Art December 14, 2015
by Lauren Festa
Following up “The Greatest Prize Is Sharing” campaign, Executive Creative Director Jesús Lada and his team at Leo Burnett Madrid dream up the story of Justino: an overnight security guard at a mannequin factory. A lonely one at that – and no body should be alone on Christmas. In a continuation with the theme of sharing, Leo Burnett strikes metaphorical gold again with this heartwarming, animated short. Grab some tissues and read our short Q&A for a BTS look at how the spirit of Christmas remains resilient. #Winning
ADC: Tell us the idea behind this spot.
Jesús: Well, the Spanish Christmas Lottery is a very special one: each winning sum is divided into tenths, so the tradition is that friends and colleagues share a number, so if they win, they all win together. We thought that “sharing” should be the cornerstone of our campaign. We did so last year, and we thought we definitely found the right territory for the brand, so we kept pushing in the same direction this year.
ADC: The last spot from the campaign used real people. Why did animation feel more appropriate this time?
Jesús: We had two main motivations to use animation. First, we are telling the story of a lonely man, in a huge old factory, surrounded by mannequins. Animation made it a nice story, a kind one. We didn’t want it to look sad, scary or creepy. Second, we wanted to stand out, to do something very different than what was done last year.
ADC: What is the main message the spot wants to convey?
Jesús: Winning the lottery is amazing, but there is no bigger prize than sharing happiness with the people you love.
ADC: Has the response been better/the same compared to the last lottery campaign?
Jesús: Last year it was huge. It was amazing, but I think that because we used a very Spanish set up and the campaign contained dialogues, so it remained local. I think the fact that this year we used animation and no dialogue helped the campaign to travel really well outside our country.
ADC: What is the biggest challenge in trying to sell the lottery during a season of sharing?
Jesús: Our Christmas Lottery is quite different from a normal lottery. Our main achievement was changing the focus. We decided to go from selfish to selfless.
ADC: It feels like a little mini movie. Do you have a favorite character?
Jesús: I guess I am not going to be original. Justino is just such a great guy that you have love him!
ADC: Did you use the same device? Like for example, in the previous spot and this one, both feel left out like they’ve been forgotten. But in the end, they are surprised by their friends.
Jesús: Yes, we did. The approach was very different since the reasons and they way both characters did not purchase lottery tickets have no similarities between them, yet the resolution is quite similar.
ADC: Is creating an animated spot more or less difficult than one with real people?
Jesús: Creating a 3:30 animation “short film” has pros and cons. You can change things and make adjustments in things that you don’t realize right away. It’s different in that if you were doing a live action film, you may not have the chance of reshoot. On the other hand, it’s a much longer process and you have to trust a lot the people working with you. Lots of time passes and you don´t really see a lot of advances and then one day, suddenly…it’s almost done!
ADC: You used the mannequin factory as a backdrop and also the repetition of “the everyday” chores that can make life mundane resolving to Christmas that is this magical day when everything seems better. Thoughts?
Jesús: We didn’t have that intention. At the beginning, Justino is alone. He has a desire to share with his work colleagues, but because he works the night shift, he simply can’t. So he starts sharing things with the only human figures that surround him (the mannequins). The repetition worked as a way to build his loneliness. He gradually discovers that he can share and communicate with his real work colleagues by using those same mannequins. By the time Christmas comes, he decided to make an even bigger surprise, creating an amazing Christmas tree and the rest well…you just have to watch!
ADC: What was the main insight you worked with to write the story, execute visuals, and land on the ending?
Jesús: Sharing is the concept everything is based around. But we also wanted to reflect feelings that are unique to this time of year — kindness, friendship, love. It is Christmas time and we wanted to create a warm and magical story that touched people’s hearts. We sincerely hope we were able to achieve this.