HMV preps animated Christmas ads

HMV is pinning its hopes on a series of animated TV ads featuring its Nipper the dog character and gramophone in a bid to reverse flagging sales ahead of the crucial Christmas trading period.


HMV brings Nipper to life in animated ads.

A series of 11 “magical” animated spots will tell a series of stories about the characters’ Christmas adventures. The spots will also feature collaborations with some of HMV’s music and film partners, which could mean popular music and film characters will appear in the spots.

The ‘Nipper & Gramophone’s Christmas Tales’ campaign marks a stark shift from HMV’s previously product and price focused advertising which has revolved around new releases.

The dog and gramophone logo has been part of HMV’s branding for more than ninety years but this is the first time that they have been “brought to life”.

TV, online and print ads will launch later this month. The creative will also feature on a dedicated Christmas microsite and online game as well as in-store.

HMV's first animated ads will air this Christmas

Around 60 per cent of HMV’s annual revenue is taken during the Christmas trading period. The retailer will be hoping the ad campaign helps boost sales following an 11.6 per cent fall in like for like sales in the 20 weeks to 15 September.

HMV marketing and ecommerce director Mark Hodgkinson has previously told Marketing Week that HMV expects to reverse its sales decline in the final quarter of the year.

Mark Robertson, HMV head of brand, says: “Nipper and Gramophone have been at the heart of the HMV brand from the beginning. They are known and loved throughout the world, and we felt that the time was right for them to take centre-stage.”

The ads have been created by Venturethree and animation company Nexus Production.

Readers' comments (9)

  • I don't get it. What did that ad tell me?

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  • It just seemed like a really poor rip off of the Pixar 'Luxor Jr' short. The gramophone even makes a similar noise. Bit of an odd campaign really.

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  • Don't get this ad, first they start attacking their own staff for having tattoos and now they have such an irrelevant advert with no meaning behind it.
    I feel this may be the end for HMV unless they do something drastic. Its a shame that a brand which used to mean so much in music has now lost touch with its target demographic.

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  • I like the animations, they're warm and fun - I don't see a problem with referencing Pixar either. I think they'll stand out on the high street

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  • I think we all saw this done better 20 years ago with the desk lamp by Pixar.

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  • The reason why HMV is failing is because cheap nasty people are downloading music rather than buying it. Of course it's dying. What kind of world do we live in where you will gladly pay over 3quid for a coffee in Pret but not spend money on music. It will be better when HMV is gone so it will be put out of its misery.

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  • I'll reserve judgement on this this ad (can't be the final one?!) but it will be a sad day when we lose our last great high street record shop. Admittedly I'm a hardcore Spotify user but still buy a CD/DVD every now and again. What's better than owning a hard copy? Maybe it's just my generation where the more varied CD collection you had, the better you were.

    Everyone - please stop buying CD's and DVD's in supermarkets, they make enough money and have the worst collection of music ever.

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  • I think they're on another planet. If they think most people - particularly the young market they need to survive - know what HMV stands for, know what a gramophone is or even really noticed the dog then they are deluded.

    A lot of their storefronts - and even their website logo - don't even feature the dog and gramaphone!

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  • Browsing in shops allows us to discover new things by our own accord, rather than being prompted to purchase by a 3rd party (e.g. recommendations based on past purchases).
    I disagree with the idea that HMV is obsolete and young kids do not even know what a gramophone is...there is a huge rediscovery of vinyl recently thanks to a variety of Indie productions. I rather think that HMV needs to start targeting a specific demo, rather than being all things for all people, and sadly the ad does not seem to mirror any specific positioning.
    Rough Trade is doing a great job by selling music the old fashion way, but they also work very hard to generate loyalty and create touch points for their customers (e.g. live gigs, in-shop areas where you can sit down, have a coffee and browse the net, really cool newsletter, etc). I do get HMV is operating on a different scale, but still.

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