December, 2017 | Cobar, Australia

Real stories always connect

Working with The Salvation Army for their Christmas campaign has been another rewarding experience. 

Not from a creative perspective, but from the incredible impact that real stories have when they’re crafted through a team of people who really believe in what they’re doing and bring their best to the table. 

"We aren't well off, but the thought of people going without food or a little child going without a gift on Christmas upsets me. $29 isn't a lot of money, but it's all I can afford for now, and I really hope it helps a family in need."

"After seeing the commercial about Jennie, We nearly cancelled Christmas, I wanted to help, even if it was just a little bit."

The backstory

For this story, we needed to recreate a situation where a farmer already doing it tough during the drought season was pushed to the edge when a child had an accident and required immediate medical attention. 

Living on a remote rural property, this becomes quite a difficult and costly situation, requreing time away from the farm, travelling great distances to access help and ultimately costing financially. 

With Christmas on the horizon, the family had to face the reality that the normal traditions of “special meals” and gifts were no longer an option. That was, until one of the rural Salvation Army workers came across their need and was able to help them out. 

This story was only a small representation of what many people experience, and the difference that The Salvation Army make daily through the donations they receive. 


Location Location Location…. trying to find a drought stricken rural scene close to a film production hub was proving difficult and was the first task for pulling this production together. 

Strong locations are essential for any production that is trying to work to a tight budget, minimising the need for VFX, production design and everything else that goes into creating the look. So during one of our very initial briefing sessions with Kirrilee (creative director and national brand manager for The Salvation Army), we opened Google Maps and scrolled west from Sydney until the green changed to brown… and where did we land? Cobar. 

Cobar is a beautiful town in central west New South Wales which is built around some significant mines for both gold and other metals. To get there… a very long and straight road. 

So this was the beginning of what many fond memories where created and this beautiful commercial was produced.

In short.. 

  • The people of Cobar are incredible, welcoming our small team and accommodating our odd requests..
  • Through an off hand conversation at the car rental shop, we found a rusty old ute which served perfectly for our farm ute. 
  • Local Newcastle aviation company “Fly Pelican” came to the rescue and got our entire crew and cast to Cobar safely and quickly. 
  • The local station manager helped us locate an abandoned and available cottage to use as our hero home. 
  • Local doctor assisted in creating a plaster cast which could be removed for our “broken arm girl” 



Team work

"Shane and Agnes are outstanding project partners, they’ve added unparalleled value to several high-stakes productions for Salvation Army. They’re organised, efficient and very good communicators. 

Their superpower is their care factor for each production, it makes them agile, energetic, innovative and careful, developing ingenious solutions to remove obstacles and deliver to (or beyond) the brief.  

Over many years I have found the team are every bit as devoted as I am to the quality of the end result. They’ve been genuinely inspired by different causes and respected the unique vision of each brief and the organisational goals behind it.  

They’re great with people - warm, insightful and professional - which enables them to work easily in complex environments and under pressure.  

In the for-purpose space, where communication must be nuanced to be effective, this is invaluable."
Kirrilee Trist
National Marketing Manager and Creative Director