Aardman Directors share anecdotes from treasured campaigns

From Nestlé to The Imperial War Museum, Aardman is privileged to work with a diverse range of clients that allow us to push creative boundaries and produce truly memorable moments. Read on for an insight into some of our commercial campaigns from the Directors themselves:

Asa Lucander – Nestlé 5rams “wonderland”

Nestle 5Rams Aardman commercial

I wanted to create a sensorial journey, a magical wonderland that reflects what the ice cream stands for and what the taste of the ice cream will bring to the consumer. The animation combines a melting pot of culture, music, taste, dreams, boldness and aspiration that comes together in one tasty 5Rams cone with a real visual and sensual feast that amazes and intrigues.

Merlin crossingham – weflip LAUNCH

WeFlip Aardman commercial

The best thing about ‘WeFlip’ was creating a funny and engaging photorealistic character from scratch for a brand new campaign. The project was also really diverse in the skills and techniques we employed, from developing the stories on paper to full CGI character animation and the latest in visual effects to embed our chameleon into the live action world.

Peter Peake – MYER – “Santa’s Star’”

Myer Santa's Star Aardman commercial

One of the things I really loved about working on Myer was how we got to mix so many techniques in one spot. We shot a load of exterior live action backgrounds on location in Melbourne, built interior sets back in Bristol, animated the main characters as traditional stop motion puppets, created a bunch of new characters in CG and even combined 2D elements for some of the character’s faces. It was a fun challenge to stitch all the elements together and make them look like they existed in the same world.

The spot was set over the Christmas period in Australia, but in order to make the schedule work we had to shoot the live action locations out there in summer. For us the usual challenge with shooting exteriors for a Christmas spot in summer is shipping in fake snow and trying to make things look frosty enough. With Myer we had the opposite problem. Because Australia’s Christmas is in their summer (and we were actually shooting in their winter) our compositors had to spend a fair amount of time when we got the footage home putting leaves back on trees and making scorched grass look green again!

Dan Binns – Ricoh “dementia uncovered”

Ricoh Dementia Uncovered Aardman commercial

‘Dementia uncovered’ was a job for Alzheimer’s Research UK in collaboration with a 3D printing company ‘Ricoh’.

The idea was to demonstrate the physical damage Alzheimer’s has on a brain using 3D printing as well as demonstrating how technological research provides hope for the future. At the time of making I had a family member with dementia so this project was especially timely and poignant.

Originally a live action piece, the main challenge was to film something that, due to the machine itself, couldn’t be filmed. This led us down a CGI route. Creatively it’s great to have a problem and then some freedom to solve it in an interesting way. CGI allowed us to craft something we couldn’t have done in live action and as the piece looks to the future it meant we could have some particle and laser fun in Houdini, what’s not to love!

Darren Dubicki – imperial war museum “The Flight of the stories”

Imperial War Museum Aardman commercial

I was asked to create a film for the Imperial War Museum which coincided with the marking of the First World War Centenary. We married beautiful animated images of landscapes with voices of the past, creating a delicate film that reminds us that the stories of the war will always remain.

I loved this project for many reasons, but mainly because it was such a simple idea to convey a huge piece of history.

Steve Harding-hill – Swedbank “Hollywood”

Swedbank Hollywood Aardman commercial

This shot is from a stop-motion ad for Swedbank in Sweden, where Duck fantasises about being a movie star and we re-enact his favourite movie scenes with his furry pal Squirrel. Here we see them both being Maverick and Goose from Top Gun acting out the famous Tom Cruise ‘hi-5’.

Other scenes in the ad show Duck and Squirrel recreating the Thelma and Louise cliff sequence: dressed in curly wigs and mascara and also the saucy pottery scene from Ghost. All deeply bizarre but great fun!

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To contact Aardman about developing commercials for your brand, drop us an email: boards@aardman.com

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