Myer takes children on the 'Santaland Express' in new campaign via Ideaworks by Y&R and Sixty40

Myer_Santaland.jpgDialling up Christmas joy for Myer this year, Sixty40 director Kyra Bartley has collaborated with Ideaworks by Y&R to create an experiential campaign that takes children on a magical train ride to visit 'Santaland', the department store's regular in-store Christmas instalment.

Titled 'Santaland Express', Sixty40 was briefed to create a two-minute CGI and live-action combined film that transports viewers through a journey to Santaland. Boarding at 'Myer Central Station', the adventure travels into the outback before heading up into the clouds and back down to the North Pole.

Housed inside purpose-built train carriage installations located across major department stores around the country, the film is viewed through actual windows built into the carriage walls to create the illusion of watching a fantastical world whizzing past outside.
Working closely with Heckler CG lead artist Luke Carvell, Bartley says one of the main project challenges, for her as a director and for the team, was adapting to the scale of screens they delivered across.

Says Bartley: "There are four screens on each side of the train so it was essentially a hyper-wide screen aspect showing a constantly travelling world outside.

"It meant there was a lot of ground to cover and much content to create for the experience to come to life. Luke devised a balanced and seamless combination of live action footage, 3D and high res stills to give us plenty of room to play in a world that felt engaging and fun."

To achieve a fantasy look and feel, Bartley approached the project by incorporating a dual sense of time. Foreground elements move at real-time speed, whilst background elements and skies move in time-lapse, taking the viewer from day to night and back to day again.

Says Charu Menon, senior producer, Sixty40: "After the success of last year's collaboration with Myer on its Wonderland Lift, we were pumped to take on another experiential campaign designed to get families and children into the Christmas spirit."

Says Danny Lattouf, regional head of retail, Y&R ANZ: "Myer has such a strong Christmas legacy and we were humbly charged with delivering a truly special experience for tens of thousands of kids in Australia.

"We were inspired by the opportunity to bring the things we loved about the traditions of celebrating Christmas as children and pair that with the incredible innovations we experience through technology today. Our aim was to create the ultimate Christmas adventure. A place where childhood Christmas never ends."

Client: Myer

Agency: Ideaworks by Y&R
Art Director: Tom Denton
Copywriter: Tina Funder
Account Director: Jacinda Tree
Account Executive: Caitlin Thomas
Senior Producer, Y&R: Meredyth Judd

Animation: Sixty40
Director: Kyra Bartley
Senior Producer: Charu Menon
DP: Rupert Brown
BTS Photography: David Collins

Post Production: Heckler
Executive Producer: Will Alexander
VFX Supervisor: Jamie Watson
CG Lead Artist: Luke Carvell
Compositor Lead: Bertrand Polivka
Colourist: Greg Constantaras

Lead Production and Installation Agency: Active Display Group
Screens and Media Players: Lymlive Media
Santa and Helpers Staffing: Solution Entertainment


See Through said:

I took the niece and nephew. Smacked of a cost cutting exercise when compared to the ACTUAL train ride of previous years.

The chain must really be in trouble if they had to lower their production costs on a miniature railway, not to mention public liability insurance... Shares are sitting at 64 cents today!

My advice to family who asked my opinion? Stay away. Can't even walk around the Giftorium because it's so chockers of island shelves. It's like the Merchandiser has been sick all over the place.

Then there's the windows... Using characters from their own TVCs and therefore saving on royalty fees from using an actual kids book. Woeful.

I remember back in 2000 when they did Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. That was a real example of Christmas Windows. It's never been the same since...

Solly - if you end up taking this basket case over, all the best to you for what will (if you pull it off) the biggest corporate turnaround since Qantas.

Couldn't afford a roof? said:

Took my 3 year old on this. It could've been "okay"... but there was no roof on the train (which was actually just a room, but that could've worked). The kids are all looking out the window of this moving train (all done with screens) then they look UP to see the sky they're flying through. What do they see? The still, grey ceiling of the Myer store!

Put a roof on it. Or a sheet from the manchester department. Anything.

Honestly, it was the most depressing experience. My son, who is full of wonder and easily suspends disbelief pointed at the ceiling and said "it's not real".

Agree with the previous commenter.. stay away. Should've been good fun - even if it's not a real train. But the immersive room doesn't even immerse. We just watched a (admittedly nice) video on the wall and left. Ruined by cheap execution.

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