FCB New Zealand 14 SweetShop Blockhead VFX You Can Sense It. You Can Stop It.

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Directors
    Leisa Wall, Peter Vegas, Slade Gill
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Josh O'Neill
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    David Shirley, Melina Fiolitakis, Emilie Watts
  • Kaitautoko / Contributors
    Jenni Doubleday, Scott Kelly, Xavier Glass, David Thomason, Lloyd Thomason, Sean Keaney, Amanda Langkilde, Simon Pengelly, Pip Mayne, Ruby Black
  • Client
    WorkSafe New Zealand
Judge's comments:

The judges loved the quirky storytelling in this entry - felt very kiwi. The animation and integration of the CG meerkats was technically brilliant and added to humour and performances throughout.


Historically, workers have been told to follow the rules to stay safe. And, to be fair, they’re great for the basics. But, you can’t write a rule for everything. We needed to make New Zealand’s workers aware of a new kind of safety, which empowers them to be proactive. It asks them to look for the signs of danger and, if they think something could go wrong, to step in and stop it. This sense for danger is a power we all possess – it’s like we each have a pack of inner-meerkats, who stand to attention when something doesn’t feel right. Meticulously designing and animating these furry co-stars would be integral to the success of our storytelling.

Our campaign would hero the ‘moment of awareness’ – that point when your inner-meerkats stand to attention and tell you something isn’t right. We set about developing 3D models of meerkats that would feel like extensions of the person they belonged to. The process involved developing families of meerkats – each one individually crafted to have unique physical features, grooming and fur patterns, but each feeling like they were part of a sub-group, that had the physical features of their human owner. The person’s brow line, their facial hair, complexion, hair colour – all were used to inform this sub-group design.

The film was dramatically lit and shot (in part) in super slow motion, exaggerating the drama of the moment and giving our characters a heroic demeanour. Then, by capturing a series of 360 degree images from the perspective of our characters in each scene, we were able to light our 3D meerkats in exactly the same way, so that they feel like they’re really in the space and heightening that moment of awareness that was the focus of our campaign.

Our typography was inspired by the stamped metal safety signage that’s adorned the walls and fences of hazardous workplaces for decades. Utilitarian and emphatic, while retaining some humanity and approachability.

Our goal for the overall feeling of the work was that it would have an urgency to it. That its surreal construct would draw you in, while our heroic characters and heightened sense of awareness would stimulate viewers to follow suit, and take action in their own workplaces.