Creative DirectorsLeisa Wall, Peter Vegas
Design DirectorJosh O'Neill
Team MembersHywel James, Adam Redmond, Emerson Hunt, Tony Dediu
ContributorsJenni Doubleday, Amanda Langkilde, Sean Keaney, Miki Hutchinson, Stevie Weber, Alex Bunnell, Ashley Hekkens, Christina So, Anne Lipsham, Helen North, Philip Cartwright, Uddhav Waghmare, James McMullan, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnston
ClientDepartment of Internal Affairs
Aotearoa’s drinking water, wastewater and stormwater - our three waters - are facing a crisis. So, after working with local councils, the New Zealand Government has come up with a solution. They want to build a better system for our three waters that is still owned by the communities it serves.
Social-cause and PSA communications tend to reinforce the “warm-fuzzy” high, so much so they blur into the back of people’s minds quite quickly. So we chose to break the mould, and took a more quirky approach in our visual direction. We knew that with our distinctive illustrative style, our communications would be more disruptive and eye-catching, which was exactly what we needed if we were going to turn a serious, low-involvement topic into something that people actually engaged with.
First, we made sure our characters were all packed with personality, but still maintained enough simplicity in their design that reinforced the idea that this was an “easy decision”.
We then worked with the animators to create a seamless transition between each scene, to imitate the flow of water. This complemented the whimsical track we composed using a theremin, inspired by the experimental beats from legendary 70s composer Mort Garson.
It wasn’t enough for us to just create a cartoon world, we wanted to make it feel fresh. Instead of realistic, proportional people you might see on a dentist brochure, we took inspiration from the kooky dreamscapes of shows like The Midnight Gospel and Adventure Time. Noodly limbs, gappy grins, monobrows, and huge eyes gave us cut-through that you’d never expect to come from the Government.
The large challenge in this campaign was the timeline. We only had 6 weeks to get it into market after the brief. Our illustrative route meant we could develop two 30” TVCs, press ads, and a suite of social posts and banners, without having to sacrifice the quality of our craft.