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23 October 2017

Horror show.

by Jason Stone

giffgaff: “2am” - 60s

As we've said before, giffgaff is to Halloween as John Lewis is to Christmas. Each year they put themselves under pressure to create something even more spectacular and in 2017, they've once again succeeded.

To understand this film and giffgaff's whole preoccupation with Halloween, you have to first of all examine the telecom company's relationship with its punters. This is not a standard supplier-and-customer kind of a deal... giffgaff has achieved what many in the marketing world consider to be the Holy Grail - a loyal fanbase who regard themselves as a community. Not for nothing do giffgaff refer to their customers as 'members'. Yes, ultimately it's a business relationship but it's one built around trust and mutual admiration. And it works.

The annual Halloween film is part of that relationship. It came about because giffgaff pays attention to the forums it has spawned and a love of Halloween was a recurring theme. A younger demographic is in thrall to this annual opportunity to dress up and have fun. This is partly a reaction to the hostility of older generations irked by Halloween's Americanness who prefer to wait a few days until November 5th and stand around a bonfire in the drizzle while eating baked potatoes and being terrorised by fireworks.

In this context, the annual Halloween film takes on a special importance and has become a landmark event in giffgaff's marketing year.

The latest film drops the deliberately kitsch horror references of the past and takes itself a bit more seriously. The knowing self-parody has been replaced by a cinematic film designed to send a proper chill up the audience's spine. It has been expertly put together, exploring less familiar tropes in a highly effective way.

Ultimately, it cleverly comes back to giffgaff's core proposition and, while this works, it doesn't feel strictly necessary. Perhaps next year, they'll deliver a short horror film with no connection to the service it advertises... we've a feeling giffgaff's Halloween-loving fans would be well up for that.

Creative Agency: giffgaff Ⓦ
Creative: Tom Rainsford
Agency Production: Like-Minded Individuals Ⓟ Ⓦ
Agency Producer: Tracy Stokes
Film Production: Riff Raff Films Ⓟ Ⓦ
Director: Tom Rainsford
Producer: Gwilym Gwillim
Executive Producer: Matthew Fone
Cinematographer: Ben Magahy
Editor: Xavier Perkins
Post Production: Raised by Wolves Ⓟ Ⓦ
Colourist: Vic Parker @ Raised by Wolves Ⓟ Ⓦ
Flame: Jon Hollis
Sound Designer: Dugal Macdiarmid @ Wave Ⓟ Ⓦ
Music Supervision: Eclectic Ⓟ Ⓦ
Music: Somebody's Watching You.

David Reviews is hand-crafted by Lovely Lenzie Ltd, 7 Seven Sisters, Lenzie, Glasgow, G66 3AW. Editor: Jason Stone. Phone: 0141 776 7766. E-mail: jason@davidreviews.com.