Nobody should have to skip meals so that their children can eat.

The cost of living crisis means that many families are struggling to make ends meet, missing meals and coping without heating.

In the last year, Ben, which supports people working in the automotive industry by providing life-changing support to those facing crisis, has helped more than 230 households who couldn’t afford food or heating, and an additional 103 households who would otherwise have become homeless.

The charity asked us to create a Christmas fundraising film to highlight the issues facing many of the families they’re helping. We developed the Placeholders film as part of a wider campaign to show how many working families, even at Christmas, don’t have everything they need to survive, and how Ben can help. 

Placeholders was launched at the ‘Ben Ball’, its annual fundraising ball, and was then posted on its digital channels. It also attracted lots of coverage in the trade press for the charity.

The project was conceptualised and produced in-house, Dan oversaw the creative and Aiyana was the producer. We also had a fantastic team who worked with us on the Placeholders project, including guest director Narghi Dotieva.

Huge thanks to singer songwriter Vedran Djurasovic who kindly gifted us his cover version of the song, Wonderful Life, for the soundtrack to Placeholders. 


Creative Director – Dan Mellor

Concept – Abi Mellor

Director – Narghi Dotieva

Producer – Aiyana Gane

Director of Photography – Ben Lidell

Editor – Vasil Dzhagalov

Sound – Dave Briggs

Runner – Kazz Thompson

Music – Vedran Djurasovic 

Actors – Jamie Kenna, Claire Marlowe, Frank McKenna, Lola McKenna, and Leonie Livingstone.

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