IdeaWorks by Y&R has collaborated with Sixty40 director Kyra Bartley to create an experiential Christmas campaign that takes children on a magical train ride to visit ‘Santaland’, the department store’s regular in-store Christmas instalment.
Titled ‘Santaland Express’, Sixty40 was briefed to create a two-minute CGI and live-action combined film that transports viewers through a journey to Santaland.
Boarding at ‘Myer Central Station’, the adventure travels into the outback before heading up into the clouds and back down to the North Pole.
Housed inside purpose-built train carriage installations located across major department stores around the country, the film is viewed through actual windows built into the carriage walls to create the illusion of watching a fantastical world whizzing past outside.
Working closely with Heckler CG lead artist Luke Carvell, Bartley said one of the main project challenges was adapting to the scale of screens they delivered across.
“There are four screens on each side of the train, so it was essentially a hyper-wide screen aspect showing a constantly travelling world outside,” she said.
“It meant there was a lot of ground to cover and much content to create for the experience to come to life. Luke devised a balanced and seamless combination of live action footage, 3D and high-res stills to give us plenty of room to play in a world that felt engaging and fun.”
To achieve a fantasy look and feel, Bartley approached the project by incorporating a dual sense of time. Foreground elements move at real-time speed, while background elements and skies move in time-lapse, taking the viewer from day to night and back to day again.
Sixty40 senior producer Charu Menon said: “After the success of last year’s collaboration with Myer on its Wonderland Lift, we were pumped to take on another experiential campaign designed to get families and children into the Christmas spirit.”
Y&R’s regional head of retail for Australia and New Zealand, Danny Lattouf, said: “Myer has such a strong Christmas legacy, and we were humbly charged with delivering a truly special experience for tens of thousands of kids in Australia.”
“We were inspired by the opportunity to bring the things we loved about the traditions of celebrating Christmas as children and pair that with the incredible innovations we experience through technology today.
“Our aim was to create the ultimate Christmas adventure – a place where childhood Christmas never ends.”
For a behind-the-scenes view of the Santaland Express, click here.
Agency: IdeaWorks by Y&R
Art director: Tom Denton
Copywriter: Tina Funder
Account director: Jacinda Tree
Account executive: Caitlin Thomas
Senior producer, Y&R: Meredyth Judd
Director: Kyra Bartley
Senior producer: Charu Menon
Director of production: Rupert Brown
Behind-the-scenes photography: David Collins
Executive producer: Will Alexander
VFX supervisor: Jamie Watson
CG lead artist: Luke Carvell
Compositor lead: Bertrand Polivka
Colourist: Greg Constantaras
Lead production and installation agency: Active Display Group
Screens and media players: Lymlive Media
Santa and helpers staffing: Solution Entertainment