Vamonos produced a fun animated spot to promote Literacy Planet’s website. The brief was to look at spelling and grammar in a more light-hearted, irreverent way to appeal to children aged between 6 – 12 years. We decided to focus on how a small grammatical change can transform a sentence from something very normal to something a little more, well, surprising.
We Visited Paul Lindley founder of Ella’s Kitchen and Paddy’s Bathroom at Ella’s Kitchen Headquarters to talk about his success and new book ‘Little Wins: The Huge Power of Thinking Like a Toddler’.
When I worked there, Nickelodeon had a saying, ‘Be wherever kids are”…Nick’s mission is to deliver great entertainment to kids everywhere and anywhere. It could be a TV…a mobile device….in-store…or at one of their parks. Doesn’t matter…find where your audience is, that’s key.
A brand’s life used to be simple. Their customers watched TV, at roughly the same time, on one of the limited number of commercial channels available…or they listened to the radio to and from work…or they read the papers in the morning.
Then the internet happened – bash! – followed closely by the mobile-device sucker-punch – Crash!
Now, you’ll find a brand’s audience on numerous platforms on various devices all of the time. There are more and more demands on the one thing a brand is after…their customer’s attention.
But although this might all seem a little dizzying, some things haven’t changed – Video content is still king, regardless of how or on what device people are watching it.
Where your Customer is..that’s where you need to be.
What has changed is where you place this video…you can’t depend on a handful of channels….You need to go where your audience is….whether that’s Facebook, pinterest, snapchat, instagram or musical.ly
Joining the dots….
And brands must think about how context changes content. Understand that frame of Facebook or Snapchat or Pinterest changes the way the user and customer engages with a brand’s message. Production companies make content for an audience (the potential customer) and that audience is multifaceted with lots of different groups…we need to tailor our content to speak to each of those groups and reflect the medium we are using to deliver that content. Let’s embrace this proliferation of platforms and channels. It presents us with exciting opportunities to land your brand message in a multitude of cool ways.
Nickelodeon’s mission, to be wherever their customer (kids) are….is really one all brands need to engage with. Where is your market’s attention directed? Be there.
Below is a fun cross platform campaign we produced for Heinz Spaghetti Hoops. We created a 30” animated commercial with a web-drive message asking kids to go online and write their own story inspired by the advert, then we choose the best stories and animated them into a new series of commercials. The campaign was a neat virtuous circle….TV commercial drives kids to interact with the campaign online and then the kids own stories become a new series of TV commercials.
(Click the Image to view the Heinz Spaghetti Hoops Commercial!)
‘We interrupt this broadcast for a quick message from our sponsors…’
Ad-funded content is older than commercial TV. In fact the name Soap-opera derives its name from advertisers, such as Procter and Gamble, who funded the production of the original radio ‘soap’ operas.
Now the wheel has turned again and we are almost back where we started. The decline in advertising revenue has pushed broadcasters to look to brands to fund the shows more directly. For production companies and agencies this often means that we are managing three different ‘clients’ – the broadcaster>the brand>the regulator
An Advertiser-funded Production company must navigate and balance the needs of these three clients. The goal is to make an entertaining engaging show (happy broadcaster) that wins positive association for the brand driving costumer awareness (happy Brand) and that isn’t just a half-hour advertisement (happy regulator).
We don’t see any of these requirements as being necessarily in conflict with each other. In fact, in our experience finding creative solutions, while staying on the right side of the regulations, often helps not hinders the creation of an engaging and entertaining show, which at the end of the day is what everyone wants.
Localising International content. Whether it is regionalising commercial campaigns or creating an original TV series to be simultaneously released across multiple territories, we work with International brands to make global content feel local and relevant.
For re-versioning existing commercial and movie partnership campaigns, we offer the following localisation services:
GRAPHICS & EDITING
Dotting the ‘i’s and crossing the ‘t’s. Working in After Effects and Cinema 4D, we reversion the graphics and title-treatments for up-coming movie campaigns, often regionalising the commercials in up to 30 languages.
Working closely with our team of translators, we adapt the scripts for the different local markets. This will mean being sensitive to cultural differences – what is fine in Poland might not be appropriate in Turkey, for instance.
VOICE OVER RECORD
After the client has approved the translations, we record the Voice Over. We have a large selection of trained voice-over artists to choose from, so we can ensure the accent, pronunciation, and performance are all authentic and professional.
DUBBING AND DELIVERY
There are a bewildering range of video and audio formats out there. Romania’s codec will be different from Bulgaria’s which will also differ from Norway’s. Luckily for our clients, we can deal with those issues. It’s our job to stay on top of all the different international video formats and keep abreast of any changes.
We also handle final delivery to the local stations via adstream or adtoox.
Localising creative content can be a drain on a department’s time and resources. We like to handle that for our clients, so they can concentrate on more important stuff.
I’m Andy, Creative Director at Vamonos. I’ve won two BAFTAs for original TV shows and I picked up a bunch of advertising awards for branding, copy-writing and Art Direction. I still work in both areas – original production and commercials. I produce and develop TV series for broadcasters such as Disney, Channel 4 and the BBC. And I also produce commercial campaigns for clients like Innocent, Heinz and Lego.
There’s a lot more cross-over in original content and commercial production than people imagine. The key ingredients of character, story and tone are important in both areas. In commercial work, the main difference is that we use story and character to communicate either a specific feature of a product or a brand’s general personality and attitude.
Here are the three key elements we look to include in our commercial campaigns:
- Characters you care about and root for…Creating an original character is a great way to associate your brand with the character’s qualities be they charm, cuteness, humour or attitude. For our TV commercial for Paddy’s Bathroom, we created an animated Turtle character, inspired by the product’s package design, that was cute and full of natural charm, just like Paddy’s Bathroom!
- A story confidently told in a style that reflects your brand’s personality and values. For Bear, the kid’s health snack brand, we created a TV commercial that brought their packaging to life…setting their Bear character off on a wild around-the-world adventure that captured the imaginativeness, originality, humour and irreverence of the Bear brand.
- The story continues…at the end of a commercial or campaign, we want viewers to continue thinking about the characters…to feel that, although this story has ended, there are more adventures over the horizon. For Innocent For Kids, we created a three part story featuring Innocent’s on-pack characters. Each 30 second commercial told a different chapter in the story, of the Innocent gang’s search for hidden treasure. At the end of the campaign the treasure was discovered and the bad guys defeated, but the Innocent gang were ready for more adventures.
From an early age we love to be told a gripping story with colourful characters. Brands need to harness this storytelling magic to engage, entertain and move their potential customers. With so many demands on their attention, a brand needs to give their audience memorable and engaging reasons to care.
(Click on the images above to view Commercials)
Paul Taylor Mills, Artistic Director at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new theatrical venture The Other Palace, kindly fit us into his busy schedule to talk about life, musicals and his exciting plans for the theatre.
For an extended version of this interview follow the link below: