Last October, Anomaly launched a Star Wars-themed holiday ad for Duracell entitled “Battle for Christmas Morning” ahead of the release of The Force Awakens. With the release of Star Wars Anthology film Rogue One about two months away, the agency one again tapped into the force with the release of “How The Rebels Saved Christmas.”
The spot opens with a girl picking up an R2-D2 toy from under the Christmas tree and inserting two Duracell batteries. This brings the toy to life, transforming into the actual droid as a message explains she must deliver the R2 unit to the rebellion. She meets up with other rebels, who make their way past imperial forces before finally completing their mission.
That concluding scene brings the action back down to earth and gives the spot emotional weight as the group delivers the toy to a girl confined to a hospital bed. The spot ends with a plea for viewers to donate to Miracle Network Hospitals, aligning Duracell to a worthy cause while raising the stakes of the preceding story. Both the overall approach and Star Wars-themed action, shot by Imperial Woodpecker director Simon McQuoid come as an improvement over last year’s effort.
“We wanted to continue our partnership with Star Wars this year and continue celebrating the power that imaginative play has on kids,” Duracell marketing director Ramon Velutini told Adweek. “We came across the most incredible insight: Kids at hospitals continue to act as kids even during tough circumstances, and imaginative play plays a big role in their ability to cope during their healing process.”
“We got the use of a newly opened hospital wing that had yet to be put to use,” he added. “The exteriors were shot outside of a disused train factory, and all of the Star Wars costumes and gear were flown in separately by Lucasfilm.”