A teddy bear comes to life after closing time in de Bijenkorf, the Netherlands’ premier luxury department store. After hopping out of the show window, Bobbie grabs a chocolate cake, lights an enormous Christmas tree, puts on a tuxedo and enjoys a festive dinner with his extended family. In addition to this commercial, director Victor D. Ponten also created Bobbie’s own online late night talkshow, in which the host speaks, jokes and interviews guests.
The Christmas film of de Bijenkorf was shot overnight at de Bijenkorf Amsterdam, between closing time and opening time the next morning. Walking around in a large, empty department store in the middle of the night was ‘an absurd experience’, says Victor, ‘and it created exactly the atmosphere we were going for’. An atmosphere that’s enhanced in the commercial by Massive Music’s magical new arrangement of the classic children’s song ‘The Teddy Bears’ Picnic’.
Bobbie de Beer, a teddy bear exclusive to de Bijenkorf, is even livelier in the accompanying online campaign featuring De Bobbie Show. In the seven episodes of his own late night show, Bobbie talks to guests including Sinterklaas himself, as well as de Bijenkorf buyers and product managers ranging from lingerie to food. ‘Some were pretty nervous, but because they’re talking about products that they deal with every day, they were usually able to let go of that pretty quickly,’ explains Victor. ‘The funny thing is, when it’s a teddy bear sitting there, they really start talking to him. That helped them a lot.’
To help bring Bobbie to life, a special hand puppet version of him was created by the puppeteer Daphne Zandberg, who operates Bobbie together with Bert Plagman, who is also Bobbie’s voice. Both are known for their work on the Dutch Sesame Street. The best in the biz! Victor: ‘I had never worked with a hand puppet before and it was really cool to try and see what I could do with it. It was a real eye-opener to see the mechanics behind such a performance.’