Here at Global Mechanic, creating beautiful animation and inventive advertisements are what we do best. We are especially driven when we get the opportunity to help a non-profit organization deliver an important message to the public.
We believe in the power of storytelling and we know that many valuable stories go left untold. After the tragedy in Darfur we teamed up with an organization called Stand For The Dead whose mission is to get the stories of the victims heard.
Giving the victims a voice helps others connect to their story and understand the enormity of genocide. The PSA we created called Darfur Drawings used animation based on actual children’s drawings from Darfur.
Bringing awareness to issues that are outside our backyard is important to us. We really enjoyed our next project with Plan International, one of the oldest and largest international charities in the world. They founded an initiative called Because I Am A Girl.
A Global Campaign to claim a brighter safer future for girls.
This initiate operates a wide range of programs to improve the lives of girls around the world by giving them access to health care education, protection, independence and an opportunity to participate in society.
We also love the challenge of conveying a time -honoured message in new and creative ways. We approached AIDS Vancouver for a collaborative project and they suggested we contact a local agency called Rethink to bring a refreshing alternative to AIDS advertising. The copy for our ad called Petri Dish is so compelling and visceral that we wanted as much physical texture as possible.
We shot the animation and artwork with layers of dirt, hair and liquid and used distorting filters and flickering lights. We created this ad ten years ago and the animation is so striking that it still holds strong today.
It’s humbling to get the opportunity to apply our love for art and design to communicate an imperative message. We take on projects like this because we want to give back, and yet at the end of the day, when we have done our job we walk away with so much more than what we started with.
We get a lot of attention for – and questions around – our work for Coca Cola, so we thought we’d share our case study on the international pieces that helped break records for one for the most recognizable brands in the world. Enjoy!
THE CHALLENGE:Re-establish Coca Cola’s position as the leading brand in three distinct markets: South Africa, Japan and India
Bruce Alcock and team jumped at the opportunity to work with The Coca-Cola Company for their multinational television campaign. Coca-Cola needed to leverage their globally recognized campaign at the time to reestablish themselves in three regions where market share had been diminishing. The stakes were huge: media buy included the first minute of airtime in the New Year on every channel for each market. If you had the TV on, you were going to see the spot.
STRATEGY & INSIGHT:Uncover core market culture & values, and then connect those with the global brand
Bruce and his team were given lyrics and some guidance as to each market’s nuances. In order to uncover the true cultural identities of the three markets, Bruce enlisted the help of 25 artists in six cities. They cross-referenced imagery and techniques with local experts in each market, and once local visuals were systematically aligned with the right components of Coca-Cola’s global brand, it was time to sew the pieces together to form visual storylines.
EXECUTION:Authentic spots celebrating uniqueness of each culture’s identity
Bruce and his team took a unique approach to each region, nailing down the tone and feel of their cultures while appealing to aspirational sensitivities at the same time. The work was deliberately layered and dense to accurately depict the complexity of each region and stimulate the viewer. The spots built upon the strong brand recognition Coca-Cola’s global campaign already enjoyed.
The final product was a series of television spots for each market, including 17 versions of one for South Africa for all of its local languages. The execution was a masterful balancing of input from Coca-Cola, researchers and the artists – who constructed the thousands of creative elements that went into the final product.
RESULTS:Record Breaking Views
The spots’ success was attributed to their authenticity and ability to speak to the local audiences. Brand recognition and resonance was high, and especially so with youth in the markets, the largest of the waning segments. In India, the spot was the most viewed television commercial. Ever.
Will they have your back? The right creative agency will keep your brand’s best interest in mind.
When it comes to choosing a creative agency for your advertising, branding and design needs, personality fit counts for a lot. After all, you’ll be working closely with these people in high stakes, deadline-driven situations. The fit can be determined almost instantly when you meet them in person, but in the mean time, how do you narrow your search? Keep in mind the following:
1. Size vs. Value: The bigger you go, the more cooks you get in the kitchen. This can be a good thing: many of the large multi-service advertising agencies have a team of strategists and creative directors that can provide great ideas and insight. You’ll be paying for that expertise and it takes time to get your message heard by a large team. Keep in mind that even the large agencies usually still outsource the animation work, so you’ll be paying a mark-up on those services. You can go directly to an animator to get the work done, but generally you’ll be providing a lot of the prep work, from strategic planning to copy writing and audio. Medium-sized creative firms generally offer strategic branding and campaign services, experienced producers and a team of creative minds who are all used to delivering the whole enchilada quickly and to budget. Smaller agencies may impress you with lower pricing, but beware they have the adequate resources to handle the full project. They often outsource much of the work to keep overhead costs down, and can get caught if their go-to partners are busy with other projects.
Do you want to be the first? Your project could be a win/win or a big mistake.
2. Guinea Pig Pitfalls: It’s easy for creative companies to become experts in a particular style or step in the creative process. After all, doing good work leads to more of the same work. So when you’re shopping around for a creative partner, make sure they have a solid track record of doing the kind of work you need. They may lower their bid for the project because the work would provide a nice addition to their portfolio or could be a strong case study for them. Maybe this is a win/win. Or maybe you’re gambling with your limited marketing dollars.
The best creative agencies don’t just tell you what you want to hear.
3. Timing is Everything: Is your timeline realistic with the expectations you’re setting for the work? This question is valid when planning any project really, but in the creative world, a misalignment in timeline expectations happens a lot. A creative agency can turn around a really complex project quickly, but not if you need time for them to incorporate your notes and test it with a market sample. They’ll likely say yes to the project, but be open to considering any recommendations you get regarding adjusting the scope to maximize quality and effectiveness. The best of the best pride themselves on making great creative work for their clients – that also drives bottom line results.
Start shopping around early so you’ve already vetted creative agencies before your boss drops that fantastic ‘we-can’t-afford-not-to-take-advantage-of-this-opportunity!’ campaign idea on your desk. You’ll be glad you did.
These are just a few of the reasons why using animation to advertise for your company may be the right option. The message that you want to convey to your audience and the product or service that you are selling are the deciding factors for the creative path you want to take.
1. Be anything you want to be: The distinction between ordinary and exceptional is imagination. It’s amazing what can be achieved when the creative process isn’t stifled by limitations. No idea is too big when you have an animator to help you bring your visions to life. Your audience can travel through the world, time and space. Abstract and practical concepts can be made captivating and palatable to diverse of audiences through the art of animated storytelling.
Fresh Guacamole is an amazing piece of animation. Released in March of last year, PES’ stop-motion short has garnered over 6.8 million views for Showtime’s YouTube page (Showtime financed the production). And it isn’t just attracting viewers – recently added to its list of accolades was a nomination for an Academy Award.
How has a 1-and-a-half-minute film captured so many hearts and minds? Simple:
And Fresh Guacamole is just that – simple, yet genius. It’s someone making guacamole. But it’s the imaginative, child-like element that excels here. PES – who cut his teeth in the commercial world – has a distinct visual flair. His previous work includes Western Spaghetti, which utilized the same idea: this is a view through the eyes of a 5-year old playing make-believe chef.
There’s no score, but the sound design is spot-on. The foley work is half the charm, as some the everyday objects adhere to the sounds of their kitchen counterparts. This ambiance intermingles with the tactile nature of stop-motion and gives Fresh Guacamole its simultaneously familiar yet otherworldly feel. As a recent Wired article put it, PES’ work is “strangely hypnotic”.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments below!