The Escape Christmas campaign 2017


Every year we do a little something to send our clients, partners, friends and family to say a quick festive "hello and thank you" for everything they have done to support us over the past 12 months. It's not intended as a direct sell item, its designed to be creative, engaging and more often than not, a little amusing!

Approximately every September we gather in a room, get our creative caps on and throw lots of ideas around, waiting to see which is going to fit our objective, budget and time plan. This year we decided to approach it a little differently. We had the same overall objectives but we wanted to create a concept that could span a number of years, build expectation and intrigue and create continued engagement with our audiences.

Our approach was to go back to basics and devise a Christmas card based concept. We wanted to do something that involved everybody and showcased the personality of our brand and our people.

The idea we settled on was to harness the value we have in the origins of our beautiful farmhouse office. Tying that in with a festive nod, we connected the two with a 'shepherds from the farmhouse' concept. Our idea was to use a client location, dress the team as shepherds and create a visual story/situation that showed each Escapee in a slightly different 'moment' or performing the role of a specific type of character.

Our selected venue for 2017 was Englefield House. The Benyon Family and house management team very kindly donated us their library for the day and were willing to entertain our slightly crazy idea. Our positioning for the concept, and a position that we intend to run for a number of years, was along the lines of 'the shepherds got a little distracted as they set about spreading the good news of the arrival of the baby Jesus'.

With this as the background message (or words to that effect), we created a composition that featured the 12 of us (13 if you include the skeleton!) doing things from tattooing a fellow shepherd to a game of strip poker to John having his shepherds gown stuck in his fancy red pants as he reached for a book. As we're sure you can imagine, it was a hilarious set to plan, design and build and a great day of photographic fun.

The scenario was shot collectively first, then each person was lit and photographed individually, then composed together in post-production. Stuart from Hype Photography very kindly agreed to do the shoot for us and we're sure you'd agree, did a cracking job making it all work.

The campaign plan was to produce a tent card style Christmas card to send out to our database of 'loved ones'. This was supported with a homepage takeover of our website with the ability to zoom into the image, click on links to each Escapee/shepherd and learn more about the character and situation of each one. Awareness was driven through our social channels and an EDM was sent out to our full database.

Feedback to our crazy Christmas caper was fantastic. It really seemed to go down well, except with those that are too used to receiving chocolate or some other form of goody (sorry peeps!).

The plan is to keep the shepherds on the move each year, so watch this space to see what location 'distraction' finds them in next. If you'd like to guarantee you see the 2018 composition and those beyond, sign up to our newsletter here.

Thank you for that AMAZING Christmas card, it has made my day! Tim and I have literally shown everyone in the whole building!
Holly Langley — Business Operations Manager, Simply Commerce Recruitment

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