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Blending stop-motion animation and live action shots, Spanish luxury fashion label Loewe designed a fantastical — yet odd — world of ornate rooms and mystical woods for its holiday campaign. The effort's core creative, a 60-second video titled "An Otter's Tale," evokes an "Alice in Wonderland" charm and was inspired by British artist William De Morgan, the brand shared with Marketing Dive.
Set to original music from a 130-person choir, the video's opening scene depicts a lavishly decorated room in which an animated otter leads a real-life woman through a tapestry into another world of half-human creatures.
"[De Morgan's] animals are beautiful but not cute, they have this oddness to them, so they fitted in perfectly with the feel of the film," London production studio Blinkink's Nina Gantz, who directed the video, told Marketing Dive.
The holiday campaign includes shorter video cuts for out-of-home (OOH) and social as well as a behind-the-scenes film illustrating how the video was executed, inviting viewers into the colorful world while showcasing Loewe's new product collection that visually matches the video.
A different kind of Christmas story
Despite launching just ahead of the holiday season, the creative doesn't contain the season's classic symbols: twinkling lights, snow and the typical merriness seen in most holiday spots.
"This campaign defies all Christmas clichés. [De Morgan] was the main inspiration for the new collection and his work lent itself very well as a starting point for a darkly strange and fun film which epitomizes the collection," Loewe's Creative Director Jonathan Anderson said.
That peculiarity was deliberate, and fits with the LVMH-owned brand's shift in creative direction that began when Anderson took the helm in 2013 and decided to make over Loewe into a cultural brand that surprises consumers. One piece of that puzzle was to position the brand, dubbed "the Spanish Hermès," as more accessible while reversing the idea that luxury is reserved for the elite. Other high-end labels, such as Gucci and Moët & Chandon, are taking similar approaches by ramping up their digital experiences, perhaps in response to how affluent millennials are different from affluent consumers in other age groups.
"This campaign defies all Christmas clichés. [De Morgan] was the main inspiration for the new collection and his work lent itself very well as a starting point for a darkly strange and fun film which epitomizes the collection."
Creative director, Loewe
The holiday campaign's distinctive style mirrors its unique production technique, which lets the real-life models interact with settings not feasible via traditional filming, according to Gantz.
"Stop motion combined with live action isn't common these days, but I'm a big fan of Ray Harryhausen and films like 'Jason and the Argonauts.' Of course, we've got new animation techniques he didn't have back in the 1960s, but overall the feel of the film is very handcrafted and the effect is wonderfully strange," she said.
A separate behind-the-scenes video illustrates how Gantz's 60-person team produced the set and executed the creative, from sewing props and puppets by hand to building miniature forests. The detail that went into assembling the campaign mirrors the craftsmanship of the luxury brand's new De Morgan-inspired collection.
Making a behind-the-scenes spot to accompany "An Otter's Tale" aligns with how Loewe works, according to Gantz. The brand often produces films that give insight into how some of the products are made, and like the backstage video, reveal the craft and attention to detail that goes into them.
"The behind-the-scenes film gives another layer to the film, it helps you see it in a different way," she said. "I also love that you get to see some of the team behind it. There's something really special about seeing the work that goes into these things."