U.K. department store Debenhams adds its commercial to the holiday mix today with a modern-day Cinderella story narrated by Ewan McGregor.
It's the story of a young couple who meet fleetingly on a train on a snowy Christmas Eve (reminding us a little of Vodafone's holiday effort, with Martin Freeman). They don't have time to exchange numbers, but she accidentally leaves behind a sparkly shoe from her shopping bag. This being 2017, they try to find each other on social media, but it doesn't seem to work out, until "fate intervenes." It's only at the end that we see McGregor, who plays a kind of fairy godmother role in getting them finally together. But he ends by questioning whether there will be a happily ever after ending (perhaps rather poignant given the actor's recent marriage woes.)
JWT London created the spot, and Hanna Maria Heidrich at Believe Media directed on location in Budapest. Andy Smith, creative director at JWT, says in a statement: "This year, we wanted to tell an emotional and engaging modern day love story, together with the classic Christmas charm--and what better inspiration for a love story, than Cinderella? But, to make it work we needed it to be a modern retelling, where both male and female characters are leads."
In the ad, the characters are clad in Debenhams fashion items and the campaign's central emblem, the crystal studded stiletto "glass slipper," was specially created by designer Jenny Packham for Debenhams. It's available to buy as a a limited edition, each accompanied by a personalized signed card by the designer.
As part of the campaign, Debenhams has also teamed up with pantomime production company Cinderella in five U.K. cities to bring appearances from characters in the shows to stores. The Cinderella concept will also be apparent in flagship stores gifting shoppers "as the clock strikes twelve'" (midday) in the run up to Christmas with items such as glass slipper decorations and free coffee from staff.