In a year filled to overflowing with comfort food, legacy brand Borden adds another caloric layer to the holidays—and feast for the eyes—with a super-sized Advent calendar carved entirely out of cheese.
The sculpture, which weighs nearly 100 pounds, is the center of its digital and social campaign for the season, dubbed “Let There Be Cheese.” Running through year’s end, the stunt offers up recipes, tips and surprises behind each of the 55 tiny, cheddar doors. Formal name: “55 Days of Cheesemas.”
The brand wanted to get a jump on its holiday marketing—giving it a Thanksgiving kickoff and running through Christmas, making it a 55-day program—instead of following the typical Advent timeline, which is closer to 25 days.
The cheesy art piece was custom-made by carver Paul Dever, who’d never carved cheese before but previously won the Food Network’s 2019 Outrageous Pumpkins reality contest.
According to a behind-the-scenes video, which you can watch below, Dever faced a number of challenges in this task, like shivering in a below-60-degree room (otherwise his materials would’ve melted) and hearing smack talk from veteran cheese carvers (basically, they scoffed).
It took him 28 hours to complete the work, which he says should give him bragging rights with his kids. “Go tell your friends,” he jokes in the video.
Also part of the campaign, Borden launched “Keto Santa,” a modern spin on classic Coca-Cola ads of the 1940s and ‘50s.
The social posts, which promote new baked-and-cubed cheese snacks, show a slender St. Nick leaving low-carb treats under dairy-lovers’ Christmas trees. He keeps in shape by doing yoga and riding those exercise bikes he delivers.
Both projects come from Gravity Labs, a young indie agency based in Chicago run by chief creative officer Mike Roe, formerly BBDO and Razorfish, and president Davin Power, an alum of Digitas, BBDO and Publicis.
Agency: Gravity Labs
Client lead: Eric Prado
Client manager: Abby Hugdahl
Chief Creative Officer: Mike Roe
Senior Designer: Natasa Nikolic
Mihira Rami – Marketing Director
Nathaniel Renteria – Brand Manager
Roshani Patel – Associate Brand Manager
Cheese Artist: Paul Dever
Illustrations: Nemanja Malidza
Head of User Experience: CJ Oltman
Technology Lead: Brad Larson
Project Management: Susan DeWeerdt
Photography: Adam DeTour