From surfing-Santas to LED-starry-night background:
How Breitling’s 2020 Christmas campaign was produced
Breitling is a well-known luxury watch brand that creates beautiful and exclusive timepieces. First established in 1884 in Switzerland, Breitling is an ultra-sophisticated brand with a diverse heritage.
From oceans to seas to skies, Breitling crafts exclusive timepieces for each area of innovation, lending to their precision, accuracy, and refined design.
We first started working with Breitling after being approached by the team at the Euroshop Trade Show in February 2020. Since then, we have been working on all Breitling’s seasonal campaigns consisting of 6-8 projects yearly. In this case, we are focusing on their 2020 Christmas campaign.
Breitling’s generic window boxes
Breitling’s generic framework features their own standard window boxes. These boxes are installed in 30 stores all around the world. Using these window boxes as their staging area, the creative team at Breitling can define the display space in larger store windows and showcase their products to create an impactful campaign.
The boxes are equipped with a lighting system within the back to highlight any background material that is placed over them. With an easy to change panel on the back of the box, it is quick to swap the background for each campaign. To hang elements in the window box, the hanging system is specific to Breitling and creates some standardisation between the boxes. The window box solution is a fantastic idea and creates an area of focus for the timepieces, where the customer can zoom in and focus on the product.
The creative brief
Breitling approached us with an imaginative creative brief for their Christmas campaign. The brand envisioned a magical snow globe-like expression, encompassed inside the window boxes.
Inside this snow globe feature, there were to be 3D Santas in three different expressions. These expressions were used to reflect the brand’s air, land, and sea heritage
The Santas were to have a mirror-finished surface so that they stood out in front of the glistening, dark blue/navy starry background. The Santas also had to be accurately detailed to give an elegant, luxurious look when customers studied the timepieces up close.
Along with these charismatic Santas, the base of the snow globe needed to look fluffy and realistic to give the appearance of textured snow, settling randomly on the ground of the shaken snow globe.
On the bottom of the snowy base, the client imagined small, red gift boxes with green ribbons scattered around the scene to add to the Christmas theme.
Additionally, the brand’s generic display boxes for the watches were to be included at the stages of this Christmas campaign.
All of these individual elements together would form the brand’s vision of a wonderful Christmas themed campaign, along with complimenting the product.
Numerous components for one campaign
The main challenge with this campaign was the precipitous number of components and materials that were required to bring this campaign to life.
That called for a vast number of specialised production partners, capable of different production methods and techniques within different materials.
The sheer complexity of the campaign required an approach that brought the separate elements together, ensuring that all elements fitted perfectly together. All with the same high-quality standard to be assembled and co-packed, ready to be sent to each individual store, located around the world.
There were also technical challenges relating to achieving the realistic glass globe feature, snowy landscape, and the flickering star background lighting system.
Formation of the 3D Santas
The featured 3D Santas were the centrepiece of the client’s Christmas window. Therefore, the biggest obstacle was crafting these Santas to reflect the correct appearances unique to the brand; a surfing Santa, Santa on a motorbike and a flying Santa.
The design of the Santas was based on Breitling’s initial 3D sketches. Based on these provided sketches, we engineered a set of 3D drawings, where each Santa was broken down into mouldable/ printable parts defined by colours.
As the Santas were to be attached to the back wall in the window boxes, a system of mounting brackets was designed and added to the drawing.
Due to the relatively small numbers of each Santa, we decided to 3D print all Santas. Each part of the Santa was individually printed and electroplated in the defined colours. Then each Santa was assembled, and the white details carefully painted by hand.
Add a sprinkling of snow
To create the snowy base element, we worked with our production partners to produce a custom made structure that was made from polystyrene.
The shape was engineered by our team using 3D renderings. The element was then handcrafted by an expert craftsman following our drawings. The element was given a flocked surface treatment, repeated several times, to get the desired snowy effect that the client wished for.
The glass globe
To give the illusion of a snow globe-look for the campaign, it was Breitling’s wish to create a 3D single warped sheet of transparent acrylic. This was to encompass the scene and curve around the set to enclose the different elements.
However, after many trials of this at the technical phase, we, together with the client, decided to eliminate this aspect from the campaign, due to the warped effect of the acrylic, which caused the scene to look distorted and unaesthetic.
The solution was to then create a 2D version of this dome, to still illustrate the effect of a snow globe, but without the unavoidable distortion.
Christmas with a starry night
To create a beautiful, sparkling background to compliment the Christmas theme, we proposed a customised and illuminated background for our client.
Initially, we explored the option of fibre optic lighting, however, this did not accurately represent our client’s vision and concept.
Instead, we explored other options, and the background was made from fabric with small holes. In each hole, a flickering LED light was inserted to ensure a completely customised background of flickering stars to support the campaign.
Coordination of the components made simple
To overcome the main challenge of the complex campaign, arising from many components from different suppliers all around China, produced by different methods within a short timeframe, strict production planning was necessary.
This campaign was produced using 14 different specialised sub-suppliers. We planned and coordinated the production of each part and offered detailed time schedules to each production partner. To ensure that the deadlines were kept and the quality of the products as specified, our quality inspectors were placed at each production site to avoid any negative surprises in delivery time and quality level.
We utilised our in-house assembly line, where the Santas were assembled, and the background curtain was finalised with the LED light inserted.
The window set was composed of 5 main groups:
- The base (which was produced from metal and the snowy landscape)
- The background (fabric with LED lights)
- The acrylic dome plus the support structure
- The Santas with supporting structure for mounting
- The other 3D decorative elements: Gift boxes, window stickers and stands for the watches with ribbon and bows. (All with the same red/white striped theme)
All the elements were brought together, and tests assembled at our facility to ensure 100% that all elements fit together both technically and colour wise.
Co-packing for easy distribution
The complete window decoration was designed for optimal packaging already from the technical phase.
Due to the global recognition of our client, who has stores all around the world, we prepared the window sets for global distribution.
To conquer this, the window sets were packed for each individual store, containing the exact amount of elements needed for each store. Thus any need for repackaging and redistribution for Breitling was eliminated, providing the most efficient method of delivery.
In each package, we included our own step-by-step assembly manual of around 30 pages for easy implementation in the stores.
A magical Christmas campaign
Breitling’s Christmas campaign was truly outstanding. From the charismatic Santas, via the fluffy snow landscape, to the whimsical starry night, the VM elements perfectly showcased the products for the festive season.
A result of Our specialised set-up
This case is a great example of what TJ Squared is capable of. After all, to explore your full artistic freedom, you need to have unrestricted production methods and techniques.
The best, most impactful campaigns will involve many different components. We are well versed in the coordination of complex projects and can offer you many different materials, production methods, and a vast network of production partners. We offer you a set-up where you can realise your wildest, boldest, and most creative ideas and allow your creative imagination to flourish.
If you want to know more about what TJ Squared can do for you, get in touch with us.
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Our work includes custom-made visual merchandising campaigns, for both window and in-store use – for a wide range of well-known retail brands.