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New campaign for Shaddy recaptures O. Henry short story magic

A new campaign for Japanese gift and lifestyle retailer, Shaddy, recaptures the heart-warming O. Henry short story, The Gift of the Magi. Dentsu teamed up with Budapest-based production company, Flatpack Films to recreate the 1900s in the Hungarian town of Esztergom.
Actors in the new Dentsu campaign recapturing O. Henry's Gift of the Magi

Directed in collaboration between Dokuwa Communications and Taiyo Kikaku, the film follows a poor, young couple who sacrifice their most prized possessions for love. Early on, we see them gazing longingly at a shop window display filled with items they cannot afford. Driven by the desire to give the other a token of their love, each decides to make a sacrifice. At the film’s climax, the girl reveals that she sold her luscious locks to buy her partner a chain for his watch. He then reveals that he sold the watch to buy her a comb. The couple laugh at the irony and, recognising the mutual lengths they would go to for each other, embrace.

Flatpack Films worked closely with Japanese production company, Taiyo Kikaku and Hamburg-based production company, Dokuwa Communications to deliver the complex shoot.

Esztergom was chosen for its historical architecture and for its island in the middle of the Danube River, which is displayed in the final scene. The shop window scenes were shot in Esztergom town square and Flatpack completely redressed an antique shop for the pawnshop scene.

Authentic European period feel

Flatpack’s producer, Zita Kisgergely, comments, “The client was dedicated to achieving an authentic European period feel, so the settings and costumes had to be spot on, right down to the smallest detail. Our art department rose to the challenge, researching and sourcing period jewels and watches and finding exactly the right type of lower-middle class costumes -provided by the team at Peris, Madrid – to reflect accurately the status of the young couple.

“It was a pleasure to work with the Japanese team on this project. In all my years in production, I have not come across a more meticulous approach. Their attention to detail is both mesmerising and impressive and it was exciting to demonstrate our company’s ability to match this high standard. We’ve proud to have been a part of this project.”

Ken Hagen Takenaka, executive producer and founder of Dokuwa Communications, comments, “Working with the Flatpack team in Hungary was a great experience. Everything was well-planned and organised, and we became good friends by the end.” The campaign is now live on TV and online in Japan.

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