John Lewis launches stop-motion insurance ad

Blink and adam&eveDDB have collaborated on another heartwarming John Lewis ad – a 90-second stop-motion commercial promoting the brand’s home insurance service.

Blink and adam&eveDDB have collaborated on another heartwarming John Lewis ad – a 90-second stop-motion commercial promoting the brand’s home insurance service.

The ad follows household objects including cutlery, books, toys and wardrobes shuffling through a detached house in suburbia. The house’s occupants – two adults and three children – are also swept along and assembled on the lawn alongside their furniture for a family photograph. The video ends with the strapline ‘If it matters to you, it matters to us’ and a shot of the photograph in a frame above a fireplace.

The ad was directed by Dougal Wilson, who also directed last year’s John Lewis Christmas ad and the tearjerker Always a Woman. It’s a cheerful and charming spot, and one that couples the stock ingredients of a successful John Lewis ad – a female cover of a well known song (in this case, Scottish singer Nina Nesbitt’s take on Fleetwood Mac’s Don’t Stop), a powerful strapline and shots of hundreds of John Lewis goodies – with great VFX from MPC.

“John Lewis’s work is emotional – it always has been. When they came to us looking to advertise their insurance, they wanted to create something that would capture people’s imagination. They didn’t want an ad that was price-led, but wanted something that focussed on looking after the things that really matter,” explains adam&eveDDB creative head Simon Lloyd.

“We were looking for a metaphor to show how much people appreciate these things and came up with the idea of a family photo. But we also needed to give everything character, which is why we opted for stop-motion,” he adds.

The ad has been around a year in the making, says Lloyd. It took two weeks to find a suitable location – “one that was big enough to house everything but didn’t feel too opulent” – and another two weeks two shoot.

“Hundreds of objects were hand rotoscoped and cleaned, frame by frame by our teams in London and Bangalore. Then we had to piece together all the elements created on the various different formats, from digital stills to 35mm film, and ensure it felt seamless,” explains VFX supervisor Tom Harding. The team also had to construct a giant tent around the house to control lighting in the final photograph scene.

The ad is part of a £6 million campaign to promote John Lewis Insurance: 90, 60 and 30-second commercials will be accompanied by print ads and social media campaigns, such as a Vine competition asking users to submit videos reflecting what means most to them for the chance to win £1000 of John Lewis vouchers.

Credits

Agency: adam&eveDDB
Creatives: Simon Lloyd, Christine Turner, Rory Hall and Steph Ellis
Producer: Sophie Smith
Production Company: Blink
Director: Dougal Wilson
Producer: Ewen Brown
VFX: MPC
VFX Producer: Josh King
VFX supervisor: Tom Harding
Head animator: Mark Waring
Animators: Tobias Fouracre, Kevin Walton & Tom Edgar
Assistant animators: Steve Edge & Dan Gill
Animation riggers: Andy Gent, Richard Blakey, Robin Jackson, Andre Niemann

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