Happy Holidays from The Telly Awards team! Part of our mission this year is to highlight the stories of creative teams that are defying the limits of technology, geography, society, and more. To close out the year, we are shining a spotlight on Disney EMEA and their new viral Christmas campaign From Our Family To YoursThe heart-warming, animated story celebrates the Christmas traditions of a Filipino family that cross multiple years and generations.

We spoke with Angela AffinitaDirector of Brand Marketing and Creative at Disney EMEA to find out how her team crafted this beautiful campaign.

How has your work changed this year as a result of the unpredictable 2020 landscape? Do you see any of these changes staying once we return to normal?

Our aim at Disney is to always work with great talent, and we’re prepared to go wherever that may be.  For our Christmas campaign ad, From Our family To Yours, we partnered with Flux Animation Studio in New Zealand to develop the story. Once we had agreed the creative approach, specialist animators worked simultaneously on the shots. Due to time differences, they could share updates at the end of their day, which we could review and then feedback. It became a 24-hour production.

Are there things you looked at in a different way this year when thinking of pieces for the holidays, considering the state of the world?

We wrote ‘From Our Family To Yours’ back in January 2020 and the story has always remained the same, although the elements of family and togetherness throughout Lola’s story seem to have resonated with audiences much more than perhaps in previous years. 

What do you believe to be the key to having a successful creative team?

Understanding how to lean on each other, getting the most from each other’s skills, and knowing when to support and build up your teammates means every project is a team project. The more people who take ownership of key elements, the more potential your creative has to fly. When you’re brainstorming ideas and crafting the details – having diverse minds round the table adds to the richness of inspiration.

How does your creative process typically play out, when beginning a new piece?

Before you go into animation, you work on storyboards and finessing the narrative. We worked collaboratively on the storyboarding with Flux for over four months. The team brought an incredible amount of creativity to the table with their own ideas. Once the storyboard stage was complete, each scene was edited together to create the animaticThis was then used to present to everyone at Disney.  It’s been a really collaborative process with whomever this project has touched.

Are there any emerging trends are you excited about in the industry?

Increased use of AR in storytelling and audience engagement – it’s more accessible now, we’re all used to Instagram filters and Zoom backgrounds. Whether we realize it or not, this has sparked creativity in so many of us. With more of us working from home, and trying to create experiences within a personal space, I think people – both as consumers and as an audience – are ready to do more with it.