Category: Animation

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.

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.

Merry Christmas from Happy Hour!

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

Merry Christmas from Happy Hour! 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!

Happy Hour and Animal Friends Insurance, a winning combination

Posted in: Animation, DRTV, TV Adverts

Happy Hour are pleased to showcase the latest in our successful series of animated adverts for Animal Friends Pet Insurance. This latest stop-frame animated advert, released a few months ago, features old favourites Girlie the Cat and Cracker the Dog this time in the role of race commentators, explaining why Animal Friends is a ‘winning combination for you and your pet’.

The humourous advert uses a race between a rag tag assortment of characters to highlight Animal Friends’ status as a ‘champion insurer’

The race is between characters that will be all too familiar to pet owners, we have a lazy ginger cat who doesn’t even start the race, an elderly dog representing the fact that Animal Friends covers pets of any age, a competitive poodle, hyper puppy and snooty cat.

This advert was produced by our in-house team of animators in Bristol, who are highly experienced in stop-frame, 2D and 3D animation.


Animal Friends is an award-winning insurance company started in 1998 by Elaine Fairfax as a way to raise money for various charitable causes. Offering cover for cats, dogs and horses, they also support over 300 different animal welfare charities and have donated over £2.5million to good causes so far.

Animal Friends are just one of the many companies we work with on TV commercial production. To find out how our award-winning team can help you promote your brand get in touch by email or call us on 0117 929 9797.

Happy Hour provide the missing piece for Wentworth Puzzles

Posted in: Animation

Happy Hour have recently worked with Bath based Agency UK, to produce a stop frame animation television commercial for Wentworth Puzzles. The ad was shown on UK terrestrial and digital channels in the run up to Christmas.

The 30” ad uses stop frame animation to present the unique features of the puzzle in a fun and memorable way with jigsaw pieces moving across the screen in a variety of directions. The animation was produced fully in-house at Happy Hour using our production facilities.

Our expertise in Animation production allows us to connect your brand with new potential customers. To find out more, or to discuss your project with the Happy Hour team, call us today on 0117 929 9797 or feel free to get in touch by email.

SunLife reveals how much children currently receive from the Tooth Fairy! You’d be surprised…

Posted in: Animation

Happy Hour has recently completed an animation aimed primarily at mums, to be shared via social media, revealing how much the Tooth Fairy leaves in households across the UK!

SunLife undertook an online survey among 4,000 UK householders exploring the pattern of household spending and saving and the potential correlation between this and their personal and financial wellbeing. They discovered a wealth of information with some of the findings forming the basis of content of the Tooth Fairy video.

The video was produced by Happy Hour’s talented animation team and took a very light-hearted look at how much the Tooth Fairy leaves for children across the UK. Polaroid photos in scrapbook style were used (along with a specially illustrated Tooth Fairy) to tell interesting findings from the research and, at the same time, spark debate amongst mums about how much they leave for those pearly whites.

 Tooth Fairy pic

Give us a bell about any animation or video production projects you’d like us to look at on 0117 929 9797, or email us at

Girlie and Cracker are back in our 7th TV Campaign for Animal Friends Insurance

Posted in: Animation, DRTV, TV Adverts

Animal Friends Insurance (AFI) are back on TV screens in a new series of animated adverts put together by the team here at Happy Hour. The ads see AFI’s mascots, Girlie the cat and Cracker the dog, back at the vet’s and raising awareness of the rising costs of vet bills.

The new campaign, our seventh stop-motion set for AFI, consists of two 30 seconds spots supported by four 10 second ads. Girlie and Cracker visit the vet because Cracker has a bad stomach; their vet is a mole with stereotypically terrible eyesight, leading to some amusing misunderstandings as he attempts to treat a nearby hat stand instead of Cracker!

The ads are designed to make consumers aware of the significant increase in vet’s bills over the last few years (prices are up over 40% on average!) – and that both accident and illness can set you back hundreds of pounds if you’re not covered.

The 10” spots also launch two new facets to the AFI offering – that you can now pay by PayPal (or “PetPal” as Cracker calls it), and that you can get a free Girlie or Cracker toy when you buy direct from AFI.

Animal Friends was established in 1998 and is one of the UKs largest providers of pet insurance covering over 400,000 cats, dogs and horses. The company was formed by Elaine Fairfax as a way to raise money for animal charities, a mission which is still at the heart of their business today.

We’re experts in stop-frame 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 send us an email and we will get back to you. And in the meantime, check out some of the ads in the new AFI campaign below.

Dave Gorman’s Modern Life is Goodish Gets an Updated Title Sequence from Happy Hour Productions

Posted in: Animation

A second series of Dave Gorman’s critically-acclaimed comedy show, Modern Life is Goodish, will begin airing on DAVE this month. Each episode will kick-off with an animated title sequence expertly put together by the team here at Happy Hour.

The six-part series will go out on Tuesday nights at 10pm from the 9th of September. It features Dave Gorman’s trademark brand of irreverent wit and weirdness as he pokes light-hearted fun at the “misinformation and nonsense we have to wade through daily in this technologically advanced, wonderful – yet flawed – world of ours.”

Happy Hour produced the animated title sequence for the first series of Modern Life is Goodish, so when the show got re-commissioned for a second and third series, we were delighted to be called in to update our work for series two.

The titles feature an animated paper-cut out version of Dave making his way through a paper world filled with various obstacles representing the challenges of modern life. Changes for series two include switching the setting from day to night, a revamped theme tune and a more dramatic ending as Paper Dave narrowly avoids being crushed by collapsing scenery.

Working from the client’s brief, we storyboarded, designed and animated the title sequence using 3D animation software. The end result is a single shot, packed full of character that effectively communicates both the tone and subject matter of the show. One of the key challenges was getting Paper Dave to accurately reflect the personality of the real, flesh and blood, Dave. To achieve this we spent a lot of time working on getting Paper Dave’s facial expressions exactly right. Take a look at the results below.

Dave Gorman is a stand-up comedian, author and television presenter perhaps best known for his previous shows (and accompanying books) Are You Dave Gorman? and Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack Adventure. The idea for Modern Life is Goodish grew out of his recent stage show Dave Gorman’s Powerpoint Presentation.

Happy Hour are one of the UK’s leading animation production companies, having worked on TV commercials, adverts, corporate videos, and brand films for a whole range of household names.

To find out more about our animation production services, please send us an email or call us on 0117 929 9797.

Dave Gorman – Modern Life is Goodish Series 2 – Opening Titles from Happy Hour Productions on Vimeo.

Happy Hour produces the latest in our Animal Friends TV Ad Series

Posted in: Animation, DRTV, TV Adverts

Happy Hour Productions are pleased to announce the latest in our popular series of stop motion TV adverts for Animal Friends Pet Insurance. This is the sixth advert in our Animal Friends campaign, which has been running successfully for the last four years.

The campaign follows the adventures (and misadventures) of Girlie the cat and Cracker the dog, offering a humorous insight into the types of insurance Animal Friends offer and the great work they do supporting animal charities around the world. The use of stop frame animation has allowed us to pack each ad with a ton of character while easily whisking our animal stars around the globe – allowing them to visit a friendly Moon Bear in Asia and a cheeky baby elephant in Africa, all without leaving the studio.

The latest advert finds Girlie and Cracker at the vet’s following clumsy Cracker’s mishap with a treadmill. Thanks to Animal Friends, Cracker’s been fixed up with a cast for his leg and a (rather unwelcome) cone around his neck. Unfortunately for Cracker, his foolish attempts to shake off the cone soon land him in even worse trouble.

Animal Friends is an award-winning company started in 1998 by Elaine Fairfax as a way to raise money for various charitable causes. Offering cover for cats, dogs and horses, they also support 297 different charities and have donated over £1.7million to good causes so far.

Nicola Tyler at Happy Hour said: “AFI are a great, creative company to work with; since advertising on TV they’ve seen over a 155% increase in new business and response is up 80% over previous years. We hope to see the same cracking results from the latest ad as we have done in the past.”

Animal Friends are just one of the many companies Happy Hour work with on TV commercial production. To find out how our award-winning team can help promote your brand, get in touch by sending us an email or calling us on 0117 929 9797.   

Our latest Animal Friends ad is currently airing on terrestrial and digital channels or you can watch it below.

Animal Friends – Conehead 10% Percent Discount – 30s URL Only from Happy Hour Productions on Vimeo.

Animation Production and VFX in the UK

Posted in: Animation, Team News

Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity won seven Academy Awards on Sunday for its ground-breaking and incredible work in stereoscopic 3D production. In addition, two of the awards – for ‘Best Visual Effects’ and ‘Best Film Editing’ – were for work completed by British production companies.

Most of the visual effects (VFX) for Gravity were created in the UK by British company, Framestore, with filming taking place at Pinewood and Shepperton studios. The post-production 3D conversion was completed by Prime Focus World, another esteemed British company.

 “In terms of filmmaking, [Gravity is] a quantum leap forward, creatively and technically,” said Richard Baker, Supervisor at Prime Focus World.

Gravity has been applauded by experts in the field for its incredible 3D effects and for the new filmic processes designed behind the scenes – definitely worthy of all seven Oscars.

Last year we filmed a new TV commercial production at Pinewood, working on the incredible under-water stage. Not quite Sandra Bullock in a skimpy outfit, but we worked with a 40 strong crew alongside Pinewood’s technical team including the wonderfully talented and friend to the stars, Mike Valentine.

The pool is the largest of its kind and is permanently filled with approximately 1.2m litres of water. It is continuously heated to 30 degrees centigrade, so as to avoid discomfort for camera crews.

The ad includes creating and compositing extensive CGI, VFX and 3D animation production – our finished ad will be revealed later in the year.

So, who knows? Maybe this tenuous link to Gravity will be a good luck omen for the advert’s success!

If you’re interested in animation production or our motion graphics & VFX, contact us on (0117) 929 9797. We have plenty of creative solutions for TV commercials production so give us a bell with your brief or get in touch here