“Epic” Disney+ ad triumphs in TV creativity awards

Leo Burnett London created the Europe-wide “Stories You'd Expect + Stories You Wouldn't”

“Epic” Disney+ ad triumphs in TV creativity awards

When your “products” are constantly multiplying at pace and include timeless classics, communicating the range is a tricky task. 

Step forward Leo Burnett London, whose work for Disney+ has won it the praise of the Thinkbox Academy and the January/February Thinkboxes Award for TV creativity. The spot “could have been just another content montage,” said AMV BBDO’s creative partner and Thinkbox Academy member Tim Riley, but, in fact, Leo Burnett created “a minor epic”.

Live action and CGI elements are seamlessly blended in the EMEA-wide campaign that aims to change the perceptions of the channel as mainly for kids and families and bring to life the breadth of TV shows and movies available.

The idea was to surprise and delight people with the full range that subscribers can access - as well as with an ad that morphs live-action scenes with on-screen content, from zombies drooling over The Walking Dead to a Kingsman agent reminding us in a few swift movements why “manners maketh man.” The idea for the juxtaposition was created in-house and the film was directed by Ian Pons Jeweell for ProdCo.

The more expected content of the ad’s title includes Pixar’s Toy Story franchise and The Simpsons; The Kardashians and The Book of Boba Fett are among the unexpected.

The commercial opens with a camera descending from the sky and bringing into view apartment buildings whose silhouette resembles the iconic Disney Castle. To a remixed soundtrack of Billy Fury’s Wondrous Place, the camera hones in on one of the buildings with the Disney+ sign atop, and takes us on a journey through six themed rooms. Live action meets on-screen storytelling in the rooms which each individually reflect the programmes.

“Disney has almost 100 years of rich heritage in setting the bar on storytelling and production - so we’ve brought the same care and craft in bringing this familiar yet surprising House of Disney+ to life,” said Ben Mooge, chief creative officer of Publicis Groupe UK, on behalf of Publicis’s Imagine Power of One team that includes Leo Burnett London. “Blending CGI with live action and everything in between, Ian has helped us make a film that’s worthy of the content on Disney+”.

Usama Al-Qassab, vice president marketing Disney+ EMEA at The Walt Disney Company, pointed to the fact that the company is synonymous with “timeless storytelling.” With this campaign, he said, the objective was to “make sure viewers understand Disney+ is the home of a wide variety of iconic content. Our subscribers can find just about anything they are in the mood for on Disney+. Some may even be surprised by what they find.”

Second place in the Thinkboxes' January/February winners’ line-up went to "A Savills love story" by Isobel for Savills. "What's your thing?" for DFS by Pablo was third.

Also shortlisted were 'We're better, connected - Skatergirl" for Virgin Media by Adam & Eve/DDB and 'The Greatest Showrooms" for Wren Kitchens by Tribal Worldwide.


Agency: Leo Burnett London

Creative team: Ben Mooge, Drew Davies, Angus Crombie 

Client: Daphne Philippou

Production company: ProdCo

Director: Ian Pons Jewell

The Thinkboxes, in association with Campaign, are the only bi-monthly awards that celebrate the UK’s world-beating TV ad creativity, in all its forms. They are judged by the Thinkbox Academy – 200 advertising and marketing luminaries who have been involved in award-winning creative work for TV.

Want to see more great work? Head to the Thinkboxes hub

Thinkbox is the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, in all its forms. Its shareholders are Channel 4, ITV, Sky Media and UKTV. Thinkbox works with the marketing community with a single ambition: to help advertisers get the best out of today’s TV.


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