Walking through any town or city in the dead of night can be a surreal experience. You’re accustomed to the people, the movement, the noise, the overall hum of the human machine cranking at full tilt and here it is quiet and serene.
For its new holiday spot, Canon and agency JWT London decided to use this juxtaposition as a metaphor for the Christmas advertising rush. Directed by Jonathan Glazer–who last introduced us to historic football for Canon— we see how deer (and a few foxes) invade the residential streets close to Epping Forest in south-east England after nightfall. It’s quiet and slow and could almost be mistaken for CCTV found footage. As the antlered animals make their way through the streets, you half expect it to culminate in some sort of reindeer-inspired yuletide (or horror) scene, but it never arrives. Instead the ad ends as subtly as it began.
Its counterintuitive approach, combined with an obvious nod to the pursuit of new perspectives in photography, makes it a welcome and memorable reprieve from being caught like deer in the frantic flashing lights of most holiday marketing.