Christmas – it’s still the biggest holiday season in our calendar and the one that creates much anticipation year on year.
Many of us have seen the latest John Lewis ads, which created warm, fuzzy feelings as a young boy gifted his toy penguin Monty a companion, identified with the Mulberry ‘BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT EVER’ advertisement and felt our opinions divided by the Sainsbury’s tribute to World War One.
At this time, when many familiar archetypes – the Creators, the Magicians and the Jesters take over our retail environments, we went out and about to Soak It Up™ and enjoy the festive offerings some of our best retail stores have to offer. Here’s what we saw and what we thought:
Harrods – the land of make believe
A land of enchantment – silver birches, toy soldiers, a rotating ballerina, a carousel and uniformed mice in Harrods colours brings the archetypal talents of the Creator’s skill and imagination to life. A touch of the Jester delivers total joy – the attention to detail is a marvel. Everywhere you look there’s a little mouse polishing the jewellery, or a nutcracker selling, well, basically nutcrackers. Snow falls in every window and of course Santa Claus makes an appearance with his flying reindeer alongside a pirouetting ballerina. It’s magical.
Harvey Nichols – an enchanted forest
The story of sisters Snow White and Rose Red comes alive in the enchanted forest in Knightsbridge. Metallic tree trunks inject colour into a dramatic scene of woodland creatures who are dressed by courtesy of the fashion house collections of McQueen and Maison Martin Margiela. A touch of genius includes the application of moss to the street outside of the store, inviting and drawing people into the magical scenes within. Demonstrating the Explorer’s motto ‘don’t fence me in’, Harvey Nichols presents a grown up and seductive sense of Gothic for the season.
Selfridges – Storytelling
As Brand Storytellers ourselves, we adore the way that Selfridges brings brands and experiences to life. Linda Hewson, Selfridges’ creative director said: ‘This year, we have gone back to the simple pleasure of a great story well told and have decided to celebrate the art of storytelling’. (Source: the Guardian). Stories are certainly everywhere – Rumpelstiltskin in golden splendour, Sleeping Beauty cocooned in a neon pink Perspex casket, Hansel and Gretel have their gingerbread house and a forest adorned with My Little Ponies. We can’t help but think a master class in bringing both the goals of the Creator and Jester to life is plainly evident here: the realisation of a vision by lighting up the world.
John Lewis – Monty
The fact that this was the busiest store we visited is testament to the power of both the John Lewis commitment to customer care and a perfectly executed holistic Christmas campaign. Monty and his friends as curious Explorers at play are everywhere – in the laundry, in the kitchen, messing with the tech and finally delighting children (as well as adults) with his presence throughout the store. An absolute winner is the switch from a Santa’s grotto to Monty’s World. Using Samsung technology, kids and parents are invited to bring in their favourite toy to have it animated on screen with Monty and his buddies. Oh yes, you can also buy a Monty toy, socks, handkerchief, gift bags and make a donation to better the future of wild Penguins via the WWF. It’s cute, it’s smart and a superb example of telling a consistent story whatever the touch point – take a bow JL.
Best of the Rest…
It’s that time of year again. As the holiday season approaches and we all prepare for travelling to see loved ones near and far see our collection of beautiful vintage travel posters, which were produced to encourage people near and far to visit destinations all over the world.
Wherever you’re travelling this year, we wish you seamless travels and a happy holiday season.
At Boxer, we’re big believers in what we call Holistic Packaging by Design, and when we’re working with our clients it’s always on our minds. Heres our examples of three of our all-time favourite brands that we believe represent true HPD, which from experience we know comes from breaking down siloed thinking, in order to maximise a brand and packaging’s chances of success. http://bit.ly/1BVCd4z
After a brisk fall walk with my friend and our dogs, we met for dinner and there was a display of miniature Halloween houses like those in the familiar Christmas villages of that season, except instead of snow capped chimneys and spinning ice skaters in the park, this one featured creepy spiderweb ensconced houses and a tower with a revolving disk with a Dracula like figure chasing a woman.
Indeed, in the U.S. at least, Halloween has become the second most popular holiday for decorating after Christmas. And spurred by the Halloween village at the restaurant, and being storytellers at heart, the Boxer team set out to see what kinds of Halloween tales are being told in the real villages we live in.
Although you might expect that there is a universal take on Halloween, our search around our villages show that all kinds of archetypes and stories are revealed.
All Halloween stories have at their core a good versus evil theme. Some of these stories are lighthearted and some quite dark. And some take the lighthearted and make them dark.
A great example of archetypes at work in exploring this theme is what we saw in two houses both telling a similar story, but one in the spirit of Jester playfulness and another in a inventive (rather torturous) spirit of Creator.
We saw Innocents making what is universally scary (ghosts!) friendly, and Heroes standing tall waiting to protect us from unwelcome guests…
Caregiver households welcomed you with the comforts of autumn awaiting inside and while others in the wise manner of a Sage warning you “not so much.”
But it really wouldn’t be Halloween without an appearance from the Magician, because any Halloween story, good or evil, is about transformation. So ghoul or ghost, sinner or saint, Halloween is time for all of to tap our alter egos, and transform ourselves into something we aren’t, or want to be, this one day a year.
From all of us at Boxer, we wish you all a great Halloween, be sure to check out our Halloween party pics on Facebook and Twitter!
Do you work holistically? Find out by taking our quiz http://bit.ly/1BIED6d . Let us know your results.