The fortress of La Palma, protagonist of the emotional Campofrío Christmas advertisement | TV

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Campofrío Christmas has started in mid-November. A dozen caravans assist a film crew of more than 100 people and occupy almost the entire space on a quiet street in the Madrid neighborhood of Orcasitas, located to the south of the city. The landscape could not be more everyday. That is what those responsible for the brand’s end-of-year announcement, which has become one of the most anticipated of the season, are looking for.

Filmmaker Icíar Bollaín directs Karra Elejalde in Crammed, which this year invites the viewer to enjoy the simple things in life and to overcome fears, be they mundane or relevant. The actor plays a man full of fears in these somewhat apocalyptic times. The pandemic, the price of electricity and any other catastrophe serve to isolate itself from the world. But the message of strength that he hears on television in the voice of an inhabitant of La Palma makes him change his attitude.

It is the real testimony of the Palma winegrower Victoria Torres who, in her speech in a news program, launched a moving message of improvement. “A volcano builds at the same time that it destroys. My vines are in volcanic ash. It is part of who we are, this is our home. I am very proud of how we take care of ourselves. There are 6,000 people away from home. Who has a place to offer, has offered it. I have felt fear, but also the impulse to continue because I want to, because I think it is important and because life goes on, “says Torres on the screen. “It is the inspiring symbol of a real woman who says that his people have been building on ashes for generations,” says Bollaín before starting his last day of work, after filming in other parts of the Community of Madrid, such as El Escorial and Madrid Río .

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Icíar Bollaín and Carlos Areces during the filming of the commercial.
Icíar Bollaín and Carlos Areces during the filming of the commercial.Pitu López

Crammed It is an original idea of ​​the creative directors Mónica Moro and Raquel Martínez, who have been conceiving the brand’s Christmas message for a decade. The concept continues to be that nothing and nobody takes away from us the enjoyment of life. “Every year, we look for what that enemy of enjoyment has been to give it a spin,” they say on the work set. Before, those enemies have been the economic crisis or the limits of humor. This time, it is fear of a complex world, surrounded by viruses and natural catastrophes that destroy so many lives. In networks, it is shared with the hashtag #viviresacojonante.

“We started with the announcement of the comedians who fired Miguel Gila [en el año 2011]. It was a challenge for a charcuterie brand to sneak in at Christmas, in the midst of perfumes, nougats, lotteries … Among all that glamor, we had to go in with our chorizo ​​and our fuet. And on top of it rolling in a cemetery. We did not know what was going to happen ”, recall those responsible for this annual event-campaign.

At the bottom of the conversation, Elejalde is filming with Candela Peña and Carlos Areces, at a time when his character finally decides to hug his friends without fear. The image works as a mirror for the technical and artistic team, where there are also hugs after many months of tension and with the omicron variant of the coronavirus without having yet appeared in the news.

To the actor and comedian Eduardo Soto, who also appears on screen along with other actors such as Belén Cuesta and Darko Perić (The Money Heist), this micro-story particularly resonates with him. “Now we need permission to hug on set, only when the test is negative,” he says from one of the caravans that act as a mobile dressing room. “My wife was pregnant in the middle of the pandemic and that’s when you already fear for third parties. In the first stage of total confinement, I came out obsessed, paranoid too much, for reasons of survival. Then I have been normalizing it and last Christmas I even dared to do theater, with all possible precautions “, he says while he waits to shoot his part.

Actuality and empathy

Bollaín, who has already been in charge of directing other of the company’s Christmas proposals, such as the Become a foreigner who starred in Chus Lampreave in 2013, confirms that one of the keys to the story is its condition as universal and immediate. The filmmaker has noticed the evolution of the campaign in these years. The conversation that he tries to generate, he says, has moved from the family room to social networks. The creative duo formed by Martínez and Moro admit that it is the current situation that awakens this viral interest. “We try to connect with the viewer. And now always helps us with that. If you find something that influences you and where you see yourself reflected, you want to share it and comment on it ”. The 2020 campaign, titled DEV: Rest in life and starring the late Enrique San Francisco, it exceeded 20 million views only on social networks. The recording has more than 4.3 million views on the official profile that the company has on YouTube.

Icíar Bollaín and Karra Elejalde observe one of the sequences shot during the commercial on a monitor.
Icíar Bollaín and Karra Elejalde observe one of the sequences shot during the commercial on a monitor.Campofrío

The work process is not long. Those responsible for the proposal begin to launch ideas in October, so that the matter to be discussed is as close as possible to that current situation. During the November recording, new details and expressions were added to the script to make it even closer to the December days when it will be broadcast. As usual in these cases, two versions are created, one of approximately three minutes and the other in a short format, of about 20 seconds.

This ad, which as Bollaín says is conceived as a short film, takes longer than normal to shoot, but maintains the frenetic work rhythms of advertising. “It consists of going even more to the point when composing a story. You have to take advantage of each shot for what you want to tell because, if you waste one, you run out of history “, he confesses.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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