We go nuts about nuts for new Meridian animated ad

Posted in: Animation, Video Marketing

Online video adverts for YouTube or social media are a great way to increase your brands presence without the higher costs associated with TV advertising. That’s why creative agency The Impossible Dream asked us to create a fun, animated YouTube ad for Meridian Nuts , based on their creative and storyboards. 

The animated 20 second pre-roll YouTube advert had to showcase how, because they don’t use palm oil or sugar, Meridian can fit a lot more nuts into their array of nut butters. Here’s the finished video:

Following the storyboards from The Impossible Dream we used a hand-drawn style of animation combined with 3D CGI to create realistic looking jars and nuts. The hand-drawn animation and simple styling of the advert kept the focus on the product and the message, with different ways of squeezing nuts into the jar adding a humourous touch. Creating a memorable, engaging video is key when advertising on YouTube to stop your viewers clicking the dreaded ‘skip’ button.

This ad was produced in house by our animation team. To create the wobbly line effect on the hand-drawn elements they redrew the illustrations several times, the frames are then rapidly repeated to create a sense of movement. Subtle sound design and a few escaping nuts add a light-hearted touch to the campaign that’s in keeping with Meridian’s brand.

If you are considering any video marketing, then get in touch to chat about how we can help you with social media videos, online web content and YouTube video commercials.

Happy Hour restore order in latest QuickQuid TV campaign

Posted in: DRTV, TV Adverts

The latest commercials for QuickQuid’s ‘Order Restored’ campaign are now airing. Created and produced by Happy Hour Productions, the 30 and 10 second spots feature the familiar freeze frame scenario that highlights how a short-term loan from QuickQuid can help cover life’s little emergencies. The first new TV commercial features a setting that will be familiar to many, trying to corral the kids through the weekly shop as disaster strikes at home.

QuickQuid Supermarket stillThis commercial is one of three new creative routes for the ‘Order Restored’ TV campaign, originally launched in 2015. The new ads maintain QuickQuid’s strong brand position and recognisable identity and like with the previous commercials, we wanted this ad to focus on relatable ‘real people’ in realistic and familiar scenarios. It’s important to show that anyone can experience unexpected bumps in the road where short-term financial help is required to restore order.

The supermarket commercial featured a set build and a carefully choreographed freeze frame sequence which involved additional visual FX work as well as clever props (check out the oranges) and in-camera trickery. A Steadicam AR Omega rig was used to seamlessly weave around our actors in our own elaborate version of the mannequin challenge.

The new commercials were directed by Michael Wright and filmed at The Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol.

Take a peek behind the scenes below…

We have been making engaging DRTV commercials that really drive results for over 13 years. You can rely on our award winning team to think outside the box and bring new creative ideas to your brands. So if you’re thinking about TV advertising or video marketing to boost your brand get in touch.

Happy Hour ‘bring the Sunshine’ in new SunLife online ad campaign

Posted in: Video Marketing

SunLife, one of the UK’s leading financial services companies, launched their latest insurance offering which is guaranteed to get people talking. Launched on April 1st their Guaranteed Sun Insurance product is just what fans of staycations and British Summertime have been waiting for, and we were thrilled to create the online advertising campaign to launch this much needed new insurance product.

Developed by Happy Hour and SunLife’s content team, filmed on location locally in Brean, and fully post-produced in our Bristol Office, the fun TV commercial-style advert, showcases SunLife’s unique solution to the problem of unpredictable great British weather. Available from just £4.99 a month, Guaranteed Sun Insurance provides the ability to unleash ‘the Sun’s full 4.26 million metric tons per second of energy, directly to you and your family’s faces’ even on the cloudiest days, allowing families to enjoy the holiday they’d planned.

This new product is being launched at the ideal time as people prepare for their summer holidays, though the advert notes that the plan does not fully function in rain, but would at least provide a rainbow. Enquirers will even receive a free SunLife umbrella ‘just in case’.

This launch comes amid growing consumer demand for alternative insurance solutions and the Guaranteed Sun Insurance will become a part of SunLife’s suite of existing products and services that focus on improving life after 50.

This is not the first time we’ve helped SunLife advertise the launch of their more unusual new insurance products. Check out some previous ads, also launched on 1st April in previous years:

Courtesy Pet Cover

Beard Insurance

We’ve been producing social media videos for SunLife, in addition to their TV adverts, for years now and always enjoy working with them to create fun, memorable ideas that engage with their audience.

If you’ve got an idea for a fun social video campaign, or want to talk through different ways to market your brand online then get in touch – we’d love to work with you too.

Legal Disclaimer: Happy Hour takes no responsibility for any consumer being able to purchase Guaranteed Sun Insurance, and no responsibility as to the success of any said product actually working…

Happy Hour ranked 48 in Campaign’s Top UK Agencies

Posted in: Awards, Team News, TV Adverts

Campaign top 100

Campaign have released their annual ‘School Report’ listing the top 100 UK agencies as ranked by Nielsen. We are thrilled to see that Happy Hour are now ranked number 48, up from 55 last year.

The league table puts us amongst some of the most recognisable names in advertising and it shows a rise in smaller independent agencies and production companies that are making the list.

2016 was a difficult year across the industry, political and economic uncertainty and a changing media landscape lead to a lot of the traditional advertising structures changing. We saw a lot of agencies moving their production in-house so competition in the production sphere was even more fierce.

Nicola Tyler, Head of Commercials at Happy Hour explains, “As a full service creative production agency, we benefit from being able to work directly with clients from brand planning & conceptual development right the way through to delivery. 2016 saw us deliver some really exciting – and effective – work for our clients and we’re really proud to see that being reflected in our boosted position in the Top 100 UK Agencies listing. It spurs us on in 2017 and we look forward to working on even more engaging ad campaigns for our clients, both old and new.”

Speaking of last year’s work, here’s a quick snapshot of what we got up to:

If you’re looking to boost your marketing and reach new audiences then get in touch. From TV and Radio advertising campaigns to corporate film and social media videos, we love helping brands tell their stories. 

Happy Hour lend a Helping Hand on New Toolstation TV Advertising Campaign

Posted in: DRTV, TV Adverts

After a busy few weeks on multiple location shoots we’re pleased to announce that our latest TV commercial campaign for trade retail giants Toolstation began airing today.

The campaign brings a fun twist to the brand’s position as a ‘helping hand’ to the trade by creating a literal helping hand. This floating hand hovers unseen around the jobsite, helping traders and ensuring they have all the support they need from Toolstation to get the job done. The commercial also highlights Toolstation’s huge range of products, online stock availability check and click and collect service.

To create the memorable campaign we commissioned the design of an on-brand yellow and blue workman’s glove to act as the unseen jobsite helper. The process of filming was certainly an unusual one, with the hand model wearing a green full body suit having to duck and dodge around the traders on the set. As Happy Hour’s Lead Designer and Compositor explains:

“The post process on Helping Hand went smoothly due to careful pre-production planning and screen-tests. Multiple prop gloves with different wrist openings were used to ensure the illusion was never broken and the VFX team insisted that Mark (our professional hand artiste) was head to toe in green at all times (we all know Mark a bit too well now). Much of the floating glove was brought to life with many hours of traditional rotoscoping, in fact Toolstation’s Helping Hand would have been very useful with that process!”

The 30 second commercial was filmed over 3 days in a studio in Bristol and it follows our previous Toolstation campaign, The Trade Pros.  

The commercial will air from 1st February on major UK TV channels as part of a national campaign.

Happy Hour have been making DRTV and brand TV commercials for over 13 years and our award winning team love coming up with creative ways to bring brands to new audiences. If you are thinking about advertising on TV or would like some information on how video marketing can help your brand do get in touch.

Introducing Oodles of Poodles to our Animal Friends family

Posted in: Animation, DRTV, TV Adverts

Happy Hour’s latest stop-motion animated commercial for Animal Friends Insurance went live over the festive period, and this new ad focuses on some of Girlie and Cracker’s other animal friends which we first introduced in the Race ad.

 

The commercial, which started airing on Boxing Day, features a fast paced poem introducing several new characters to the Animal Friends family. These characters will be recognisable to viewers of the previous ad campaign but this is the first time we’ve heard them speak. Animal Friends wanted to expand on the humorous personalities we had built for Cracker and Girlie and give these new characters a distinctive voice too. Combined with the bright colours and a light-hearted tone this charming campaign is certainly memorable!

Created to boost brand awareness and drive viewers to obtain their own pet insurance quotes, this campaign conveys that Animal Friends are, like their customers, ‘pet lovers’ so they understand the importance of protecting your 4 legged friends. On top of being a provider that offers only pet insurance a key factor that helps them stand out in a competitive market is their charitable giving. Since January 2010 Animal Friends have helped over 360 animal charities worldwide making them the ideal pet insurer for animal lovers.

We always have fun working on the AFI campaigns and we look forward to revisiting these characters in the future.  

This commercial was directed by Gareth Owen. We’re experts in stop-motion animation production, so if you’re looking for TV commercials as distinctive and memorable as AFI’s, we’d love to hear from you. Call us today on 0117 929 9797 or get in touch here.

2017 video marketing trends to look out for

Posted in: Video Marketing

2017 video marketing trends to look out for

I’m sure by now you’re getting fed up of hearing about how important video is for your brand. Marketers have been talking about the importance of incorporating video into your marketing strategy for a good while now and 2016 certainly saw a big rise in branded video content being produced and shared. It was predicted that online video will account for 74% of all web traffic this year, so with that in mind here are a few of the video trends we think you should be experimenting with in 2017.

Personalised video

Brands that are looking to cut through the noise and add real value to their audience interactions need to be using personalised content that is more likely to resonate. By identifying, segmenting and targeting your ideal viewers this personalised video content can really deliver results.

These highly personalised, targeted videos are more likely to engage and prompt a response from the viewer meaning they should easily recoup their production budget in leads and sales.

When it comes to getting these personalised videos in front of your audience the best way is via email, putting the word ‘video’ in the subject line boosts open rates by 19% and increases click-through rates by 65%.

VR

There was a lot of buzz around VR in 2016 with many brands and agencies investing in the tech. 2017 is likely to bring cheaper options for VR headsets and the 360 degree camera allowing even more brands to experiment with this immersive video style.

Facebook and YouTube have already embraced 360 degree video giving viewers a simplified taste of what VR could be like. This type of immersive marketing is a game changer and the potential of VR is enormous. Travel brands can now let potential customers experience their destinations and advertisers can craft creative, interactive ads that put viewers off hitting the ‘skip’ button.

Temporary and imperfect video

Snapchat continued its rise in dominance last year and many brands got on board with the idea of temporary, imperfect and authentic content.

Instagram attracted a lot of attention for releasing its Stories feature which many saw as a copy of Snapchat. The appeal of both platforms to marketers was that the 24 hour-only content allowed brands to take a more authentic, unedited approach to sharing video and photos with their audience.

Authenticity is key to the success of brands marketing on these platforms, people are tired of being fed polished, edited, ‘branded’ advertising and crave a more ‘real’ view of the brands they interact with. Show behind the scenes glimpses, teasers of upcoming launches and daily life in your business. If you are having a TVC filmed get a team member to film the goings on on-set on a phone too. Many brands are using Snapchat and Instagram Stories to share their blog content in an innovative way, in fact why not make a fun video to announce news instead of a press release? This content is about being raw and honest with your viewers.

The great thing is that because the content only lasts for 24 hours you can use these platforms to experiment with different types of video content, refine what works and give you audience more of that they like.

We wrote about ways to use Instagram Stories in your marketing here.

Live streaming

Livestreamed video was a big deal on social media in 2016 but we think this will be the year that so many more brands get on board with it. While pre-recorded video is still important, brands who use real-time video to target their engaged audience at relevant times will reap the benefits.

In 2016 live streaming was a bit too new and people were a bit scared of it. The perceived lack of control and editing possibility seems to go against what many marketers know and love. However, brands that are brave enough to take the plunge are seeing boosted engagement amongst their viewers as well as more word of mouth marketing by their interested fans.

Like temporary video, live streaming shows your viewers your authentic, unedited side which they appreciate. Facebook Live and Periscope make it so easy for any team member to hop on their phones and start live streaming from your brand account. Whilst we recommend you be spontaneous we also think you should plan your streams out roughly so that you don’t end up rambling off on a tangent.

Like with Snapchat and Instagram Stories showing behind the scenes videos, live streaming events or using it to announce news content gives your viewers an interesting insight into your company.

These are just four 2017 video marketing trends we’ll be keeping an eye on but there are many more. Now more than ever it’s essential for brands to embrace video marketing and start using it in innovative ways.

Merry Christmas from Happy Hour!

Posted in: Animation, DRTV, Feature Films, TV Adverts, Video Marketing

Well it’s certainly been a busy 2016 here at Happy Hour. From fake snowmen to feature films, stuffed toys to stop-motion animation we’ve done it all. We’ve worked with long-term clients and welcomed brand new ones too. We’ve launched the first ever commercial campaigns for brands new to TV advertising, and we’ve even picked up a few awards along the way!

Here’s a quick snapshot of some of this year’s work…

This is just some of the work we’ve completed this year, have a flick through the blog to see behind the scenes on some of the productions and find out what else we’ve been up to.

Remember, if you like what you see and would like to find out more about how our animation and video production services can help boost your brand do get in touch.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Let it all hang out with SunLife’s latest social media video

Posted in: Video Marketing

Over the years we have collaborated with our long-term friends at SunLife on everything from TV commercial campaigns to various social media video campaigns but this latest video brief was certainly memorable.

To continue their ‘Life begins at 50….’ campaign they wanted a fun, humorous social media video which showcases how when you reach a certain age you’re not worried about what people think anymore, giving you freedom to ‘let it all hang out’. The campaign is aimed at the same audience as our previous Game of Funerals videos and this particular video is just a different way for the brand to say thank you to it’s loyal customers and followers.

The festive shoot took place last month and all production and post-production was completed in-house by Happy Hour. The video is being used on SunLife’s Facebook page where it has already amused their followers and been shared many times. 

This video was directed by Jason Edwards, produced by Tiffany Donnelly and the Director of Photography was Robin Horn.

Quirky social media videos are a great way to engage your followers and boost brand awareness as a video like this encourages sharing. It’s also a great way to start experimenting with video marketing before taking the plunge into TV advertising. If you’d like to discuss a social media video idea you have or any aspect of your video marketing then please do get in touch.

Happy Hour launch Patient Protection’s first TV advertising campaign

Posted in: DRTV, TV Adverts

This autumn some of the Happy Hour team headed to a beautiful country house in Abbots Leigh to shoot the first TV advertising campaign for Patient Protection.

Patient Protection are a law firm dedicated to handling claims for people who have been subject to medical negligence. The quick turnaround TV advertising campaign aimed to launch the company to a new audience and introduce their caring, compassionate, customer-centric approach to aiding customers make successful claims. They aim to ensure all their customers have a positive experience with them.

The commercial focused on the patients to show that Patient Protection really puts them first. While we never see the face of the Patient Protection character they are always there supporting and aiding the patient.

We were lucky enough to only need one filming location and thanks to being able to film in every downstairs room of the house we got a great variety of looks from one home.

This commercial was directed by Matt Harris-Freeth and the DOP was Sarah Edwards who helped us capture the soothing warm visuals of the ad. Matt had this to say about the experience, “‘With You All The Way’ is about the support customers receive from Patient Protection. It was important that the ad had an overriding sense of hope and caring and that the brand identity was clear and confident.

By seeing scenes of patients at different stages after a medical mistake and the patient protection character always there to offer support, we were able to show a journey of how people’s lives are able to be made positive again. This was brought to life by strong, believable performances from our actors.

The brand colours were threaded into the ad through the patient protection character’s costume and it was important to me that this was just the right balance and that it didn’t draw the attention away from the patient characters as they are the main focus. 

It was a really enjoyable experience and a pleasure working together with such a professional and talented team.”

Happy Hour have been making DRTV and brand TV commercials for over 13 years and our award winning team love coming up with creative ways to bring brands to new audiences and tell their stories. If you are thinking about advertising on TV or would like some information on how video marketing can help your brand do get in touch.

behind the scenes on the patient protection TV advertising campaign shoot behind the scenes on the patient protection TV advertising campaign shoot