Thatchers Cider unveils a new TV commercial this week, which sees the Somerset cider maker collaborate with multi-Academy Award-winning studio Aardman. Airing for the first time at 9:15 p.m. on May 25, the commercial uses stop-motion animation to bring the viewer through the gates of Thatchers’ own Myrtle Farm home to discover how the family cider maker crafts “Pint-Sized Perfection.”
Aardman once again applies its world-class skills in hand-made miniature worlds to bring Thatchers’ expert process to the screen. Elements of Myrtle Farm such as its orchards help tell the story of producing the perfect drop of cider. Some familiar faces make an appearance throughout the commercial, including fourth generation cider maker Martin Thatcher making a big entrance for the weekly 12:30 tasting. Viewers may also recognize the iconic Thatchers hot air balloon from previous ads, as well as Myrtle, the family dog.
Thatchers Cider, with premium brands including Thatchers Gold, Haze and Blood Orange, is still making cider at the same family farm where founder William Thatcher first grew and pressed apples almost 120 years ago. The Pint-Sized Perfection commercial tells the story of the Thatchers commitment to crafting the tastiest ciders, with authenticity and sustainability.
“Partnering with Aardman, a truly iconic brand with such amazing creative genius, and situated in the West Country as we are, allows us to introduce consumers to a new light-hearted, storytelling creative about our ciders,” said Martin Thatcher. “With total commitment to quality, perfection and sustainability every step of the way, the commercial shines a spotlight on the Thatchers world in this contemporary way.”
Viewers may also recognize the familiar voice of the narrator, Richard Ede, who has featured in previous commercials from Thatchers. The spot, conceptualized by creative communications agency, Bray Leino, has been directed by Will Studd from Aardman and produced by Danny Gallagher.
A team of 40 creatives at Aardman were involved in the film, with animators alone needing over 480 hours to shoot the 40 second commercial (an average of 50 frames or two seconds a day).
“I am thrilled to be directing a new advert for Thatchers, a cider brand that shares our passion for craft and attention to detail. As a paid-up cider enthusiast, I am drinking in the opportunity to bring the Thatchers family, farm, dog, and selected staff members to life with detailed puppets and sets,” explained Studd. “Being able to collaborate with such a well-established South West brand on this project is an honor, I’m eager to create a beautiful film that captures the essence of Thatchers and their focus on perfection.”
Thatcher continues, “This is a film that allows people to step into the world of Thatchers. Our passion for creating the most perfect cider is reflected in the genius of Aardman, whose animators have recreated life at Myrtle Farm in the most minute and exacting detail, from our iconic barn doors, to our hot air balloon where the basket was handwoven out of real straw. Fabric from our own workwear has even been used to create some of the costumes. “In partnering with Aardman we’ve been in awe of their attention to detail, their pursuit of perfection, which truly resonates with all that we strive for at Thatchers.”
Pint-Sized Perfection will have a multi-media launch, the campaign continuing through to August. This will include linear TV, broadcast video on demand, cinema and YouTube. This will be enhanced with 48 sheet and six sheet OOH, and a consumer-focused social media campaign.
Tasty facts about the production:
- In-between each shot, the model of Myrtle the dog would need to have her hair done with a toothbrush.
- The tiny Thatchers bottles were 3 cm in height, 1.5 cm in width. They were made from molding tiny sculpted wooden bottles and casting in resin.
- The puppets are all between 25-30 cm in height.
- A beard trimmer was used to cut the grass.
- There are different sizes of prop apple, ranging from tangerine size to chickpea size, depending on the scale of set or the perspective.
- The costumes were made from real fabric, paying attention to the size of weave to make sure they didn’t appear too chunky. They were ironed using (real) tiny irons.
- The hot air balloon basket was hand woven out of real straw.