FIRST CHRISTMAS

ClientERSTE GROUP BANK AG
Category A01. Fiction & Non-Fiction Films up to 5 minutes
TitleFIRST CHRISTMAS
Product/ServiceERSTE GROUP
Entrant JUNG von MATT/DONAU Vienna, AUSTRIA
Idea Creation JUNG von MATT/DONAU Vienna, AUSTRIA
Production PASSION ANIMATION STUDIOS London, UNITED KINGDOM
Production 2 MCASSO London, UNITED KINGDOM
Credits
Name Company Position
Andreas Putz Jung von Matt/Donau Chief Creative Officer
Mike Nagy Jung von Matt/Donau Creative Director
Eva Zefferer Jung von Matt/Donau Copywriter
Karin Uebelbacher Jung von Matt/Donau Copywriter
Benedikt Nussbaumer Jung von Matt/Donau Account Director
Katharina Hoeller Jung von Matt/Donau Account Manager
Kyra Buschor Kyra & Constantin Director
Constantin Paeplow Kyra & Constantin Director
Debbie Crosscup Passion Animation Studios Executive Producer
Mike Turoff Passion Animation Studios Producer
Anna Cunnington Passion Animation Studios Producer
Rick Bland Passion Animation Studios Producer
Jason Nicholas Passion Animation Studios Special Effects Computer Graphics
Dave Walker Passion Animation Studios Special Effects Computer Graphics
Alex Holman Passion Animation Studios Special Effects Computer Graphics
Nami Strack - Sound Design Arrangement
Mike Connaris Mcasso Music Production Music
Tom Martin Mcasso Music Production Music

Why is this work relevant for Entertainment?

When Erste Group Bank launched the #believeinyourself campaign in 2016 tit wanted o stand out in a bank market where every brand was talking about products only. Last year we wanted to go one step further: We wanted to give people entertainment. No product. No offer. No packshot. - just a heart-capturing story that ties into the campaign. The result: A 97sec break from social media news, selfies and ads (!) you'd scroll through in a hurry. And finally we guess 150 million views are a good proof that this piece of work was entertainment.

Background

In 2016 we launched the new claim #believeinyourself for Erste Group Bank - which is way more than a simple claim. Since then every Erste Group Bank campaign tells a story about how important it is to believe in your dreams and yourself and having a reliable partner on their side. So people already knew and liked that campaign claim - and still we wanted to go one step further. We wanted to give people time. No product. No offer. No packshot or brand shown in the story - just some heart-capturing moments. Brought to you by Erste Bank. The brief was quite open. The only objective: spread love. And if possible, go viral.

Describe the creative idea

Everyone of us knows these moments where you feel cut out and alone - and immediately have doubts about yourself, if you'd be strong enough, funny enough, actually worthy to be loved. This already quite emotional momentum combined with the cutest animated characters you've ever seen should touch the hearts of our target group so we came up with the story of Henry, the hedgehog, who's looking for new friends in school. They are rather afraid of him though, because of his sharp quills all over. Luckily his friend Squirrel comes up with a really heart-warming idea which all of his classmates present to him on Christmas day.

Describe the strategy

On Christmas people are very receptive to emotional stories. That’s why we wanted to create a story that hits feelings. Our aim was to give some food for thought in the Christmas season and remind people to believe in themselves. But it should be something new besides cute kittens and Christmas family stories. So - who says a bank cannot tell an animated tale about a little hedgehog? We were convinced about that - but only if execution and music will be as overwhelming as the story itself.

Describe the execution

Henry’s world was fully designed in CG. Our 3D characters were created in the style of old felt puppets to create a tactile and nostalgic feel. They walk on their back legs, use objects like humans and wear garments - all in order to help people to identify even more with Henry and his story. Accompanied by a specially composed ballad with a tender, young voice and an impressive orchestra. With lyrics that conveys exactly how the little hedgehog feels. We developed this beautiful story in only 3 months. And we even made an audio book from Henry’s adventure as the perfect good night story for our little ones. On the days before Christmas Henry was also in the TV throughout Austria in full length.

Describe the outcome

In only 21 days the viral reached 500 million media impressions and 150 million views with 95% of all views being organic. Not only in Austria, but also in the 5 other Erste Banking Group countries Croatia, Romania, Serbia and Hungary in which the online video was aired. From there it went and won the hearts all over the world. Henry’s Christmas story was posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where over 5 million shares, likes and comments helped spread the word about Erste Group and their campaign #believeinyourself. Not only Henry but also the Soundtrack of his story set spines tingling; that’s why we recorded a full version of the song and released it as an LP, on Spotify and iTunes, where it was played hundreds of thousands of times before Christmas.