Trying to create the quintessential Christmas commercial, that isn't a grudge watch, is something all agencies battle with over the Festive Season.
So when advertising agency ninety9cents briefed digital animation studio, Masters & Savant Worldwide for the Checkers Christmas commercial, they knew they had to develop something special, memorable and quite charming.
For Marius van Rensburg, Creative Director for ninety9cents, the vision was to create one of those special Christmas commercials that make the magical emotions associated with the Festive Season, real again.
"When I was a child, Christmas was always announced by the arrival of the toy catalogue in our mailbox. I would be swept away by the colourful Christmas decorations in all the stores. This was the feeling I wanted to communicate with this ad and working with Masters & Savant Worldwide was the first time I was able to achieve this."
Emotionally connecting with viewers through computer-generated characters has become something of a hallmark for the animation studio, which in this case included giving the Maters & Savant Worldwide team unparalleled creative freedom.
"We knew we had to grab viewers' right from the beginning," says Masters & Savant Worldwide Cape Town CD, Reto Reolon. "Both agencies and the client wanted an immediate affinity with the characters that would joyfully share all the fantastic products Checkers had available and effectively communicate that now is a wonderful time to change to Checkers."
The resulting television commercial was such a hit with Checkers' management that budget was allocated to screen it across cinemas throughout the festive period.
"An ad like this really ticks all the boxes for a studio like ours," continues Reolon. "We got to do great narrative, charming character development and create a commercial that cuts through the clutter and gives back to South Africa a small slice of Christmas spirit."