Boots Sparks Joy In All-Star Christmas ad By VMLY&R

Bags of Joy heralds the festive period with ad starring Dr Who actress Jenna Coleman

By Creative Salon

Boots has placed its Christmas hat in the ring today with Bags of Joy, a new integrated Christmas campaign that celebrates finding the perfect gift for your nearest and dearest.

The spot, starring BAFTA-nominated actress Jenna Coleman as the character of Joy, is narrated by other Doctor Who alumni Bille Piper, and establishes Boots as the leading gifting destination for the season, with something special for everyone and every occasion.

Boots has brought in a host of talent to create the campaign. Academy Award-winning director Tom Hooper directed the film, with production design from BAFTA Award-winning production designer, Eve Stewart. The soundtrack, performed by a 45-piece orchestra at the iconic Abbey Road Studios, was composed by Rachel Portman OBE, the first female composer to win an Academy Award.

Bags of Joy, created by The Pharm - the WPP partnership team dedicated to Walgreens Boots Alliance - reignites the magic of the holiday season. It brings into focus the happiness of spending time with friends and family and the wonderful feeling of gifting joy to them, after a year where so many were unable to spend time together.

In the film, we see Joy receive a special gift from her nan, a bag that she discovers wields the power to make her Christmas truly magical. When Joy reaches into the bag, it delivers the perfect gift at every opportunity. Some surprising, others touching, but the gifts are always wonderfully fitting to the situation and the recipient, even when that happens to be Joy herself.

The extraordinary protagonist of the campaign, the bag itself, serves as a clever metaphor for Boots stores up and down the country, inspiring shoppers to fill their own bags of joy with a choice of thousands of wonderful gifts and to immerse themselves in the spirit of Christmas.

Pete Markey, chief marketing officer at Boots UK, said: “This year, we wanted to celebrate the heart-warming memories that families will once again be able to make and cherish. To reach our customers wherever they may be, we have a full marketing plan to ensure they can experience that Christmas magic across every touchpoint. Whether they are scrolling for festive inspiration on Instagram, flicking through a magazine or relaxing in front of the television, we want people to feel joy at every opportunity.”

“With so many people unable to spend the holidays with their loved ones last year, we wanted to encapsulate the pure joy that people will feel this year as we reclaim lost time. Boots is a brand baked into the fabric of British culture, and it has been an exhilarating journey to bring their Christmas campaign to life with such incredible talent behind us,” said Laurent Simon, chief creative officer at VMLY&R London.

The campaign launches with a three-minute online film and 60 and 30-second edits across TV and VOD. The TV activations launch on 6th November during Jonathan Ross on ITV with short teaser films leading up to the date.

In addition to the hero film, Boots will be running a media-first partnership with Sky Media. The campaign will feature product-led shoppable TVCs with QR codes, driving viewers to and enabling Boots to attribute online sales directly to its partnership activity. Using the combination of AdSmart targeting and Boots’ 1st party data to target current and lapsed customers through the Advantage Card loyalty scheme, the campaign will provide a seamless and immediate experience for shoppers to browse and buy from the comfort of their sofas.

With a reach of over 18 million adults, the unified end-to-end Bags of Joy campaign will feature activations across TVC, Online, Radio, DOOH, Print, PR, Social and In-Store. Boots will be using intelligent geo-location to target its digital out of home and drive people in-store as well as personalisation elements in its creative.

To drive further awareness of the campaign, Boots is running an ITV hub takeover on 8th November and working with Channel 4’s collection lounge to provide viewers with curated programme playlists based on the theme of the campaign.

Media handled by Mediacom.


Client: Boots UK

CMO: Peter Markey

Marketing Director: Helen Jeremiah

Senior Marketing Manager: Laura Gooday

Marketing Manager: Rebecca Vittles

Agency: The Pharm

Chief Creative Officer: Laurent Simon

Chief Transformation Officer: Karen

Boswell Business Director: Sam Phillips-Grey

Senior Creatives: Tom Reas & Liam

Riddler Senior Producer: Roz Lawson

Production Manager: Eleanor Hardcastle

Strategy Partner: Nicole Frost

Associate Strategy Director: Anastasia Besson

Managing Partner, Media: Rachel Peace

Associate Director, Media: Emma Brogden

Production: Smuggler

Director: Tom Hooper

Producer: Nick Fewtrell

Exec Producer: Sara Wallace

Edit: The Whitehouse Post

Offline Editor: Russell Icke

Senior Assistant Editor: Steven Waltham

Executive Producer: Annabel Bennett

Post Production: Rascal Post

VFX Supervisor: Barnsley Executive

Producer: James Beck

Grade: Framestore

Head of Creative Colour: Simon Bourne

Post Producer: Chris Anthony

Music: Rachel Portman

Composer: Rachel Portman

Sound: GPS

Head of Audio: Toby Griffin

Audio Producer: Richard Donaghue

Casting: Talent Republic


LinkedIn iconx

Your Privacy

We use cookies to give you the best online experience. Please let us know if you agree to all of these cookies.