Twenty-four hours. Two-billion children. One man. Ever wonder how old St. Nick prepares for the big night? He trains. He trains hard. We teamed up with the NZ Olympic Committee and one of the world’s greatest athletes to produce this festive spot leading up to the Rio Olympics. Murray Christmas!
When the New Zealand Olympic Committee approached us towards the end of 2015 wanting to produce a Christmas video for their Facebook page, we knew exactly what we had to do. Having already produced several videos for the Committee’s “Be The Inspiration” campaign (a series of short dramatic profiles showcasing individual olympic athletes in their lead up to Rio) we figured it only made sense to do a similar treatment for the big-man himself. We pitched the ‘Santa-as-an-athlete’ angle back to NZOC, who quickly came on board and started searching for an athlete to fill Santa’s boots.
Fortunately for us, they found an athlete willing to play the part. Unfortunately, we had to custom-order bigger boots.
Two-time olympic gold medalist and eight-time world-champ Eric Murray agreed to dawn the red-velvet hat and play the part of Santa Claus. We spent a day filming with him at his home in Cambridge, and could not have hoped for a more friendly, cooperative, and easy-going host. We were delighted to discover that in addition to being a world-class athlete, Eric Murray is also a world-class human being – and, fortunately for us, someone that’s not above dressing up as a fictional holiday character and acting out ridiculous scenarios in public.
The video was launched on the NZ Olympic Team Facebook page to an overwhelmingly positive response. In the 5-days leading up to Christmas, the video racked up over half a million views, and approximately 3,300 shares – engaging an audience of both New Zealanders and overseas viewers. The project even got a bit of press!
It was a privilege to be involved in such a fun and creative project, and we’re grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such a talented and friendly legend! Eric Murray is certainly a man of many talents, and his charisma, commitment, and warmth are befitting of jolly old St Nicholas himself. In fact, now that I think about it – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Eric Murray and Santa Claus in the same room… interesting.