A struggling single mother makes Christmas special in this heartfelt German commercial

Beautifully crafted ad for supermarket chain Penny uses Elton John's 'Your Song'

Published On
Jan 03, 2019

Editor's Pick

Elton's John's "Your Song" is the track of choice for Christmas ads this year: in the U.K. it was sung by the star himself in the John Lewis commercial, while in Germany, discount supermarket Penny uses a cover version of the the track, by by Josephine van Schaik, in a very different holiday ad.

Created by Serviceplan, it's an animated tale with a somewhat sombre theme. The story revolves around an exhausted-looking single mother who struggles to give her son all the treats he wants during the holiday season. For a dress-up party, she lovingly creates a handmade bear costume, but the neighborhood children laugh at it, and when he wants to go ice-skating, she can't afford the skate rental. However, inspired by his love of all things Arctic, she dreams up a solution for Christmas itself: creating a winter wonderland in their outdoor shed. The final tagline is: "Christmas doesn't need much. Only love."

The spot features beautifully crafted animation by Amsterdam's Glassworks with a deliberately handmade aesthetic to match it theme of creativity and handiwork. Alongside the ad, Penny created a campaign encouraging people to knit their own teddy bears, with customers potentially able to win one of the 2500 kits in an online lottery. Meanwhile, on the campaign website penny.de/nurliebe kids could "chat" to the polar bear that features in the film, and tell him their deepest wishes -- some of which the brand will help come true. 

According to the agency, the ad reflects that times are economically tough for some Germans, despite the country's relative affuence. Serviceplan executive creative director Christoph Everke says: "The film and its soundtrack express exactly what people in Germany are experiencing every day. They are getting by with limited resources and their successes are often down to the fact that they are stronger than people who have never had to struggle. The film is an homage to these tough people who do their utmost every day to care for their family."

The ad has been running through December in Germany, where it's had over 14 million views on YouTube, but can only now be shown outside the country due to the rights for "Your Song." 

Credits

Date
Jan 03, 2019
Client:
Penny
Agency:
Serviceplan
Executive Creative Director:
Christoph Everke
Executive Creative Director:
Alexander Nagel
Creative Director:
Matthias Schuster
Creative Director:
Moritz Dornig
Copywriter:
Alessia Coschignano
Art Director:
Rebecca Labiner
Junior Copywriter:
Nedim Aktas
Junior Copywriter:
Iasonas Baliamis
Junior Art Director:
Elena Sorokova
Account Management:
Fabian Kleinmann
Account Management:
Frederike Enk
Account Management:
Julia Leibetseder
Producer:
Jochen Hirt
Digital Agency:
Plan.Net Media
Executive Creative Director:
Michael Reill
Senior Copywriter:
Marc Hermann Hofmann
Senior Art Director:
Alexander Kneifel
Account Management:
Nadège Jaussi
Account Management:
Franziska Borgwald
Production Company:
Glassworks
Creative Director:
Hugo Rodriguez Rodriguez
Creative Director:
Darren Macpherson
Creative Director:
Rudiger Kaltenhauser
VFX Supervisor:
Darren Macpherson
VFX Supervisor:
Rudiger Kaltenhauser
On Set Supervisor:
Darren Macpherson
On Set Supervisor:
Rudiger Kaltenhauser
On Set Supervisor:
Kyle Obley
Art Director:
Hugo Rodriguez Rodriguez
Lead 3D Artist:
Darren Macpherson
Lead 3D Artist:
Rudiger Kaltenhauser
Tracking and Camera:
Jef Fleurkens
Tracking and Camera:
Aaron Smith
Tracking and Camera:
Davide Uccellani
Modeller:
Matias Zadicoff
Modeller:
Esteban Pedrozo
Modeller:
Jose Manul
Character Styling and Texture:
Matias Zadicoff
Character Styling and Texture:
Esteban Pedrozo
Rigging:
Tiaan Franken
Rigging:
Callum Austin
Rigging:
Jef Fleurkens
Animator:
Darren Macpherson
Animator:
Rudiger Kaltenhauser
Animator:
Alastair Hearsum
Animator:
Glenn Ewan
Animator:
Casey Chelchinskey
Animator:
Callum Austin
Animator:
Jef Fleurkens
Animator:
Roman Hinkel
Animator:
Jon Park
Animation Assist:
Heidi Stohr
Animation Assist:
Hugo Perdiz
Animation Assist:
Zolna Minik
Lighting and Render:
Darren Macpherson
Lighting and Render:
Callum Austin
Lighting and Render:
Jef Fleurkens
Lighting and Render:
Rudiger Kaltenhauser
Particles FX:
Roman Hinkel
Lead 2D Artist:
Kyle Obley
2D Artist:
Hugo Rodriguez Rodriguez
2D Artist:
Maxence Peillon
2D Artist:
Alexander Pattinson
2D Artist:
Duncan Malcolm
Matte Painter:
Hugo Rodriguez Rodriguez
Storyboard Artist:
Hugo Rodriguez Rodriguez
Storyboard Artist:
Callum Austin
Concept Artist:
Hugo Rodriguez Rodriguez
Editor:
Benjamin Putland
Colorist:
Scott Harris
Chief Operating Officer:
Anya Kruzmetra
Senior Producer:
Ariella Amrami
Post Production Coordinator:
Salt Ibraeva
Travel Coordinator:
Frankie Modugno
Production Consultant:
Lauren Becker
Bidding Consultant:
Rick Naude
Music Production:
Sizzer
Singer:
Josephine van Schaik
Music Stylist:
Jesper Gadeberg
Sound Mix:
m-sound studios
Audio Engineer:
Robert Miller
Shoot:
SECOND HOME STUDIOS
Shoot Producer / Motion Control Operator:
Chris Randall
Director of Photography:
Sam Morris
Camera Operator / DIT:
Luke Unsworth
Gaffer / Rigger:
Ian Whittle
Studio Assistant / Prop Style Assistant:
Amanda Haas
Miniature Set:
Clockwork Frog Films
Production Designer:
Andy Farago
Carpenter / Fabricator:
Steve Lafferty
Carpenter / Fabricator:
Johnathan Lawrence
Carpenter / Fabricator:
Simon Lipscombe
Specialist Model Maker:
Alan Henry
Specialist Model Maker:
Ruth Harrison
Specialist Model Maker:
Paul Taylor
Specialist Model Maker:
Sarah Right
Model / Prop Maker:
Kat Simpson
Model / Prop Maker:
David Riley
Model / Prop Maker:
Mark Heron
Model / Prop Maker:
Steph Oakley
Soft Props / Fabrics:
Lucy Sturley
Scenic Painter:
Sara Watson

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