I kept it simple: I browsed some sites, took a look at a few animations that were relevant to my topic, and tried to figure out how these advertising campaigns worked. Of course I got started on the two animations that inspired me to begin with...
To be honest, the animation in this movie does not impress me very much. I'm not a 3D animator so I can't honestly say that I could do a better job, but I just think that the transition from James Jean's beautiful concept art to this sub-standard 3D film is unfortunate. But something must be said for the decision by Prada to be involved in creative products such as these. In fact, as it turns out, they've been investing in various creative projects for years now, sponsoring the creation of murals, artwork, short films, and animation.
In a way it makes sense, seeing as fashion is also a sector of the creative industry and is in many ways closely linked to these various art forms. It's interesting to see what these projects do for Prada: while promoting themselves and creating an artistic and even expensive image for themselves, Prada is in turn also promoting independent artists. As far as I can tell, the 'projects' that Prada invests in are unique products of the artists that work on them. Trembled Blossoms is not a sparkling gem of animation but the concept and style is undoubtedly unique to James Jean, who was free to create his own spin on the clothing line.
Coca-Cola: Happiness Factory
This campaign is targeted at a larger and more mainstream audience than Prada, and includes not only this animated short (showed in cinemas) and the teaser which was played on TV, but also spin-offs, merchandise, an interactive website, contests, mobile phone activities, and so on. The animated short was made by Psyop, a sickeningly awesome animation studio known for some of the awesomest animated commercials I've ever seen (including the Converse video).
In an interview I stumbled across, it's suggested that the advertising campaign was not planned this way. In fact, Coca-cola was so fond of Psyop's spin on the 'Happiness Factory' concept (which only existed in script prior) that the conceptualization phase became a very long one, involving the design of tons of characters and basically an entire universe for the happiness factory. Although Coca-cola evidently played a strong role in guiding the creation process of the short, it is clear that Psyop should get the credit for the awesome look of the animation.
How lame does 'general thoughts' sound? But truthfully, that's all I have to offer right now. In browsing around today, I became preoccupied with a few things...
- As of yet, I have only these two animated shorts that really fit the definition of a short that is used as a format for advertising. However, there's a vast amount of commercial campaigns that come close. The quality and concept of the commercials are excellent, creative and unique, and the brands are using these great commercials to emphasize that they are a brand that invest in quality. A strong example of this is the Sony Bravia campaign.
- 'New media': It's difficult to deny that there's a new generation out there that does not limit itself to one medium. Advertising campaigns make use of teasers, games, and similar things to lure people from a younger generation to the internet or to their mobile phones to further immerse themselves in a product. The Coca-Cola advertisements not only establish Coca-Cola's image as the way to express an optimistic and happy lifestyle; they also draw people to the interactive website of Happiness Factory and numerous other activities that promote the soft drink. Another example that comes to mind is the promotional campaign for Cloverfield, aimed at an audience of people who dig a lot deeper than what is simply handed to them by a TV screen. Why am I ranting about this? Well, to me, brands investing in animated shorts are clearly making use of this new form of promotion, the 'animated short' being just one of many formats which can be used to advertise.
Anyway, that's it for now. I will leave you with a link to Psyop (also to be found earlier in this post, but I have to post it again, because this studio is just awesome). This studio really sets the standard for animation in advertising today and also it's just fun to click stuff.