Behind The Work

HAPPY HALLYDAYS

Senior Writer and Editor
Hannah Lindley joined Havas Group in October 2021 as a Senior Writer and Editor. She has a background in corporate reputation management, journalism, and creative writing.
This year, French telecommunications company Bouygues Telecom worked with BETC Paris to bring back the memory of famed French musician Johnny Hallyday to ring in the holiday season and pay tribute to music’s ability to bring people together.
Dare! spoke with Sophie Roberts, Associate Director, BETC Paris, to learn more about their holiday traditions with Bouygues Telecom and why this year’s ad was such a hit.

How was the ad concepted and, in your opinion, how does it fit with the brand’s personality?

We’ve started a tradition with Bouygues Telecom of impactful, emotional and very popular Christmas campaigns (with great music!) that portray human relationships in a unique way. Year after year, we make it our own creative challenge… and this year was no exception.

Bouygues Telecom is a brand that’s about helping people grow their relationships – with their close family and friends, of course, but also with people that share the same interests as them. So this is what this narrative is all about: how, at Christmas, we can connect with others and share precious moments all across France, thanks to Bouygues Telecom’s robust mobile networks.

Behind this storyline, there’s also the feeling that we have a lot to share with each other, despite our differences – there are many more things that bring us together as a society than divide us. In this sense, it really brings to life the brand signature “We’re meant to be together”.

And in France, if there is one person that everyone agrees on, it’s definitely Johnny Hallyday. What makes him really unique is that he’s able to make his music last through the years, uniting French people of all creeds, horizons, and generations.

What was the most meaningful part of putting this campaign together?

We wanted to create a piece of entertainment that didn’t feel like your classic ad…so we really treated the music as the hero of the campaign while, of course, staying true to the brand’s message.

Did you partner with any people or groups in particular to drive campaign success?

Creating the commercial was a fantastic endeavour that required close collaboration from the brand, the agency, the production and the music company, under the supervision of General Pop. Syncing one of Johnny’s most famous songs “La Musique Que J’Aime” was quite an achievement, as was collecting all the memorabilia (posters, records, video clips, collectibles) that appears on screen in the advertisement and displays the strong bond that people have with his legacy.

Why do you think this campaign was particularly successful?

The music … The cuteness of our little rock star… A good dose of warmth … And the need we have to feel some togetherness.

Can you share some highlights of public reception of the campaign?

Even before we launched the campaign, some people were writing to ask when the next Bouygues Telecom Christmas ad would be released … So it’s fair to say that part of the public had high expectations.

We received lots of positive feedback on social media, including from some of Johnny Hallyday’s hardcore fans. To us, that’s a great indicator that we did it right.

We also received enthusiastic videos of people singing along while filming the ad on their telly, which even gave us the idea to organise a nation-wide karaoke on social.

Is there anything we didn’t ask or mention that you’d like to highlight?

Our rock stars are actually father and daughter in real life too… And we specifically hired real-life fans of Johnny Hallyday.

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