Baileys has unveiled its first Christmas TV advert for five years with a contemporary twist on Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker’ ballet by critically acclaimed Black Swan choreographer Benjamin Millepied. The two-minute full-length version of the advert, which taps into the nation’s love affair with dance, will air exclusively this Saturday night (16th November) during the network premiere of Black Swan at 9.20pm on Channel 4.



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The collaboration with Millepied sees Baileys create a festive up-tempo night out with the girls, told through the re-imagination of a classic Christmas fairytale.

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The Ringan Ledwidge (director of The Guardian’s multi award-winning Three Little Pigs advert) directed film sees a stellar cast of Royal Ballet principal dancers Steven McRae (The Nutcracker Prince), Thiago Soares (The Mouse King) and guest principal dancer Iana Salenko (Clara) perform in a dramatic and engaging retelling of one of ballet’s best-known tales.

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Millepied’s choreography sees Clara and two friends enter a spectacular winter wonderland bar for a night together. The story shows The Nutcracker Prince and The Mouse King fight for her affection in a series of choreographed moves that plays against the dark storyline with brilliant, temperate surges of movement.

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The final scene is a dramatic twist showing Clara choose her friends to spend the rest of the night with ending with the strapline of ‘Spend time with the girls this Christmas’.

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Benjamin Millepied, who is soon to be the Director of the Paris Opera Ballet, said:

“I loved referring to the classic holiday ballet The Nutcracker and artistically reimagining it to make it feel current for 2013 in this original piece made for Baileys. Working with the director [Ringan], exquisite and talented dancers, and a first-rate creative team, we developed a dramatic and fluent performance that brought to life the Nutcracker story in a contemporary setting. I wanted to create a film that was fun, spirited, and promoted the notion of ‘Spend time with the girls this Christmas’.

“The holidays are the time of the year when we have more time to see our friends, when we put aside the stresses of work, and when we can enjoy the company of those that know us the most.”

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Working on the film, created by BBH London, with Millepied and Ledwidge included renowned costume designer Rosa Dias and Pride and Prejudice’s four-time Oscar nominated set designer Sarah Greenwood. The score – a retelling of Tchaikovsky’s original – has been created by composer, pianist and producer Nicholas Britell.

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The Nutcracker is the latest iteration of the brand’s ‘Cream With Spirit’ campaign, launched last year, to shine a light on women and celebrate the spirit of modern womanhood. The campaign has recently seen Baileys announced as the sole sponsor for the Women’s Prize For Fiction.

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Kerry Owens, Western Europe Category Marketing Director, Baileys and Portfolio Brands at Diageo said:

“We are delighted to be working with Ringan and Benjamin alongside an A-list cast and crew to create a truly magical and enchanting take on The Nutcracker. Baileys has undergone a transformation this year with our new slim line bottle and this is mirrored in the advert, which sees a Christmas classic given a fresh, contemporary twist. It is a huge coup for us to be working with such talented individuals like Benjamin, Ringan and the fantastic principal dancers from The Royal Ballet.”

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Post airing on Channel 4, the full-length advert will be available on Baileys YouTube channel. The advert will then launch across UK commercial channels from 25th November as a shorter 60-second version.

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Baileys’ The Nutcracker TV advert will air exclusively on Saturday 16th November at 9.20pm on Channel 4. To view the film visit YouTube.

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