H&M released their Christmas ad campaign this week and it’s all kinds of lovely. The three-minute promo is actually more of a short film than an ad and is one of the first major projects undertaken by famous director Wes Anderson since The Grand Budapest Hotel in 2014.
Staged on a train (the H&M Express no less), the short takes us through the tiresome journey of a train conductor played by Adrien Brody. It’s Christmas day and we see Brody announcing to his passengers with a heavy heart that poor weather conditions have delayed their travel by a further 11 hours; meaning they’ll miss celebrating with their families and friends. But Brody and his fellow conductor pull all the strings to create a special surprise for his passengers; especially a lonesome unaccompanied little boy.
The film is shot in typical Anderson style complete with symmetrical compositions, snap zooms, limited (but beautiful) colour palettes, and great attention to detail. The train almost mimics a dolls-house and it’s and it’s oh-so visually pleasing.
Speaking to Adweek about the release, Pernilla Wohlfahrt, H&M’s head of design and creative director, said that “the winter train ride, under Wes Anderson’s direction, is the perfect setting for H&M’s holiday collection full of relaxed, wearable elegance”.
All of the actors are or course wearing H&M. But maybe the real beauty behind this advert (aside from the obviously pleasing Anderson aesthetic), is perhaps the fact that the H&M aren’t this time pushing tons of product on us, but rather are pushing a simple message: come together this Christmas
Aside from the climax at the end, perhaps the real showstopper of the mini-film is the single shot of the empty carriage that mysteriously glows and lightens (again with those delectable Anderson pallets) as the train passes through tunnels and time goes by; creating a surreal sense of calm, but still we’re anticipating what might happen. It’s brilliantly managed. Take three to watch the full clip below.