This Christmas Ad's Mystery Unfurls Into a Tale of Family Love

Sune Sorensen directs Jung von Matt's sweet Doc Morris spot

The enduring mysteries of Christmas spirit lend themselves well to advertising. The classic example is "The Long Wait" from John Lewis, featuring perhaps the best storytelling ever in a seasonal spot, as the source of a child's impatience in the weeks leading up to Christmas is poignantly, and surprisingly, revealed in the final frames.

"Take Care," a new Christmas film from Jung von Matt/SAGA and director Sune Sorensen for pharmacy chain Doc Morris, springs from that same playbook.

It's very nicely shot and tells the oblique of an older man who appears to be embarking on a regimen of self-improvement. No matter that this impulse is meant to remain wrapped up in a bow until after New Year's—this bloke is determined to get himself in shape?

Is he having a late-stage midlife crisis? His neighbors certainly seem to think so.

Doc Morris | Take Care

Except in the end, once again, we happily discover our hero wasn't thinking of himself at all—well, not entirely of himself. He has good reasons to stay in shape, and they involve giving to others. (Given the prominence of the kettlebell in the story, they could have called this "The Long Weight.")

One notable thing about the film is that it seems to exist in a world separate from the pandemic. A few advertisers have tried this—presenting social scenarios with no masks and no social distancing. This can seem oddly divorced from reality, though Sorensen, the director, tells Muse that the goal here was to make the work feel more timeless.

"I feel that, despite masks being part of everyone's everyday today, it still has to have particular relevance to the story—perhaps because we still all expect, and hope, that this is a temporary state of the world," he says. "Adding a mask to a campaign immediately limits its longevity. We will forever associate it with this time."

The shoot itself, of course, couldn't escape the clutches of Covid. For one thing, it was shot in Tallinn, Estonia, instead of Hamburg, which had stricter restrictions at the time.

"These days, every production has to take in account several potential Covid scenarios and this was no different," Sorensen says. "On set we had daily briefings from the medical staff and we wore masks at all times—in fact, the last day of shooting we were asked to only wear the safest types of masks due to new studies that revealed some are better than others. The only people who didn't wear masks were the actors, for the purpose of the scenes, but everyone on set was tested for Covid before and after shooting, too."

We also asked Sorensen about the very light product tie-in in the film.

"At first we considered being more direct about the link between Doc Morris and the story—we could quite simply add a moment where Sam video-calls a doctor or orders a product on their online platform, but in the end the client and agency agreed that it should form part of a larger effort to brand Doc Morris as an enabling presence in people's lives," he says. "That everyone should be able to enjoy life and focus on what matters—Doc Morris will be there, whenever someone needs them. For me, that's rare. Very few brands dare to trust the long-term effects of positive association and branding like that."

CREDITS

Director / Representation  
Sune Sorensen - Director  
Represented by AgentZoo / Martin Bardrum
Los Angeles: Hey Baby Films  
London: Hunky Dory Films  
Paris: Bandits Productions  

DOP / Representation 
Franz Lustig - DOP  
Represented by Cosmic Talents  
Marie Berg - MP / Agent  
Pauline Perez - Agent  
Marine Boisse - Assistant to Marie Berg  

Production / Crew Germany  
Markenfilm Hamburg GmbH  
Marc Strass - Head of Production / EP  Alan Finlay - 1st AD  

Client  
DocMorris N.V.  
Frank Müller - Chief Marketing Officer  Gil Pfitzmann - Director of Marketing  Hannah Polczyk – Head of Brand & Content  

Agency 
Jung von Matt SAGA GmbH  
Dörte Spengler-Ahrens - MP  
Alex Schmid - Creative Director  
Dennis Wendt - Senior Producer  
Natalie Martens - Client Service Director  Olasumbo Pinheiro - Copywriter  
Ibrahem Ghhareib - Art Director
Paolo Tresoldi - Idea
Tasja Oldach - Senior Project Manager  Viktor Mahé - Junior Project Manager 

Casting UK  
Hammond Cox Casting Ltd.  
Thom Hammond - Casting Director / MP  Michael Cox - Casting Director / MP  Charlotte Lancaster - Casting Assistant  Lydia McKinley - Casting Assistant  

Casting Estonia  
Agency Icon  
Kärt Väinola - Casting Director  
Kairit Krass - Casting Manager  

Casting Latvia  
/laik/a casting agency  
Marta Dzene - Casting Director  

Service Production / Crew Estonia Münchhausen Productions 
OÜ  
Niko Mihailsin - Executive Producer / MP  Elen Kallas - MP  
Triinu Jalakas - Production Manager  Eliza Berzina - Production Coordinator  Mihkel Riis - Production Assistant  Karolina Veetamm - Production Assistant  Joe Thomas - 2nd AD  
Terje Kissa - 3rd AD  
Tuuliki Oberschneider - Location Manager  Artur Makku - Location Assistant  
Ramon Paukson - Location Assistant  Hendrik Krinal - Location Assistant  Henri Killõ - Driver  
Gert Pärni - Driver  
Mario Salumäe - Driver  
Karel Miil - Driver  
Martin Venela - 1st AC  
Freddy-Alder Saunanen - 2nd AC  
Nicolas Viggiani - DIT  
Joe Dunnigan - VTR  
Indrek Raag - Key Grip  
Martin Tennokene - Grip Assistant  Kristjan Kurm - Sound Recordist  
Hisham Sharafeddine - Boom Operator  Henri Savitski - Gaffer  
Bertil Alexander Tarbe - Best Boy  
Kevin Mardiste - Electrician  
Ranno Lauri - Electrician  
Bertil Alexander Tarbe - Electrician  Aivo Rannik - Electrician  
Rauno Linnamäe - SFX Master  
Ronet Tänav - SFX Assistant  
Laura Dišlere - Production Designer  Anete Eglīte - Assistant Production Designer  Getter Vahar - Art Director  
Helina Risti - Props Assistant  
Janette Roopa - Props Assistant  
Jaak Sova - Props Assistant  
Erti Risto Süvari - Swing Crew  
Karl Agapuu - Swing Crew  
Rein Kutsar - Swing Crew  
Argo Ruus - Swing Crew  
Mikk Kivila - Construction Manager  Uku Talmar - Set Builder  
Sten Suigusaar - Set Builder  
Priit Tiislär - Set Builder  
Monika Tulit - Set Builder  
Kristina Efert - Foodstylist  
Anne-Maria Ylitapio - Stylist  
Johanna Oden - Styling Assistant  
Kätlin Kikkas - Styling Assistant  
Jane Mändsoo - Styling Assistant 
Tiina Leesik - Make Up Artist  
Britt Ressar - Assistant Make Up Artist  Jennifer Scholz - Assistant Make Up Artist  Erko Lill - Catering  

Talents 
Carl Welch - SAM  
Aurora Laaksonen - MAYA  
Evelin Võigemast - IDA  
Mihkel Kabel - TIM  
Natali Väli - ANKE  
Helvin Kaljula - MARK  
Artjom Bulgakov - NOA  
Luisa Aruste - LISA  
Anne Paluver - EMMA  
Akarsh Shetty - STROLLER COUPLE (MAN) 
Brita Laurfeld - STROLLER COUPLE (WOMAN)  Gerhard Saks - CHRISTMAS GUEST  Merle Viikmäe - CHRISTMAS GUEST  Gustav Sibul - CHRISTMAS GUEST  Holger Themas - CHRISTMAS GUEST  

Grading House 
ARRI Media GmbH  
Philipp Orgassa - Colourist  
Julia Dobler - Head of Commercial  
Mathias Knöfler - Producer Colour  
Mathilda Barchmann - Grading Assistant  

Post-Production 
INFECTED GmbH  

Editor 
André Gelhaar - Editor  

Storyboard  
Tilbert Oelke - Storyboard Artist  

MUSIC 
2WEI Music GmbH  
Composed by Nathan Padgett, Simon Heeger,  Christian Vorländer, 2WEI  
Music supervision by Clarissa Beckert, 2WEI 

Profile picture for user Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio. Previously, he was creative editor at Adweek.

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