Manimation 2019 – Panel: Ads and Animators

Posted on: Friday 15 November 2019 1:58am by Helen Dugdale

A panel discussion exploring the connections between animation studios and ad agencies that have worked together to develop successful relationships and inspiring animation.

Top Takeaways

  • Small animation studios can take on jobs and turn them round quickly
  • Creative agencies like to see visuals from animators to get an idea of their take on the brief
  • Animation studios and creative agencies need to be honest with clients about budgets and time frames to get the best results
  • Agencies want a safe pair of hands to deliver the creative.

Andrew Lord (Flipbook)

Flipbook are behind the animated ad for Manchester Christmas Markets. They worked with the creative agency M4 on the ad alongside Manchester City Council, to come up with the concept and the themes. Flipbook challenged what Manchester City Council wanted to do in order to make their ad stronger. Flipbook created characters for a Christmas card, the agency loved the concept and gave them free rein on the ad.

Flipbook frequently work with freelancers and illustrators.

Andrew said: “Short form animation can be very topical and allows you to tap into the social consciousness. It’s about being subtle. For stories at Christmas you can be a little bit darker, than you might expect, so in the end you achieve the journey back to the light.”


Steve Boot (Gadzooks Animation Studio)

Gadzooks Animation Studio is a new business that benefits from Steve Boot and Hayden Secker’s strong background in stop-motion. They are starting to shout about their work and talents and are developing a reputation for being able to take on smaller projects that larger studios can’t do.

Steve Boot advised: “Do the best you can with the timeframe given. Our job as animators is to steer the agencies expectations.”


Faye Gibbon (BJL)

BJL offer creative content across digital, print, radio and TV and work with animation studios and freelancers. Faye Gibbon advised that not all briefs suit animation. It depends on the client, the brief, the tone of voice and the budget.

When discussing what she looks for in animation studios, she suggested: “We want studios to add their own take on a brief and it’s always good to see visualisation to understand what the animators are thinking.”


Karl Stones (Jaywing)

Jaywing worked with BJL on the latest Beaverbrook TV advertisement.  Karl Stones talked about the importance of breaking down the creative barriers for brands and explaining what will happen at each stage of the working relationship between the agency, the brand and the animation studio. He advised that agencies need to be honest with clients about budgets and time frames. The biggest battle ad agencies face is creating an idea that has longevity and cuts through the ocean of other ads.

“It’s my job to out-think and out-flank the rest of the industry – we want to create something ownableWe talk about top level ideas early on to get brands involved and engaged. The best ads are co-creative where all the lines are blurred,” he explained.


James Hill (Fudge)

Fudge recently produced a personalised ad for Hiscox using technology that merged client data with animation. James Hill described how for some personalised animation can be seen as gimmicky, but Hiscox has seen 70% better interaction with their clients after using the software and the ad airing.

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Helen Dugdale

About the author

Helen Dugdale

Scribble, Writer/PR Consultant

Helen is founder of Scribble - the little, but mighty PR and writing agency based in Altrincham. She has over 18 years experience writing for and promoting events and brands aimed at children and families. Helen has written and created content for children’s books, educational resources, TV and radio and… Read more