Taylor Herring Christmas Advertising

Louis Walsh hosts harrowing PSA to find homes for abandoned Elves Behavin’ Badly dolls


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

November 6, 2018 | 4 min read

Music mogul Louis Walsh is appealing to the goodwill of the UK public by encouraging them to adopt an Elves Behavin’ Badly doll for Christmas.

Elves Behavin' Badly

In a faux PSA, Walsh issues a desperate call to action, tongue-firmly-in-cheek, urging the public to find it in their hearts to house Elfie and Elvie. In the harrowing PSA, a dog is seen urinating on a destitute street elf before it is embraced by a caring family. This quickly goes wrong as the elves get embroiled in a series of hijinks.

In the work from creative agency Taylor Herring and St Marks Studio, Walsh takes up the role of ‘Elf Help’ ambassador to promote the line and share the fact that two million elves have been sold since the brand set up shop in 2017.

The spot will roll on social media channels, with an influencer campaign led by the likes of Fred Delicious, Bec Hill, Slummy Single Mummy, Michael Spicer and Diary of the Dad (Tom Briggs) encouraging the public to enlist and capture the actions of their own naughty elves.

During the festive period, the brand is also running a reactive Twitter newsroom fronted by naughty elves in a purpose-built micro-office, from which the brand will look to produced timely social content. It follows the Elves Behavin’ Badly running an evocative outdoor advertising campaign on parent company PMS International’s logistics vehicles which looked to capture some of the compromising and smutty behaviours the dolls could be modelled on.

Walsh said: “Last year Elves Behavin’ Badly caused a viral sensation, but this year they’re set to top the Christmas toy charts. The naughty elves have become social media stars in their own right taking over the nation’s Instagram and Facebook feeds as parents get ever more creative and ingenious with the set ups. I can’t wait to see what people get up to with their elves in the run-up to Christmas.”

Paul Beverley, managing director at PMS International Group PLC, said: “We wanted to make a splash this year with a Christmas advert unlike any other. In true Elves Behavin’ Badly style, it’s very tongue-in-cheek. We hope parents and children alike will get involved with sharing their elf antics on social media and we’ll be rewarding the best with prizes every week.”

Also tying into this theme is Poundland, which is looking to cause a ruckus in a follow up to its X-rated discount campaign featuring a teabagging elf that irked the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), Twinings, the Elf on the Shelf company and Twitter users who accused it of "misogynistic" and "sexist" behaviour. Its provocative Elfie and Elvie are both from the Elves Behavin’ Badly line.

The dolls are also stocked by Tesco, Morrisons, Asda, WHSmith and are available on Amazon.

Vote for the work below in The Drum’s Creative Works.

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Taylor Herring Christmas Advertising

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