Here within the walls of Super77, we often make the analogy that creating an animated video is a lot like building a house. It’s as much about the process and the planning as it is about the materials being used.
So when our friends at Blue Collar based in Hood River, Oregon, came to us with a new project to raise awareness for CBUSA, an organization that’s all about helping independent homebuilders galvanize resources, it was time to put the analogy to the ultimate test.
Based upon the agency’s script packed with visual cues, creative director Sean Conner, associate creative director Andrew Mark, and art director Karl Fekete immediately got to work on establishing the mood of the piece via a bold graphic approach; as exhibited in these style frames.
The agency wanted to do something fun and whimsical while playing to the fact that homebuilders can be a diverse and conservative audience.
While giving Super77 a chance to roam free creatively, Blue Collar also emphasized how difficult the job of an independent homebuilder is compared with larger developers; an aspect that was reflected in the script via a “journey-like” metaphor. After some conversation and collaboration with the agency, it was determined that the best way to address this challenge was through an animated character that could graphically represent the CBUSA brand, while simultaneously helping the video empathize with the audience.
Another challenge as fun to tackle as the script itself was the journey of the CBUSA brand character throughout the video. At a total running time of 2:00, this meant not only creating a massive amount of content, but content that was part of a free-flowing universe that our 2D animated character was constantly traveling through, climbing over, and interacting with. The script called for constant energy – seamless and without a single cut. In the end, this technique not only gave us a chance to fully realize the world we helped create for CBUSA, but further push our conceptual skills.
What made this project such a special experience was a culmination of factors. It took care and detail on every single step of the process and constant communication with our agency partners – from the choice of colors, to the articulation of the character, to the slight stylization of the world our hero character travels through. Finding the right balance between a cartoon character and brand characterization is one of the toughest things to do, especially in an infographic piece where the flow and rhythm of the piece has to grab attention, maintain it, and give potential customers a reason to stick to the end.
We are particularly thankful to Blue Collar and CBUSA along with our partners at The Music Bed,
Magnetic Studios and voice over Brady Hales for this opportunity to blend elegant design and character animation.
And just to finish off the house building metaphor we love so much, this is one project we’ll be modeling for a while!