Campaign Spotlight

Campaign Spotlight: Boots bags all-star lineup for joyful Christmas

LONDON, UK — Boots today unveils its 2021 Christmas campaign, starring BAFTA-nominated actress Jenna Coleman as the character of Joy. The enchanting campaign establishes Boots as the leading gifting destination for the season, with something special for everyone and every occasion.

Bags of Joy, created by The Pharm – the WPP partnership team dedicated to WBA – reignites the magic of the holiday season. It brings into focus the happiness of spending time with friends and family and the wonderful feeling of gifting joy to them, after a year where so many were unable to spend time together.


Boots brought in a host of incredible talent to create the campaign. Academy Award-winning director Tom Hooper directed the film, with production design from BAFTA Award-winning production designer, Eve Stewart. The soundtrack, performed by a 45-piece orchestra at the iconic Abbey Road Studios, was composed by Rachel Portman OBE, the first female composer to win an Academy Award.

Pete Markey, Chief Marketing Officer at Boots UK said “This year, we wanted to celebrate the heart-warming memories that families will once again be able to make and cherish. To reach our customers wherever they may be, we have a full marketing plan to ensure they can experience that Christmas magic across every touchpoint. Whether they are scrolling for festive inspiration on Instagram, flicking through a magazine, or relaxing in front of the television, we want people to feel joy at every opportunity.”

In the film, we see Joy receive a special gift from her nan, a bag that she discovers wields the power to make her Christmas truly magical. When Joy reaches into the bag, it delivers the perfect gift at every opportunity. Some surprising, others touching, but the gifts are always wonderfully fitting to the situation and the recipient, even when that happens to be Joy herself.

The extraordinary protagonist of the campaign, the bag itself, serves as a clever metaphor for Boots stores up and down the country, inspiring shoppers to fill their own bags of joy with a choice of thousands of wonderful gifts and to immerse themselves in the spirit of Christmas.

“With so many people unable to spend the holidays with their loved ones last year, we wanted to encapsulate the pure joy that people will feel this year as we reclaim lost time. Boots is a brand baked into the fabric of British culture, and it has been an exhilarating journey to bring their Christmas campaign to life with such incredible talent behind us,” said Laurent Simon, Chief Creative Officer at VMLY&R London.

The campaign launches with a three-minute online film and 60 and 30-second edits across TV and VOD. The TV activations launch on 6th November during Jonathan Ross on ITV with short teaser films leading up to the date.

In addition to the hero film, Boots will be running a media-first partnership with Sky Media. The campaign will feature product-led shoppable TVCs with QR codes, driving viewers to Boots.com and enabling Boots to attribute online sales directly to its partnership activity. Using the combination of AdSmart targeting and Boots’ 1st party data to target current and lapsed customers through the Advantage Card loyalty scheme, the campaign will provide a seamless and immediate experience for shoppers to browse and buy from the comfort of their sofas.

With a reach of over 18 million adults, the unified end-to-end Bags of Joy campaign will feature activations across TVC, Online, Radio, DOOH, Print, PR, Social and In-Store. Boots will be using intelligent geo-location to target its digital out of home and drive people in-store as well as personalisation elements in its creative.

To drive further awareness of the campaign, Boots is running an ITV hub takeover on 8th November and working with Channel 4’s collection lounge to provide viewers with curated programme playlists based on the theme of the campaign.


Client: Boots UK 
CMO: Peter Markey 
Marketing Director: Helen Jeremiah 
Senior Marketing Manager: Laura Gooday 
Marketing Manager: Rebecca Vittles 
Agency: The Pharm 
Chief Creative Officer: Laurent Simon 
Chief Transformation Officer: Karen Boswell 
Business Director: Sam Phillips-Grey 
Senior Creatives: Tom Reas & Liam Riddler 
Senior Producer: Roz Lawson 
Production Manager: Eleanor Hardcastle 
Strategy Partner: Nicole Frost 
Associate Strategy Director: Anastasia Besson 
Managing Partner, Media: Rachel Peace 
Associate Director, Media: Emma Brogden 
Production: Smuggler 
Director: Tom Hooper 
Producer: Nick Fewtrell 
Exec Producer: Sara Wallace
Edit: The Whitehouse Post 
Offline Editor: Russell Icke 
Senior Assistant Editor: Steven Waltham 
Executive Producer: Annabel Bennett 
Post Production: Rascal Post 
VFX Supervisor: Barnsley 
Executive Producer: James Beck 
Grade: Framestore 
Head of Creative Colour: Simon Bourne 
Post Producer: Chris Anthony 
Music: Rachel Portman 
Composer: Rachel Portman 
Sound: GPS 
Head of Audio: Toby Griffin 
Audio Producer: Richard Donaghue 
Casting: Talent Republic

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