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Crown Estate lights up London with Christmas pigeons

campaign debuts with a 10-minute takeover of Ocean's Piccadilly Lights,

The Crown Estate has unveiled a multichannel animated Christmas campaign, introducing the ‘Christmas pigeons’ to highlight its London West End destinations as the most enjoyable places to spend this festive season.

Developed in partnership with animation studio Bewilder, the work is based on the insight that Christmas can be challenging for shoppers in search of the perfect gift. The pigeons are presented as the perfect guides because they know every street, corner and arcade, where to spend time and where to find the best gifts.

The campaign debuted with a 10-minute takeover of the Piccadilly Lights, using Ocean’s DeepScreen OOH activation to create a bespoke 3D story. The narrative culminates in the pigeons reacting to the switch on of the festive lights of Regent Street and St James’s.

Designed to reflect the heritage and fashionable clientele of Regent Street and St James’s, Bewilder Animation, represented by B&A, created the 3D pigeons with a hand-made feel, artistically attired with clothing textures and accessories to define each character.

Alongside the Piccadilly Lights takeover, which was presented in partnership with Landsec, activity is running across wider out-of-home, press, social and digital channels.

Richard Ellwood, CMO at The Crown Estate, says: “We’re delighted to introduce our new festive characters. For centuries, pigeons have been used as messengers, and so for this campaign they are our storytellers. They’re perfectly placed to reveal the best spots across Regent Street and St James’s to eat, drink, shop and have a great time with friends and family.”

Caron Sandler, executive producer, Bewilder, says: “When we first heard about this campaign, our team jumped at the challenge of creating something truly magical. The pigeons have a hand-made feel, with the texture of clothing, as a nod to Regent Street and St James’s fashion heritage. Every unique character needs a story, so our storyboard team worked closely with Director Ruan Vermeulen to create a narrative that was as beautiful as the pigeons.”

Amy Simpson, the agent for Bewilder at B&A reps, says “This is what Christmas campaigns are all about. We were thrilled to take on the challenge when we heard the initial idea and we were excited that we could showcase the true magnificence of Bewilder’s quality and storytelling abilities. A fantastic collaboration from everyone involved, watching London’s famous streets light up was a true joy.”

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