国产动画音乐分享组

W Animate Joint Promo for NB & Tmall W广告公司以动画为新百伦和天猫做品牌推广

SHPPLUS 2021-07-29 11:03:16

by Chris Colman | Chinese : 肖遥 with input from Hailan He


Shanghai’s rising star agency W have followed up their highly acclaimed #This Is Our True Color# spot, directed by Gingzim Lo, with another outside-the-box campaign for New Balance.


The campaign titled #School Return Kitty# is a joint brand promotion for NB574 and the Alibaba-owned B2C online platform Tmall, comprising an HTML5 site and a 3-minute TVC, marking the 3rd work in W’s relationship with the international sneaker brand.

In addition to the TVC and HTML5 site, W also provided full project planning, merchandise development, Tmall webpage development and multiple other forms of support.

W are one of the leading lights amongst the increasing number of independent Shanghai agencies and play home to an exciting team of young local creatives, including former freelance animators and illustrators now working full-time within the company.

“basically everyone in W participated in the project”.

The idea was to tie in a campaign with the thousands of Chinese students returning to their respective cities of study for the new semester. As such, the film and site feature 34 different “kitties” from 34 Chinese provinces, each possessing their own unique characteristics. Cats were an obvious choice, given Tmall’s (also known in Chinese as 'Sky Cat') existing black cat brand logo. The existing bold, vector style of the Tmall cat informed the design of the 34 provincial kitties.

Some of the 34 Kitties, with the Tmall black cat character [back]

The HTML5 site gives users the chance to select their home province and type in the name of their university. Their unique hometown cat then makes his or her way back to the university sporting a pair of stylized NB sneakers. On the following screen, the user can either click to view the TVC, or see an address to copy-paste and take them directly to the NB Tmall store.


The campaign is most notable for employing full 2D animation for the TVC, a medium rarely employed in Chinese advertising. Asked why they chose the bold new direction, W explained, “we wanted to break out of traditional methods to achieve a high-concept brand crossover”, adding that “the main bonus of animation is its flexibility and adaptability in terms of characterization and storytelling.”

Asked whether he see animation playing a bigger part in commercial work in China in the near future, W responded, “Compared to the rest of the world, or even the Asia Pacific market, China’s animation industry is just starting to thrive. We haven’t yet seen the potential of the medium properly explored in the Chinese commercial environment. Even though we barely see any domestic animation work in the market, I believe that the Chinese audience’s appreciation of animation is improving rapidly.”


The song and bold graphics are reminiscent of the Australian ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ campaign, though the humor of #School Return Kitty# is more gentle. The animation is fun - the cats bop along the street and bounce on the spot like Mickey Mouse or Felix the Cat in the 1920s. The tone and style of the campaign appeals to Chinese students who are more receptive to cute characters than their western counterparts. At almost 3-minutes, the spot is somewhat long, but is testament to what could be achieved by the in-house team in a short time-frame.

We asked W if the creation process was especially different to conceiving and developing a live action TVC. “Since the project was a joint brand promotion, we spent most time on the preproduction planning and communication. Besides that, there was no major difference. In terms of our internal operations, we rigorously followed a step by step process: preproduction planning, creative design, character design, art, music and animation.


We asked W what the biggest challenge was in creating the campaign. The director replied, “unifying the branding, successfully promoting #School Return Kitty# on multiple interaction platforms and constantly showing the value of the brands."

Having followed up the emotive #This Is Our True Color# spots with a playful animation campaign, it will be intriguing to see what W come up with for their next New Balance turn.


HTML5 site: http://back2school.wearewer.com


就在上海滩这家新兴广告公司W与新百伦合作了由罗景壬导演的广告单元#这是我们的原色#并广受好评之后,他们决定再接再厉,继续为新百伦打造剑走偏锋的广告。


这系列名为#返校喵#的广告是新百伦NB574和阿里巴巴旗下线上B2C平台天猫商城所做的联合品牌推广,包括一个HTML5定制页面和一支3分钟的电视广告,而这已经是第三次W与新百伦这家世界知名的运动鞋品牌的合作了。


在HTML5网页和电视广告之外,W还提供了全部的项目策划、商品开发、天猫商城网页开发和一些其他项目来支持这一广告系列。


W是为数众多的上海独立广告公司中的佼佼者之一,组建了一支年轻的、令人激动的本地化创意团队,包括前自由动画人和插画师们,如今都在公司里全日制工作。


本次系列广告的导演是W的创始人(又名李三水),整个广告的执行均由公司自己的设计师、程序员和动画师完成,以及广告配音由自家全职音乐人罗小松创作编写。就像W所说:“基本上在W的每个人都投入了项目中。”


整个创意本身是结合成千上万的中国学生回到他们各自的城市中开始新学期,而短片和网站以34个省份创造出34只“喵”,每一只都会呈现出自己独特的性格。选择猫作为形象并不需多费思量,因为“天猫”本身的LOGO就是一只黑猫。这个现成的粗放风格的天猫矢量图标志提供了34只不同的猫的设计思路。


HTML5网页可以让用户选择他们的家乡省份和键入他们的大学的名称,独特的家乡猫就会回到他/她们所在的大学里,穿着一双风格化的新百伦运动鞋玩耍。接下来,用户可以选择点击观看电视广告,或是将看到的网页地址复制粘贴,直接进入新百伦的天猫商铺中。


这系列的广告最引人瞩目的就是广告片完全由2D动画表现,而这种手法在中国广告界并不常见。当被问及为何会采用这种大胆的新途径时,W解释:“我们希望打破传统方式,达到更高概念的品牌交互。”并补充道:“动画的主要好处是,它在人物性格和剧情故事方面拥有高度的灵活性和适应性。”


被问及他是否认为,在未来中国广告业是否会让动画扮演越来越重要的角色时,W回答:“和世界其他地方相比,甚至只在亚太地区的市场,中国的动画产业也只是刚刚振兴,作为传播媒介我们还没看到它有更多的潜力去开发中国广告市场环境。然而话说回来,我们也很少在行业中见到国内的动画作品,我相信中国观众的动画鉴赏水平已经有了迅速提高。”


广告中的歌曲和粗放的画风会让人想起澳大利亚出品的“蠢蠢的死法”系列广告,尽管#返校喵#的幽默更含蓄。动画很有意思,猫咪在大街上跳舞,来回弹跳,看上去就像上世纪20年代的米老鼠或是菲利克斯猫一样。这个系列的广告的风格和基调是建立在这样一种客户需求上:相比起欧美地区,中国学生更乐于接受萌萌的角色。3分钟对于一个广告单元来说似乎有点长,不过却是一支内部团队在短时间内能达到的成就的一个证明。


我曾向W问起比起实景广告拍摄,这一次动画制作流程最特别的地方在哪里,他回答:“有鉴于这个项目是一次联合品牌推广,我们花了很多时间放在前期策划和沟通协调上。除此之外则并没有太多不同。在内部操作中我们严格执行一步接一步的流程:前期策划、创意设计、角色设计、美术、音乐和动画。”


由于时间局促和截然不同的视觉风格,我问W在创作这个广告系列时面临的最大挑战是什么。他回答:“统一品牌策略,在多个交互平台成功推广#返校喵#,以及持续展示品牌价值。”


当富有感染力的#这是我们的原色#单元之后画风突转为轻松有趣的动画,下一次W和新百伦的合作会发生些什么,实在是让人饶有兴趣。


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