Category: TV Adverts

Happy Hour rises up the agency rankings year after year

Posted in: Awards, TV Adverts

Campaign top 100_2019

We are chuffed to bits to announce that once again we’ve risen up the rankings of Campaign’s Top 100 Advertising Agencies in the UK and now…

We’re ranked #33!

One of only a handful of agencies to move up the rankings, we’re up from #39 last year and #48 the year before, and we couldn’t be happier to be listed in the top 40.

We’re so proud to say that this also places us #2 on the list of agencies outside London. This is a great testament to the size of media campaigns our creative features in.

As a boutique size agency in heart of Bristol, it’s an honour to be included on this list alongside some of the top names in the industry and to be recognised by Campaign, the leading press title in the UK Advertising sector.

Of course we’d love the opportunity to put our skills and experience to work by helping new clients. So if you’re after some creative video for TV or online, just get in touch.

Showcasing the sensible and the spontaneous in our TV ad for Trussle

Posted in: DRTV, TV Adverts

Tags: ,

We’re thrilled to introduce the new brand response TV ad campaign for Trussle, the online mortgage broker which launched this weekend.

The new creative, by Happy Hour, calls on home owners to do the sensible thing: switch and save on their mortgage.

It opens with Jenny and James, a thoroughly sensible couple who have saved £4,000 a year by using Trussle to switch and monitor their mortgage. Flush from their recent saving, Jenny and James splurge on a rococo style painting of themselves – in thrilling and spontaneous defiance of their usual sensible selves.

The campaign is aimed at home owners, encouraging them to switch and save on their mortgage. By sparing two minutes and signing up to Trussle’s free mortgage monitoring service, borrowers can check if they’re on the right mortgage product and relax knowing that their mortgage is being proactively monitored.. Trussle will alert home owners and guide them through the switching process when the time is right.

The ad was filmed in Bristol, directed by Michael Wright with all production and post-production handled in-house.

Nicola Tyler, Managing Partner at Happy Hour, said, “From first meeting the Trussle team, it was immediately apparent what an innovative, forward-thinking brand they are and we are delighted to be working on the new TV advertising creative.

For Happy Hour the challenge was clear: as an agency specialising in brand response TV, it was our job to balance the personality of the brand itself with a clear focus on customer acquisition.

Getting stuck into the brief, we recognised that getting a mortgage or remortgaging can feel like a dark art, often laborious and difficult to navigate. Trussle provides the antidote to this, the better way, the more sensible way, and so the idea for the “sensible” campaign was born.”

Ishaan Malhi, CEO and Founder of Trussle, added, “There’s still too much complexity across the industry which doesn’t make it easy for home owners to understand how and when to switch their mortgage. The traditional process is outdated and millions of people are losing out financially, and emotionally as a result.

There are over 2 million borrowers who could be saving today by switching to a better deal. We’re on a mission to make the switching process transparent and simple, removing the barriers that have previously existed and helping people save money in the process.

Our TV ad shows just that. Switching with Trussle is the sensible thing to do with your mortgage. Every home owner should do it.”

If you’d like to learn more about how response TV advertising could boost your brand, and how we might be able to help, get in touch today.

Elephants sometimes forget – our latest DRTV commercial goes live

Posted in: DRTV, TV Adverts

Communicating your brand values and the key features of your products in an engaging way can be a difficult task to achieve in just 30 seconds of airtime, but a Direct Response TV campaign could be the answer. Happy Hour are one of the UK’s leading DRTV commercial production companies and creating brand-boosting campaigns is one of the things we do best. One of our latest ads, for thinkmoney is airing now.

Thinkmoney wanted to promote their thinkmoney Credit Card to a wider UK audience, so they partnered with us to create a commercial which would drive prospects to their website and generate huge responses.

They wanted the ad to be approachable and relatable, like a normal conversation between two friends. We took this concept and flipped it on its head, introducing Pete and Bob to test the theory ‘elephants never forget’.

To ensure their personality shines through and the ad stands out on TV we used traditional Claymation animation. It’s a time consuming, meticulous process but it added such charm to the commercial and was a great way to bring our characters to life.

Michael Wright directed the ad which was animated by Darren Thompson and filmed in our own in-house studio. Michael explained “I’ve worked with some challenging actors regarding performance, but in terms of challenges you really can’t beat trying to get a lovable and amusing performance out of two lumps of hard, cold plasticine, in the shape of our two thinkmoney elephants.  But at least if your stars are clay elephants they never storm off set and hide in their trailers. 

Getting the ball rolling, we knew we had some great characters designed, but it was a pleasure to collaborate again with the amazing talents of Darren Thompson, our animator, who really brought charm and humour to the characters over a tricky three week shoot that required the clay models to be hand-sculpted for each frame in the finished film.

This old fashioned bit of craftspersonship, for an up to the minute product like Think Money, adds a lot of warmth and engagement and makes the ad really stand out on TV screens.”

We have a huge roster of talent that covers all types of animation from Claymation like Thinkmoney to 3D and 2D or hand drawn cell animation (like Disney) it’s a great way to add personality to your videos as well as ensuring they stand out. If you’ve got a video brief you think we can add some magic to then just get in touch.

6 things to include in your video brief

Posted in: TV Adverts, Video Marketing

So you’ve decided to commission a piece of film, great! Launching a video campaign is exciting, but it can also be quite daunting. You may be envisioning casting calls, location shooting and the glitz and glamour of a film set, but you might also be feeling a little overwhelmed and not sure where to begin when trying to get your idea onto the screen. Luckily, that’s where we come in.

As a creative production agency we get a variety of video briefs, from short social media videos to multi-national TV advertising campaigns, so we know how to go about delivering a piece of video content, from script to screen. Here’s some common questions we ask people when they get in touch about a video, these are good starting points to include in a video brief to make sure you and your production company are on the same page from the get go.

Happy Hour Productions clapperboard on TV commercial shoot
  1. Where is the video being used?

Are you wanting to freshen up your website with some video content? Perhaps you want a fun short film for your social media, or maybe you’re after a big, shiny TV advertising campaign. Where you want the video to be seen matters. It could affect the purpose of the video, its intended audience and even the video style. So have a think about what you want the film to achieve and then where you think the best channel for it would be.

  1. What’s the purpose of the video?

Aside from being used as a marketing tool, is there a specific purpose for your video? Are you launching a new product, trying to encourage people to come to an event, creating a customer testimonial about a product or service, or showing off your brand to new audiences? The purpose of your video has an impact on the messaging you’ll want it to contain, where you’ll want to show it, and could also affect the style of film. For example a shiny brand campaign aimed at getting your name or product more widely known is probably better on TV or social media whereas a customer testimonial might be more suited to living on your website.

Happy Hour Productions filming online video content
  1. What style of video?

Snappy stop-motion, to-camera interviews, CGI masterpieces or studio shoots, how do you want your final video to look? You know your brand and audience inside out so you know what will work best. For instance, animation or CGI can be good if you want to convey lots of information or demonstrate technical aspects of products or services, whilst live-action films are great for telling stories.

  1. Do you have a script?

This is to the give the agency an idea of the scope of the work, which they can quote for accordingly. If you have a script worked up, great! If not, it’s no problem. Many agencies and production companies can collaborate with you to craft a script that’s just right. Experienced production agencies will also be able to advise you on messaging to include in your film to get the best results.

Happy Hour Productions train statio nlocatoin filming for QuickQuid
  1. Budget?

This is a big one. How much does a video cost is a bit like ‘how long’s a piece of string’, depending on things like length, style and where it’s being filmed costs can very hugely. If you include an idea of budget, no matter how rough, in your brief you can rest assured that you and your production agency are on the same page from the start, and reduce the likelihood of unexpected costs popping up later.

  1. Other videos/styles you like

It’s always handy to give your agency an idea of other videos you’ve liked, which can help them get a feel for the style you’re after. Put together a list of films you’ve seen which you feel could work for your brand and purpose, this could be a video your competitor put out, a tv advert you’ve always admired or even a clip you saw floating around on social media.

Including these 6 things is a great way to beef up your brief and give your agency or production company a really clear idea of the kind of video you’re after so they can crack on with creating the perfect video for you from the get go.

If you’re working up a brief for video why not send it our way? We’re now in our 15th year of creating video marketing for a huge variety of brands and we’d love to help you too.

Happy Hour productions crew behind the camera on shoot

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 ranked 48 in Campaign’s Top UK Agencies

Posted in: Awards, Team News, TV Adverts

Campaign top 100 UK Agencies - Happy Hour Top UK Agency

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.

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 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