havas Content printed form Havas - The Download - https://download.havas.com/behind-the-work/the-nicest-christmas-ever/
Work

The Nicest Christmas Ever

The Nicest Christmas Ever

Michael Carnevale

Michael Carnevale

December 17, 2018

It took some convincing, and a whole lotta help.

"Our brief is always the same – to offer the world a uniquely Kiwi take on Christmas."

Hadleigh Sinclair, Senior Creative at Host/Havas, draws back the curtain on one of cheekiest Christmas ads of the year.

In “The Nicest Christmas Ever,” the comedic tradition continues for Air New Zealand. Why did you opt for this approach again?
We didn’t want to mess with tradition. Cheeky, lighthearted humor has been a big part of our work with Air New Zealand for over ten years now, whether it’s having a laugh with Ronan Keating or tricking an Aussie into visiting New Zealand.

It’s an approach that works particularly well this time of year. While a lot of brands pump out sugary sweet Christmas tales, we try to create something different. Our brief is always the same – to offer the world a uniquely Kiwi take on Christmas.

As we saw with both “A Very Merry Mistake” and “The Nicest Christmas Ever,” it’s funny to humanize Santa: to think of him not as a mythical character, like the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, or a long-serving Australian Prime Minister, but as a real person. Surely the North Pole at Christmastime is pretty hectic, so it’s fun to imagine that Santa, like the rest of us, makes mistakes from time to time.

Where did the idea of a Summit of Naughty Kids come from?
Kiwis love to have a laugh. As such, when it comes to Air New Zealand, we’ve always opted for a lighthearted take on current events or trending topics. In fact, over the years we’ve taken aim at everything from the (lack of) rugby skills of our Tasman neighbors to our very own accent.

So in 2018 – a year that’s been filled with summits and accords and global leaders getting together—it seemed only right to take all of that political seriousness and make it a little more Kiwi.

"The kids were great. The majority of them were first-time actors, children of Air New Zealand staff."

How was it working with kid actors? Any funny moments when you got them all in one room for the last scene?
The kids were great. The majority of them were first-time actors, children of Air New Zealand staff. In the spot, the summit ends when the kids earn enough “nice” points to get on Santa’s Nice List. This was signified by confetti raining down from the roof. We had one shot to capture this, as time (along with our confetti budget) was tight. We needn’t have worried about getting a reaction. Confetti is like crack for kids. As soon as the confetti cannon went off, it was like the kids had become possessed by Mountain Dew–fueled glitter goblins. Let’s just say things got a little crazy.

And finally, what’s the beef with Australia about?
Kiwis and Aussies love a bit of banter, but at the end of the day, we’re mates. We’ll call each other names, but buy one another a beer if we ever end up in a pub together. The full creative team involved in the spot are New Zealanders who live in Australia, so I guess it was a chance to get in a cheeky little dig at our friends over here.

"Our brief is always the same – to offer the world a uniquely Kiwi take on Christmas."

Hadleigh Sinclair, Senior Creative at Host/Havas, draws back the curtain on one of cheekiest Christmas ads of the year.

In “The Nicest Christmas Ever,” the comedic tradition continues for Air New Zealand. Why did you opt for this approach again?
We didn’t want to mess with tradition. Cheeky, lighthearted humor has been a big part of our work with Air New Zealand for over ten years now, whether it’s having a laugh with Ronan Keating or tricking an Aussie into visiting New Zealand.

It’s an approach that works particularly well this time of year. While a lot of brands pump out sugary sweet Christmas tales, we try to create something different. Our brief is always the same – to offer the world a uniquely Kiwi take on Christmas.

As we saw with both “A Very Merry Mistake” and “The Nicest Christmas Ever,” it’s funny to humanize Santa: to think of him not as a mythical character, like the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, or a long-serving Australian Prime Minister, but as a real person. Surely the North Pole at Christmastime is pretty hectic, so it’s fun to imagine that Santa, like the rest of us, makes mistakes from time to time.

Where did the idea of a Summit of Naughty Kids come from?
Kiwis love to have a laugh. As such, when it comes to Air New Zealand, we’ve always opted for a lighthearted take on current events or trending topics. In fact, over the years we’ve taken aim at everything from the (lack of) rugby skills of our Tasman neighbors to our very own accent.

So in 2018 – a year that’s been filled with summits and accords and global leaders getting together—it seemed only right to take all of that political seriousness and make it a little more Kiwi.

"The kids were great. The majority of them were first-time actors, children of Air New Zealand staff."

How was it working with kid actors? Any funny moments when you got them all in one room for the last scene?
The kids were great. The majority of them were first-time actors, children of Air New Zealand staff. In the spot, the summit ends when the kids earn enough “nice” points to get on Santa’s Nice List. This was signified by confetti raining down from the roof. We had one shot to capture this, as time (along with our confetti budget) was tight. We needn’t have worried about getting a reaction. Confetti is like crack for kids. As soon as the confetti cannon went off, it was like the kids had become possessed by Mountain Dew–fueled glitter goblins. Let’s just say things got a little crazy.

And finally, what’s the beef with Australia about?
Kiwis and Aussies love a bit of banter, but at the end of the day, we’re mates. We’ll call each other names, but buy one another a beer if we ever end up in a pub together. The full creative team involved in the spot are New Zealanders who live in Australia, so I guess it was a chance to get in a cheeky little dig at our friends over here.

contact our office

Call:

Stop by:

Connect: