Barbour turns to Paddington Bear to muster some sustainable Christmas spirit

Barbour: Paddington brought to life using hand-painted 2D animation style
Barbour: Paddington brought to life using hand-painted 2D animation style

Paddington sets about rewaxing Mr Brown’s tired Barbour jacket.

Barbour has enlisted the help of the much-loved children's character Paddington Bear to instil some Christmas spirit in an animated spot that centres on a story of sustainability.

In the ad, Paddington appears in his trademark hat and signature blue duffle coat, with the style of the original illustrations by Peggy Fortnum that featured in Michael Bond's series of Paddington books when they were originally published having been revived.

The festive film follows the mishaps and adventures of Paddington Bear as he comes up with a thoughtful gift. Paddington spies Mr Brown's Barbour jacket and notices it has seen better days. He then sets about sprucing it up using a tin of Barbour wax from the shed. On Christmas Day, he hands over the rewaxed jacket along with the tag with which he was found at Paddington station many years ago, on which he has written, "Thank you for looking after me."

"Barbour's philosophy and belief in making products that last has been passed down through the generations of the Barbour family and is part of the ethos of the company. This year we are celebrating sustainability as it's our Re-Waxing Centenary, so it is very appropriate to make re-waxing the focus of our Christmas film," Paul Wilkinson, group marketing director of Barbour, told Campaign.

He added: "Re-waxing has become more important than ever as more and more customers look to make sustainable choices. Extending the life of a wax jacket is one of the most effective ways of minimising its impact on the environment."

Production company Passion Pictures produced the hand-painted 2D animation that was directed by Againstallodds. 

Barbour's integrated creative agency, Thinking Juice worked closely with Passion Pictures on the project. The agreement was brokered by The Copyrights Group, a Vivendi Company who own the Paddington brand.

To support the campaign, Barbour is launching children's Paddington Bear clothing and nightwear collections.

Last year Barbour also opted for an animated spot with "Father Christmas to the rescue" by Illuminated Films. In a similar vein, the ad showed Father Christmas repair a Barbour jacket with a little help from the Barbour factory in South Shields. 

Commenting on the common themes in its festive ads, Wilkinson said: "Our aspiration is to produce Christmas films that are humorous and emotive and support our Barbour Way of Life messaging which is about making memories, spending time with friends and family and buying thoughtful gifts they will always remember.

"Slow fashion is becoming increasingly important and our message is that if you look after your Barbour jacket, you can extend its life and pass it down to future generations making it a sound investment and very sustainable choice," he added.

In 2017 Paddington Bear was responsible for saving Christmas in Marks & Spencer's ad "Paddington and the Christmas visitor" by Grey London. 

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