Yeti alert at Giant’s Causeway

Yeti alert at Giant's Causeway.
Yeti alert at Giant's Causeway.

Three fully animated yetis have been spotted skating at speed through Northern Ireland to the Giant’s Causeway, fast tracking much-needed festive cheer and gifts to unsuspecting tourists.

The high-octane scenes on a cold November morning mark the launch of the ‘Christmas Yetis’ campaign from Argos.

As the battle of the Christmas TV adverts begins and festive lights start to twinkle, the leading digital retailer will unveil its spectacular Christmas advert tonight. Featuring five neon yetis, the advert shows these friendly creatures hurtling through the streets of a snowy town on ice skates, delivering Christmas gifts at extraordinary speed.

Whilst moments such as the Olympics, World Cup and another Great British Bake Off have been enjoyable, nearly a fifth of people in Northern Ireland feel that 2016 has been a slightly turbulent year. Stating reasons such as the bad summer weather (25 per cent) and Brexit (27 per cent), the random acts of (furry) kindness from the legendarily elusive creatures were a welcome antidote for the public.

As a result, it seems Christmas couldn’t come sooner, with over one in five (21 per cent) of us believing Christmas will be the perfect distraction from the bleakness of 2016.

And to counter this, Argos has sent its Christmas yetis out onto the streets to kick-start the festive feeling. Each measuring up to eight feet tall, the friendly gift-giving yetis became the centre of attention at several locations across the UK, with more spottings expected in the coming weeks. Pro skaters animated the speedy yetis from the inside, including George Southall, who is recognised as one of the best amateur freestyle skaters in the UK and professional ice hockey player, Kevin McGlynn.

The yeti gift giving is set to continue with the retailer calling on people to get into the spirit and snap a picture of themselves with the in-store yetis or wearing a downloadable yeti mask, available from the Argos website. By sharing it on Twitter using #ArgosYelfie, they can be in with a chance of receiving a festive surprise.

The ‘Christmas Yetis’ advert is a whirlwind of speed, adrenaline and excitement. Based on the folklore that yetis move twice as fast (35 – 40 miles per hour) as the average human (15 miles per hour) and even quicker than the fastest human foot speed on record (Usain Bolt 100m, 2009, 27.8 miles per hour), the Argos yetis leap and carve round corners like lightning on their skates. They collect, play with and deliver Argos’ top products as they go. The super fast yetis reflect the market-leading speed of Argos’ Same Day Fast Track Delivery and Fast Track Collection services. Set against an exclusive adaptation by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra of “What’s This?”, the advert is designed to create a palpable sense of excitement and anticipation through the festive season.

A team of award-winning special effects experts from Animated Extras built the hyper-realistic yetis (each costing £30,000) over a period of three months at the world-famous Shepperton Studios in Surrey, England. The team included pros who have previously worked on Hollywood films and British TV shows, including James Bond, Avengers, Cinderella, Jupiter Ascending, Into the Woods and Cloud Atlas. Pro skaters were used to animate the yetis in the advert, including Peter Hallam, the twice British Figure Skating Champion and holder of five international Gold medals at the Senior British Figure Skating Championships.

Stephen Vowles, Marketing Director at Argos, said: “Our yeti advert is designed to capture the spirit of excitement and anticipation surrounding Christmas. Fun loving and friendly, these larger-than-life, quick as a flash yetis colourfully bring to life the role that Argos hopes to play in the Christmases of families nationwide – and the skill, speed and precision that make us market leaders, with our super-speedy, same day Fast Track Delivery and Fast Track Collection services. Given the year Northern Ireland has had, we hope our loveable yetis bring enjoyment to thousands of households this December – reminding us of the joyous, fun-filled experience the festive season should be.”