The Distillery Project, SMUGGLER Director Jamie Rafn Keep Holiday Tradition Alive In Family Tale For Meijer


Robert Goldrich
Friday, Dec. 3, 2021


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Chicago-based agency The Distillery Project (TDP) has created a holiday brand campaign for retailer Meijer. Centerpiece is this :60 directed by Jamie Rafn via production house SMUGGLER.

The spot introduces us to two kids who are planting a  small fir tree in the front yard with their granddad. “Grandpa, will this be our Christmas tree?” the little boy asks, to which he gets the reply, “Someday.” Next time we see them, the kids are tweens, and the tree is quite a few inches taller. Again, the little boy wants to know if it’s “ready.” “Someday,” the patient grandpa says. They return again as young adults to check on the tree, but the answer is always the same. In the final visit, just the sister and brother come upon a mighty fir tree. As they admire it, the brother asks the question one more time, and the sister looks over at her husband and toddler son playing in the snow. Apparently, it is finally ready, but there’s a catch: Rather than cut the tree down for a single year’s use, they decorate it on the spot with cherished ornaments from Meijer. 

“It’s no secret that the holidays last year were a little short on spirit. They forced us to reflect on what’s truly important—the people and the traditions we hold so dear,” said Kristi Neitzel, creative director at TDP. “This spot is really about holding tight to our most wonderful memories together and ensuring they live on for generations to come.” 


Client Meijer Agency The Distillery Project John Condon, founder/chief creative officer; Ben Kline, founding partner/chief strategy officer; Nik Traxler, head of production/partner; Kristi Neitzel, creative director/copywriter; Phil Jungmann, creative director/art director; Brenda Cortes, producer. Production SMUGGLER Jamie Rafn, director; Drew Santarsiero, exec producer; Catalina Restrepo, producer; Justin Gurnari, DP; Ben Boltin, production designer. Editorial Rock Paper Scissors Adam Pertofsky, editor; Erin McCaffrey, assistant editor; Janae Abraham, producer; Dre Krichevsky, head of production; Shada Shariatzdeh, exec producer. Post/VFX a52 Patrick Nugent, Kim Christensen, exec producers; Stacy Kessler-Aungst, head of production; Andres Barrios, Stefan Gaillot, VFX supervisors; Chris Riley, Michael Vaglienty, Flame artists; Jennifer Sofio Hall, managing director. Color Primary Greg Reese, colorist; Diana Valera, colorist. Music JSM Joel Simon, CEO/CCO/co-composer; Jeff Fiorello, VP/exec producer; Vlad Berkhemer, co-composer; Norm Felker, Andrew Manning, Sharon Cha, producers

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