Little Black Book — November 6, 2019
Why BMF Made a Never-Ending Ham for ALDI

Creative directors David Fraser and Dantie van der Merwe tell LBB’s Adam Bennett how they brought their fantastical idea to life.

For us at LBB, one of the low-key highlights of the holiday season is a delicious curry made from leftover Christmas day meats. But what if those meats never had to run out?! This was the tantalising question at the heart of BMF’s festive campaign for ALDI.

Building on ‘The More the Merrier’ platform established by the brand, the creatives at BMF took it to its natural conclusion by imagining as much Christmas ham as you can eat – and quite possibly more.

The resulting playful ad has been an early highlight of this year’s festive season. To find out more, LBB’s Adam Bennett spoke to BMF creative directors David Fraser & Dantie van der Merwe.

LBB → Congratulations on a great campaign! Can you tell us a bit about where this idea came from?

David & Dantie: Ham often takes centre stage at Christmas. Even in the days after, every time you open the fridge there seems to be a mountain of ham left over. So, the team thought, what if there was a never-ending ham? And that gave rise to the pork prodigy. 

LBB → What research went into coming up with this campaign? Were there any strategic insights that helped you come to this idea?

David & Dantie: Not when it comes to the miracle ham. But ‘The More the Merrier’ platform originates from the ALDI’s Christmas food range. It’s high quality, yet low priced. It lets everyone spoil friends and family, and be extra generous over the festive season. 

LBB → The woman who throws the ham – can you tell us a bit about what’s going on there?

David & Dantie: There’s always someone in the village who hates Christmas. The old curmudgeon has some beef with our hero, but nobody knows their exact back story. It felt interesting to leave something open for people to fill in however they want to.

LBB → And do you think that woman ended up enjoying the ham with the rest of the group?

David & Dantie: She probably snuck a slice, begrudgingly. A person can only fight a miracle ham for so long.

LBB → Why was Hamish Rothwell the right director for this job?

David & Dantie: Hamish had the sensibility to play a ridiculous idea straight. A tall tale, seriously told. The more deadpan we made the silly fable the funnier things got. Hamish also gave the old lady a clear motivation: an urgent mission to make sure everyone is well fed. Yet he also kept her a little bit of a mystery. An enigma. We also liked his restraint in keeping the story confined to one tiny village, so the viewer could spend more time with an interesting array of characters. 

LBB → At times, the ad has an almost fairy tale vibe. Is that intentional? 

David & Dantie: Yes. The world’s in a bit of a state at the moment. It felt like people wouldn’t mind being whisked away in a fairy tale. And Christmas is the perfect time to do it.

LBB → How have you found the reaction so far? 

David & Dantie: It’s early days, but mostly great. ALDI fans on Facebook seem to be enjoying it. A couple of Grinch comments here and there, but there always has to be one…

LBB → What were the most difficult components and how did you overcome them?

David & Dantie: Making choices on how to tell the story was hard. That story can be told a hundred different ways. So, we wrote a hundred different scripts and allowed the final script to change and evolve as we were making it.

LBB → Any parting thoughts? 

David & Dantie: Don’t be a Grinch this Christmas.

 

→ View the article here