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JD.com’s Chinese New Year campaign pits dog against a heron in $2m Pixar-style short

As the Year of the Dog approaches, JD.com has employed its own canine logo to appear in a bid-budget animation film for Chinese New Year.

The Tencent e-commerce subsidiary commissioned Australian production house Passion Pictures to produce a four-minute film which pits the brand’s adorable mascot, Joy, against a hungry heron during a quiet fishing trip.

Named ‘Joy Story: Joy & Heron’, the Pixar-style film shows the small dog trying hard not to rock his master’s boat while defending it from the worm-stealing bird.

However, after spotting the heron is only trying to feed its hungry – and fussy – chicks, Joy comes around gives away the whole pot of worms. And in the spirit of Chinese New Year, the heron then reciprocates the gesture of kindness.

Directed by the agency’s animator duo Kyra Buschor and Constantin Paeplow, the video’s media buying is being handled by Chinese independent agency 180.

The film is understood to have cost in the realm of AUD$2 million.

Largely distributed across Tencent’s own channels, such as Weibo and WeChat, the film is also being shown on JD’s app and website, and internally in the company’s Beijing HQ.

Katie Mackin, Passion Pictures Melbourne managing director and the video’s executive producer, said: “We jumped at the chance to tell a story utilising this iconic character. From the outset, the client gave us real freedom- their sole ambition was to make a great film.

“And so began a truly collaborative process that saw Kyra & Constantin writing scripts and working extremely closely with JD.com and 180.ai to realise this lovely story and reimagine this brand hero.”

The full film can be viewed here:Credits:
Client:​ JD.com
Agency:​ 180.ai
Creative Director: Kenneth Kuan
Producer: Nancy Wang
Account Executives: Wang Mengdi and Bonnie Tian
Production Company:​ Passion Pictures
Directors: Kyra & Constantin
Executive Producer: Katie Mackin
Producer: Fiona Fry, Sibylle Preuss
Music & Sound Mix:​ Nylon Studios

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