Holiday Campaign Interview: Lighthouse

"Telling stories of people who behave and react like us felt like the right way to deliver emotional connection."

 

Danilo Boer
Executive Creative Director BBDO New York
Marcos Kotlhar
Executive Creative Director BBDO New York
In a few words, tell us about your role in the creation of "Lighthouse"

 

In collaboration with Macy’s, Marcos and I were Executive Creative Directors on the campaign. It came with great responsibly since it was the first project under Macy’s new partnership with BBDO New York.
What was the original brief for this campaign?
Macy’s has an enduring relationship with the Holidays. From its world famous holiday windows, Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Miracle On 34th Street film, no other brand symbolizes the American holiday spirit quite like Macy’s. So, this year Macy’s wanted to reinforce their position as the most iconic and memorable brand of season by delivering emotional stories that would grab people by their heart.
What inspired you to approach the campaign this way?
We wanted to rely on the emotional part of the holiday spirit, more than typical holiday cues, and focused on love, compassion, family and the overall feeling of bringing people together. A story of togetherness felt like a message that all Americans would love to hear this holiday season.
How difficult was it to sell the idea to Macy's?
Very easy. We were all in the same wavelength from the beginning and the clients were super supportive, excited and ready to deliver great stories.
What was the biggest challenge you faced during the process?
One thing that we aimed for was to make this entire campaign feel real – true slices of real people’s lives, showing emotions that are absolutely believable. Our goal was to connect the viewer emotionally to the brand, and telling stories of people who behave and react like us felt like the right way to deliver that emotional connection.
What did you learn from the experience?
We learned that pushing for true emotion still resonates with America. We got an incredible response from people from all corners of the country that share that same feeling, that we need to come together.
What’s a “behind the scenes” story that only you know about?
We shot this in the Pacific Northwest, and the weather was as problematic as you can imagine. Most exterior scenes were shot under rain that the camera luckily didn’t pick up. And most night shots and interior of the house were shot during sunny day moments. The schedule was crazy, but Steve Ayson and MJZ were incredible and delivered every shot we needed.
What do you think the advertising industry's New Year’s resolution should be?
To do more ads that don’t feel like ads.
What is your favorite holiday campaign of all time?
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is our favorite holiday campaign of all time. Since Macy’s employees first began this now iconic event in 1924, the Macy’s Parade has become synonymous with the start of the holiday season. With its signature mix of giant character balloons, floats and celebrities, it touches people of all ages and is one of the reasons the Macy’s brand has such a powerful connection with the public – the Parade and Macy’s are ingrained in the fabric of popular culture.

 

Danilo Boer
Executive Creative Director BBDO New York
Marcos Kotlhar
Executive Creative Director BBDO New York