Santaland Express

‘Myer Central’

After the success of last year’s collaboration with IdeaWorks and Myer on the Wonderland Lift, we were really excited to take on another experiential campaign designed to amp up the in-store Christmas joy. Working with the team at Y&R, the brief for us this year was to create the content for a magical train ride that took kids on a journey all the way to Santaland in the North Pole. Housed in purpose-built train carriages at major city stores around Australia, the video plays out across four screens built into each side of the carriage walls, and give the impression of looking out the train’s windows at the world whizzing past outside.

The adventure – which starts at ‘Myer Central’ station in Australia, travels quickly into the outback then up into clouds shimmering with Aurora Borealis, and back down into the snowy landscape of of the North Pole – parallels Santa’s Christmas present run. With that in mind, we were very aware of wanting to keep a sense of magic and mystery to the film that might encourage kids to believe that this fabled journey really is possible (at least until their big sister shatters the illusion). One of the ways we did that was to incorporate a dual sense of time in the piece; 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.

Live action, 3D & hi-res stills

With a constantly travelling world that covers a 12K wide screen, we had to be clever about how to produce enough content for the 2 minutes of the experience. Lead artist Luke Carvell came to the rescue, devising a seamless combination of live action, 3D and high res stills that allowed us to create a world that felt engaging and fun, and was full of little hidden easter eggs for kids to discover. A real highlight for director Kyra Bartley was the live-action component, shooting the very cute ‘elf’ characters that appear throughout the film and culminate in a snowball fight on arrival in Santaland. Whilst working with five pre-teens and a studio full of very slippery fake snow could have been a recipe for disaster, the kids and crew really stepped up to deliver some gorgeous moments of goofy action that bring considerable charm to the final film.


Agency:   Y&R ANZ

Art Director: Tom Denton

Copywriter: Tina Funder

Account Director: Jacinda Tree

Account Executive : Caitlin Thomas

Senior Producer, Y&R: Meredyth Judd

Production Company: Sixty40

Director: Kyra Bartley

DP: Rupert Brown

BTS Photography: David Collins

VFX Supervisor: Jamie Watson

CG Lead Artist: Luke Carvell

Compositor Lead: Bertrand Polivka

Colourist: Greg Constantaras

Senior Producer: Charu Menon

Executive Producer: Will Alexander

Lead Production and Installation Agency: Active Display Group

Screens and Media players:  Lymlive Media

Santa and Helpers staffing: Solution Entertainment