by Stephen Garner

Barbour has launched its 2020 Christmas campaign, which for the second year is inspired by the popular children’s books written and illustrated by Raymond Briggs and the 1991 animated special Father Christmas.

The film follows a young boy whose dog has chewed his father’s beloved Barbour wax jacket.  The boy writes to Father Christmas to say that he doesn’t want a present this year, he just needs his help to repair his father’s jacket in time for Christmas. Father Christmas realizes he can’t mend the jacket himself but has the bright idea of taking it to the Barbour factory in South Shields to see whether they can assist. The Barbour customer service team inspect the jacket and reassure him that it can be mended. They set to work repairing the jacket and give it a re-wax too, so it looks as good as new. Father Christmas then delivers the jacket back to the boy on Christmas Eve to give to his father on Christmas Day. The film ends with the family out for a dog walk on Christmas Day, the little boy smiling and happy and the father proudly wearing his newly restored Barbour jacket.

The film is based on the true story of Dudley the dachshund who chewed his owner’s much adored Barbour jacket. His owner sent it back to Barbour with a note from Dudley to say he was sorry! For almost a hundred years, Barbour has been re-waxing and repairing jackets in its South Shields HQ giving a new lease of life to old favorites. Regular re-waxing (and repairs if required) extends the life of a Barbour jacket and many wax jackets are handed down through generations of a family making them a very sustainable choice.

“This is a very special Christmas campaign for us as it’s based on a true story from one of our customers,” said Paul Wilkinson, global marketing and commercial director and Barbour. “The film highlights how much our Barbour jackets are loved and become an important part of the family. Barbour wax jackets are made to last – they’re very sustainable and if you re-wax your jacket at least once a year, it could last you a lifetime even if a naughty dachshund does decide to get his teeth into it!”

Award winning 2-D animation studio Illuminated Films, produced the animation for the film using computer assisted animation, compositing and special effects software TV Paint. Father Christmas to the Rescue was written and directed by Dave Unwin, along with art director Loraine Marshall and a number of leading British animators. Working closely with the production team at Illuminated Films, Barbour’s integrated creative agency, Thinking Juice one of the UK’s top ten independents, came up with the narrative of Father Christmas to the Rescue and the creative elements of the campaign. The voice of Father Christmas for the second-year running is actor Colin McFarlane.

The agreement was brokered by The Copyrights Group, a Vivendi Company, who have been the licensing agents for Father Christmas for nearly 30 years. Rachel Clarke, senior vice president of licensing and retail UK at The Copyrights Group said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Barbour for the second year running with this new Father Christmas campaign and are really looking forward to seeing it come to life.”

Iain Harvey, producer at Illuminated Films, commented, “Working with Barbour and their team is always inspiring as they fully understand the wonderful character Raymond Briggs created, making the production great fun and a nice challenge to the animators.”