Nwes has truly evoked the Christmas spirit this year by creating our very own tailored Christmas TV advert. All the while paying homage to Norwich’s historic shoe industry. Click above to watch.

The advert is based upon the 1806 fairy tale ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker’, which tells the story of a poor shoemaker who receives much-needed help from the elves. The team moulded the traditional story to reflect the start-up process in business, and the support and resources available at Nwes. It was also an obvious choice considering the shoe industry heritage in Norwich, the location of our head office.

The shoe making industry in Norwich can be traced back to 1792, when one of Britain’s oldest shoe manufacturers, Start-rite, was established. Followed in 1936 by the opening of the Van Dal shoe factory. Fortunate for the team, Van Dal happily opened their doors to the cast and crew as the location for filming. Being able to film in a real factory that still creates shoes right here in Norwich added a real sense of authenticity to the feature, while highlighting a wonderful industry on the city’s doorstep.

The decision to join the TV advert trend was the brainchild of Marketing Group Project Manager, Davina Young. Her exact words being ‘let’s go head to head with John Lewis and make a Christmas advert!’. Of course, what Davina meant was, with the popularity of the Christmas advert and story of ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker’ fitting perfectly with Nwes’ services, it seems the right project to expand how Nwes connects with those looking for business support. The proposal instantly provoked interest with the team, in what was in fact, a secret operation to be revealed at the Christmas staff party.

Staff members from marketing and admin, to finance, had the opportunity to get involved both behind and in front of camera. Fulfilling the roles of props manager and set designer, to extras and even the starring roles. Programme Manager, Simon Best, took on the role as Head Elf, while Senior Digital Marketing Co-Ordinator, Ashley Seager, courageously accepted the starring role of the Shoemaker. Acting is outside of the box for both parties, though perhaps more so for Ash, but both rose to the opportunity and gave it their all.

Nwes CEO, Kevin Horne, gave his name to the production as the shoemaker’s fictitious company, which was cleverly named ‘Schuhorne’. Kevin keenly supported the production of Nwes’ Christmas advert, stating: ‘The idea to produce a Christmas advert in line with the likes of John Lewis sounded like a terrific venture for the Nwes team. As a new opportunity for many of the staff, it was wonderful to offer a different experience. As for the finished piece, it’s exceptional. The team have really done a great job and they should be proud of what they’ve created. I’d like to see it going neck and neck with the big names to be the best Christmas ad!’.

Norwich based production company White Label Media were called in to produce the feature. They did a great job and squeezed filming into just one day to keep any suspicions at bay in the office. This meant a long day of production for the team, beginning at 8am and wrapping ay 6.30pm. Perhaps made longer by the bitter cold and the number of scenes that required filming outside. Though, despite the chilly fingers and toes, it proved a great experience for the team with the chance to do something outside of their usual tasks. And importantly, the video has spread a whole host of Christmas spirit around the office, and hopefully to all that watch.

– Jessica Hewson, Nwes Digital Marketing Assistant

A special thanks to all involved that made the film possible.

Film Production | White Label Media Solutions 

Soundtrack | David Brown

Bank Manager | Richard Ball

Bank location | Open, Norwich

Shoe factory location | VanDal Shoes

Final shot location | St Giles House Hotel

Logo artwork | Starfish Design

Printing | Hussey Knights

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“As a new opportunity for many of the staff, it was wonderful to offer a different experience. As for the finished piece, it’s exceptional. The team have really done a great job and they should be proud of what they’ve created” – Kevin Horne, CEO


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