Asda: Have your Elf a Merry Christmas commercial

Category: VFX; Entrant: Havas London

Integrating 20-year-old footage from iconic festive film Elf into Asda’s 2022 Christmas campaign required significant technical skill. Before even getting to the shoot, Havas London had to analyse shots of main character Buddy to extract lens information, camera position and movement, and then build a digital Asda store based on LIDAR data of a real-life shop and a studio set.

Buddy was painstakingly extracted from the original background using extensive rotoscoping work – with missing details such as fine hair rebuilt digitally – and an on-set body double was cast to help with positioning and shadows. The VFX team also had to align the new footage with the grain and colour of the original film.

The resulting ad was watched more than two million times on the supermarket’s YouTube page, with Buddy taking centre stage for the duration of the 90-second commercial.

Asda: Have your Elf a Merry Christmas
Category: VFX
Entrant: Havas London
Client: Asda
Senior Director, Brand Communications & Marketing: Stephi Brett-Lee
Head of Campaigns: Rebecca Holmes
Campaign Manager: Amy Kennedy
Production Manager: Claire Ibbotson
Creative Agency: Havas London
Chief Creative Officer: Vicki Maguire
Chief Client Officer: James Fox
Creative Directors: Dan Cole, Andy Garnett
Associate Creative Directors: Rob Greaves, Sam Daly
Head of Production: Katie Keith
Head of Film: Louise Bonnar
Production Lead: Olivia Riddle
Senior Producers: Adam Henderson, Barney Ferguson
Producer: Rhy Hogan
Assistant Producer: Ella Myerscough-McClymont
Production Company: Rattling Stick
Director: Daniel Kleinman
Executive Producer: Johnnie Frankel
Producer: Amy Appleton
Director Of Photography: Ben Smithard
VFX: Framestore
Creative Director: Kamen Markov
VFX Supervisor: Jules Janaud
Compositing Supervisor: Ben Taylor
Compositors: Kamen Markov, Ben Taylor, Sam Meisels, Alice Locuratolo, Ewelina Freuer, Jack Neale, Alessio Perico, Julia Caram Wolters, Lindsey Lo Presti, Simon Stoney, Joan Marques
DMP: Cedric Profjit, Henry South
Flame: Paul O’Brien
CG: Adam Smith, Victoria Stuart
Layout: Micaela Arslanian, Oliver Cordwell
VFX Editorial: Humberto Reynaga, Micah McLeod
Paint/Roto: Basim Kadhim
Head of Advertising: Helen Weil
Executive Producer: Anna MacDonald
VFX Coordinator: Robyn Goncalves-Borrageiro, Chloe Dunn, Poppy Chadwick
Production Assistant: Bryony Murray
Data Services: Nick Rafferty, Ed Brown, Oluwaseun Adeleye, Asher Hunt
Lidar Scanning: Framestore Pre-Production Services (FPS)
Production Manager: Noah Ensus
Technical Director: Harsh Baburajan
Grade: Company3
Colourist: Steffan Perry
Colour Assist: Adam Stannard, Alex O’Brien, Santino Napolitano
Executive Producer: Ellora Soret
Previs: The Third Floor
Managing Director: Marcus Alexander
Visualisation Supervisor: Andrew McCully
Line Producer: Helen Langley
Previs Co-ordinator: Anja Woller
Editing: The Assembly Rooms
Editor: Eve Ashwell
Sound: 750
Sound Editor: Sam Ashwell