Holiday Campaign Interview: The Drawing

"We wondered: what if even Santa had to rely on Manor’s expertise in Holiday gifts?"


David Soussan
Creative Director BETC Shopper
In a few words, tell us about your role in the creation of "The Drawing"


As Creative Directors, we first set the campaign’s objectives. First, be able to enter the small club of really great Christmas films. And then – who knows? It becomes highly expected year after year.
What was the original brief for this campaign?
We had to make Manor the best place to go to find all the Christmas gifts. According to our new platform Special Everyday, we had to make this in a really special way.
What inspired you to approach the campaign this way?
We have always been very big fans of all the amazing Christmas ads that are released each year. And yet, we felt that some of them tend to become a bit cheesy, or even real tear-jerkers. So we decided to go the opposite way: play with the classic Christmas codes (the music full of bells, the warm household and the benevolent Santa) and then twist them to create a surprise and, most importantly, add some humor. So, with our creatives Adrian Skenderovic and Cyril Arandel, we wondered: what if even Santa had to rely on Manor’s expertise in Holiday gifts? What glitch in an eternal process could occur to trigger the drama? This is how we came up with the idea of the (bad) drawing.
How difficult was it to sell the idea to Manor?
That was truly the easiest sell ever: they at once fell in love with the idea when we told them the script, and were, like us, eager to launch the production.
What was the biggest challenge you faced during the process?
Actually, it was making a choice between all the treatments from the different directors! They all had been so involved and so creative that it was heart-breaking to make a decision.
What did you learn from the experience?
Animation is a very, very long process, with mandatory steps, and many no-turning back moments. So we had to keep focused for at least seven months. On the other hand, the creative process in animation allowed us to do pretty much anything. Any background joke we wanted to add, any crazy props were possible.
What’s a “behind the scenes” story that only you know about?
As Kevin, the Director from 'Against All Odds' was based in London or in Sweden, we had weekly calls, most of them video calls. So when we discussed character design and animation, we had to make a lot of faces to the camera, to explain the attitude and grimaces we had in mind. That was enormously funny. And awkward.
What do you think the advertising industry's New Year’s resolution should be?
We love advertising when it’s intelligent, when it teaches us something, when it makes us think. But we love it even more when it does all this while being entertaining and optimistic. We all could use a bit of good vibes.
What is your favorite holiday campaign of all time?
Let’s say that John Lewis’ Monty the penguin gave us the emotional shiver that made us want to, one day, make our own Christmas tale.


David Soussan
Creative Director BETC Shopper