Report – Roundtable 3: Agencies for Change

Posted on: Monday 12 November 2018 10:31pm by Catherine Trewavas


  • Research data analytics and brand activation can help create the best solutions for clients
  • Interesting and unusual visual styles and animation techniques can enhance advertising projects
  • Clear communication helps production to be as efficient as possible


In this session produced and hosted by Westley Wood from BBC Creative, a panel of experts explored case studies in working with creative agencies and the use of animation in advertising campaigns and marketing strategies. The panel consisted of Tom Box from Blue Zoo, Jo Whitely from IF Agency Manchester, Jamien Middleton from The Animation Guys, Damien Lynch from Dock 10 and Tim Jones from BBC Creative.

Working on creative projects

Jo Whiteley explained how IF Agency Manchester uses data analytics, brand activation and social media to help clients turn data into actionable strategies. She used the example of their Knowsley Safari Park advert, detailing how they developed an idea focussing on adventure and used an animated bee’s journey around the park to showcase the experience on offer.

Jamien Middleton discussed his role working with marketing directors and a range of creative agencies. He showed the Royal London commercial that The Animation Guys produced and explained how they were successful through being in keeping with the brand’s heritage and developing an advert with a Victorian aesthetic and interesting visual depth.

Tom Box discussed Blue Zoo’s various projects including their work on long form children’s television as well as commercials. He explained how staff are encouraged to pitch ideas twice a year and they are always looking to be innovative in their approach.

Damien Lynch talked about managing post operations for Dock 10’s short form post business. Dock 10 works on post production for a number of children’s projects, as well as advertising campaigns. The company brings in freelance talent as needed and has various in-house specialists including VFX and audio experts.

Tim Jones is Creative Director of BBC Creative in the North, and he explained how his team create marketing for Sport, Children’s, Learning and Charities – i.e. everything  you see in between the programmes on the BBC. He provided the example of the FIFA World Cup advert created for BBC Sport. This used animation techniques to quite literally become a rich, storytelling tapestry created using individually embroidered frames which were then digitised and pieced together.

Words of wisdom

The panel parted with some words of wisdom, saying that there are shorter timescales involved in creating commercials and as such, ideas are constantly evolving. It is important to know the brief, the brand and work collaboratively to ensure there is a clear line of communication so that ideas work for the client. Looking to the future, Damien Lynch said that “there has always been a strong animation community [in Manchester] and I can’t see that changing”. Tom Box agreed, and added that it continues to be successful as “animation allows you to do so much that you can’t do on film”.

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Catherine Trewavas

About the author

Catherine Trewavas

Radio Researcher, CBeebies, CMC Blog Editor

Catherine is a Researcher for CBeebies Radio, the team responsible for creating a world of sound, music and radio adventures for preschool listeners and their families. In addition to her day job, Catherine enjoys writing articles for BBC newspaper, Ariel. Catherine has previously worked as a Production Management Assistant within… Read more