“Because, sometimes accidents happen”
This project was produced for my Thesis at SCAD. These three clips introduce the notion of branding characters aging with their audience.
The Thesis dealt with Branding Characters and their history. Through extensive research 10 guidelines began to emerge pulled from the past. These guidelines are meant to help companies successfully implement modern branding characters.
Of these 10 guide lines here are the ones used in this video and why:
Aging the Character
Perhaps one of the most innovative ideas within this piece is that these characters age along with their target market. This is an ongoing trend in animation and has allowed the content to mature with the viewer’s life journey. Examples include Dragon Ball which became Dragon Ball Z. Naruto, which sees the characters begin young and grow into adults. In film we can now see this trend in franchises such as Star Wars with original characters such as princess Lia and Han Solo returning with a different tone and attitude to reflect the life journey of their audience. TV shows such as Full House being brought back and re-named Fuller House. Within the world of branding characters designs often mature and are re-modeled for characters to fit changing public aesthetic values. The public has been inundated to the idea of revisiting their favorite characters as they move through different times in their lives. This video test the idea the public’s response to branding characters growing older with their audience.
Existing within a Fad and transitioning out of it
The videos follow a pattern of the two characters trying everything they can to live their lives the healthiest way possible within their income range. It shows a marked transition from obtaining material goods towards a focus on achievements of self. This is a corner stone of the millennial generation and the hipster culture. They are defined by their accomplishments and life choices, finding acceptance within their groups through similar interest. As the characters age their interest and focus changes always maintaining the central theme of investing their time into current trends and life styles. When they are at the pediatrician’s office, they are left wondering how they ended up there after trying many new styles in parenting and child raising.
Speaking to the Human Condition
One of the main reasons branding characters have fallen out of favor with audiences is because of the lack of relatability they presented throughout the 90’s. Every product had its own branding character and these characters personas existed for the sole purpose of instilling the brands virtues and benefits. They reached a point in market saturation in which they began to parody themselves with bratty and edgy mascots. These characters also had little to say and their value in the market was un-sustainable. One reason why the Geico Gecko has done so well is that he removed the over excitement about his brand and brought the voice down to a human level. It is the goal of these two branding characters to do the same thing. Through the script and the mannerisms in the animation the viewer can tell that these are two people who are just trying to do their best to get through life. They take pride in their accomplishments, and value knowledge and discovery. They are meant to serve as a reflection of the millennial generation. A generation who seem to look at the world wondering why it has so many problems and take it upon themselves to live lives that offer a solution to a larger world around them.
Simplified Geometric Shapes and No Black Outlines
Taking inspiration from branding characters throughout the 1950’s the Pential spokes characters and their world exist with a simplified color pallet. No black outlines were used and a toon shader was applied to flatten the 3D visuals. The color choice is bright and very saturated to stand out instantly on social media feeds and during commercial spots. The color pallet has been chosen to reflect brand identities within this market. The pieces are heavily dialogue driven and the camera work follows a slow pan out structure revealing the rest of the scene and establishing the location as the monologue ends. This allows the viewer the ability to focus on the dialogue rather than take in a large amount of visual information. With the characters resting in a moment of reflection during or after an instance of a crisis, their movements are not full of life or over exaggeration to reflect their emotional exhaustion. They are exchanging a quiet dialogue between two people who care about each other trying to figure out how they got to the moment they currently find themselves.