Sage's first ever Christmas advert: How and why we made it

When does your holiday season usually start? The moment you send your last email and put your out of office on? The day after the work Christmas party?

Maybe your office is closed for Christmas, so you couldn’t work even if you wanted to. For millions of local, community businesses around the world this year, the office never really closes. For them, the holidays don’t mean a winding down as much as a dialling up of business activity to be there for us.

It is because of these small businesses that this year, Sage created a marketing campaign designed as a holiday tribute to the dedication of the entrepreneur. We wanted to highlight how at Sage, it is our mission to champion business builders around the world.

The creation of the holiday advert is a big step in the major brand transformation that we are currently undertaking at Sage, where 2017 will be celebrated as the Year of the Business Builder: our new brand strategy is geared towards celebrating the spirit and the sacrifice of the entrepreneurs and businesses we serve.

As Christmas now behind us, the advert has now reached three million views

As the holiday season is a moment of celebration—especially for the people, values, and traditions that matter to us — this was an ideal opportunity to create a digital campaign to show our appreciation for business builders everywhere, particularly those who work tirelessly to make other people’s holidays so special.

The advert was created in partnership with Pereira & O’Dell in San Francisco. We developed the story of the business builder who is unable to join her family to celebrate the holidays every year because she works so hard to run her business – year after year, there’s an empty chair at the family table.

But this year, on Christmas Eve, she follows a trail of fairy lights to her storeroom to find that her family have taken Christmas to her – laying out a full Christmas dinner in the store so they can celebrate the holidays together.

The film’s initial concept was conceived in late September – early October, making the total production time just a little over two months. The advert was shot in Toronto in two full day shoots, with post-production taking place in California.

As Christmas now behind us, the advert has now reached three million views across multiple digital platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, in addition to pre-roll on various sites through RadiumOne.

As well as creating this visual tribute to business builders, we have also launched a prize draw to help make one entrepreneur’s Christmas extra special.

The prize draw encouraged members of the public in the UK and the US to nominate a small business of their choice who will be gifted £5,000 or $5,000 by Sage.

The holiday advert is directed at the high street retailer that will stay open until midnight on Christmas Eve for all the last minute holiday shoppers.

The combination of both the advert and the social campaign were created to showcase the dedication of small businesses in today’s global economy – the advert is just the start of Sage’s new brand strategy.  

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