  • Associate Director, Communications Design - Georgia Styles
  • Executive, Communications Design - Lily Korenhof

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