British Christmas advertising has been given a little Hollywood glamour this year thanks to a spot that might just have supplanted the Waitrose “Robin” advert as my spot of the season. The piece in question, produced by adam&eveDDB for H&M, was directed by acclaimed king of quirk, Wes Anderson, whose whimsical movies have been enchanting me personally for most of my adult life. It's a film that borrows heavily from his own most recent hit, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” in terms of its look, atmosphere and general optimism, and stars Anderson regular Adrien Brody as a train conductor ferrying various train passengers to their loved ones for Christmas. The “Come Together” film is shot in typical Anderson style, including long tracking shots, exquisite attention to detail and sets that occupy that wonderful balance between homemade and Hollywood.
It's unclear exactly how or why this all relates to H&M of course, besides the fact that all of the characters in the spot are sporting clothing from the H&M holiday collection, but then that's become something of a recent custom for high profile Christmas spots of late. It's not about the plot, it's all about the feels! Pernilla Wohlfahrt, Head of Design and Creative Director at H&M, explained: “The winter train ride, under Wes Anderson’s direction, is the perfect setting for H&M’s holiday collection full of relaxed, wearable elegance. It’s about mixing the informal with a sense of occasion, capturing the holiday mood for both dressing up and getting cosy with loved ones.”
The campaign, which features post production from The Mill, was created by Paul Knott, Till Diestel and Tim Vance from adam&eveDDB. The agency has worked with the retailer since 2015, with last year's Christmas campaign starring pop singer Katy Perry as a sugar plum fairy in a glittery world of giant gingerbread men and tin soldiers. H&M's previous advertising efforts this year also included the wonderful “She's a Lady” spot for the autumn 2016 collection, which followed a magnetic anthem spot in late 2015, both by Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors. More recently, H&M’s ads have featured David Beckham and comedian Kevin Hart as an odd couple who get into mishaps such as a disastrous road trip to Las Vegas. So the brand are hardly strangers to celebrity endorsement, but this, honestly, feels like a step above your generic famous face spot. Loath as I am to use the term, it's something genuinely special that has effectively thrown down the gauntlet for all other Christmas spots to come this year and beyond.
“This story may resonate more than ever at a time in the world where we could all do with giving a stranger a hug” Adrien Brody
Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer and struggling musician from Kidderminster in the UK. His favourite Wes Anderson film is probably still Rushmore.