Cineplex turns home movies into a family reunion trailer

This year's holiday campaign used real people to show the importance of making time for loved ones.

The first two years of Cineplex Entertainment’s “See the Big Picture” brand platform produced touching animated spots that sought to remind Canadians to make time for the people and things that they love, especially around the holiday season.

This year, the company has chosen to build off that platform with a set of videos based on the experience of a real family.

With the help of a casting agency, Cineplex found Nicole Deguise, a 34-year-old from Burnaby, B.C. who hadn’t been able to visit her extended family in Southwestern Ontario for more than five years.

Cineplex teamed up with Deguise, as well as her sister and her aunt, to create a Hollywood-style movie trailer based on family home movies, then sending her to Ontario to reunite with the family. Cineplex captured the Rocheforts’ reactions as they watched their memories play out on the big screen and as they were joined by Deguise.

The “See the Big Picture” brand platform is based on the realization that the busyness of everyday life can get in the way of family and entertainment, says Darren Solomon, the company’s VP of marketing. This year’s campaign taps into that insight “through the honesty of real people,” he says. The idea was to “find a family that, in real life, has a hard time keeping in touch and spending time together, because that’s the reality, especially around the holidays.”

Much like movies themselves, he says Cineplex as a company wants to be a force that brings families together.

Solomon says the large Rochefort family stood out as good candidates for the spot because they had documented years’ worth of fond memories on film. “Our thinking was, if life can get in the way for these guys, then it can get in the way for anybody.”

Cineplex’s “Lily & the Snowman” and “A Balloon For Ben” holiday spots appeared as pre-show spots in-cinema, but this year’s campaign will be running in full on YouTube, Facebook and the Cineplex website, because the company wants to reach people who haven’t already made the decision to go to the movies.

Cineplex is also running activations across the country to catch viewers who are already in theatre. It will be inviting family and friends to have their picture taken in holiday-themed photoshoots, which they can take home as souvenirs.

The campaign will soon be followed by a second phase of social engagement in which it will try to generate conversation around sharing between family and friends using the hashtag #TheGreatestJoy.

Cineplex’s creative and marketing teams developed the creative concept in-house. It worked with Skin and Bones on production, Mosaic on the experiential activations, Isobar on media buy and Hill + Knowlton Strategies on PR.