Boots takes on stress of gift-buying with frenetic Christmas campaign and experiences

Film, launching on Saturday evening, promotes brand's ultra-targeted 'Bootiques' aimed at various personality types.

Boots has opted for an upbeat, anarchic tone in its Christmas campaign, based on the challenge of finding appropriate gifts for friends and family with distinct interests and lifestyles.

A 90-second film, created by Ogilvy as part of WPP’s Team WBA, will launch tomorrow night (Saturday) in a roadblock across all commercial TV channels, as well as on video-on-demand and social media platforms. 

Opening with a scene of a village hall meeting, suggesting a traditional, sentimental Christmas ad, the film quickly snaps into a montage of shots of a diverse range of characters lamenting the difficulty of finding the right gift.

Boots is creating a series of "Bootiques" – curated shopping experiences aimed at character types such as vegans, struggling sleepers, fitness fanatics, tweens entering their rebellious phase and romantic partners. The curation of products will appear as installations in larger Boots stores around the UK, as well as in three pop-ups in London (themed on love), Birmingham (aimed at tweens) and Liverpool (based around sleep). 

Alongside this, Boots is creating a "Build your own Bootique" online tool, allowing people to create a themed personalised gift request list to share with their family and friends. It is also significantly boosting digital spend, from 42% in 2018 to 55% this year, as part of what the brand called a "greater focus on digital and shopper experience than ever before".

"This Christmas, we want to help the nation feel good, with a fun look at the very real challenge of finding that perfect gift. People’s ever-changing passions and interests can make it tough to buy for them at Christmas," Helen Normoyle, marketing director for Boots UK and Ireland, said.

"We have used that challenge as a source of creative inspiration to help customers easily shop from the amazing range of gifts Boots have to offer, across our gifting, beauty, health and wellness ranges."

The campaign was created by Tom Madden, Morgan Hinds-Shorland, Naomi Nicholl, Lily James, Tony Malcolm and Marc Bennett, and directed by Si & Ad through Academy. Along with Ogilvy, Team WBA includes MediaCom, Geometry and Bookmark working with True Story.

Dede Laurentino, chief creative officer at Ogilvy UK, added: "This campaign tackles one of the great challenges people have over Christmas – getting the perfect gift for our friends and family. This truly human insight has powered the whole idea and we’ve used technology and wit – in equal measures – to bring it to life in a way that has never been done and could never be done until now. Tech meets the heart – it’s Christmas in 2019, after all."