This Christmas campaign puts an absurdist, seasonal spin on 'Flashdance'

First work for garden retailer Dobbies from new agency Odd

Published On
Nov 10, 2020

Editor's Pick

Eighties movie references seem to be everywhere in Christmas advertising this year, perhaps as pandemic-hit consumers hanker after nostalgia. We've seen Aldi's "Kevin the Carrot" spoofing "Top Gun" and "E.T.," and now here's an ad from U.K. garden center chain Dobbies that pays homage to a famous scene from "Flashdance."

In the first of three spots in the retailer's new campaign, a woman sitting on chair rolls her shoulders, pulls on a rope and a shower of mince pies falls down on her. 

Other films in a similar absurdist vein include a poodle enjoying itself on a sled and a man taking a dip in a hot tub full of baubles. All of them are backed a soundtrack by jazz musician Ola Onabulé with the lyrics: "Christmas at Dobbies feels like...not your average garden center."

The spots, running on TV and online, are by newly appointed retail specialist agency Odd, which created Marks & Spencer's dance-filled knitwear campaign in Christmas 2019 (the retailer chose not to create a Christmas spot for its clothing this year). They were directed by J Marlow through Outsider.

They come as Dobbies is trying to reposition itself from a garden center to more of a lifestyle destination, selling gifts and holding events (such as a chance for your dog to get a selfie with Santa) as well as practical gardening ware. 

"For the Christmas lover, a festive trip to the garden center is a quintessential part of the winter calendar," said Nick Stickland, executive creative director of Odd, in a statement. "We wanted to help Dobbies own this pilgrimage in a way that felt different and standout in the competitive landscape that is TV Christmas."


Nov 10, 2020
Client :
Agency :
Executive Creative Director :
Nick Stickland
Associate Creative Director :
Turhan Osman
Creative :
Chloe Hwang
Strategy Director :
Jo Delaney
Account Handling :
Eddie Tan
Account Handling :
Sarah Johnston
Account Handling :
Emily Saada
Agency Producer :
Lawrie Mclintock
Production Company :
Director :
J Marlow
1st Assistant Director :
Julian Higgs
James Blann
Producer :
Jeremy Bannister
Post Production :
Coffee & TV
Post Production Producer :
Dionne Archibald
Editing :
Marshall Street Editors
Editor :
Guy Savin
Edit Producer :
SJ O’Mara
Sound :
Sound Designer :
Munzie Thind
Sound Producer :
Molly Butcher
Original Track Composer :
Ola Onabulé́
Music Negotiators :
Goldstein Music Ltd.
Media Agency :

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