Background: There are more than 600 million stray animals worldwide. People gift animals for holidays as it seems innocent and touching, but not everyone is ready for such responsibility, and pets often end up on the streets or in shelters after the holidays. So, we addressed this campaign to people who may be considering a pet as a holiday present, as pet adoption must be a thoughtful decision.
Design thinking: People cannot understand animals’ feelings, as pets cannot express them in words. We imagined what an animal goes through, from the warm moments of devotion, love and unity in a new family to the sudden crush into a cruel reality and the consequences of human irresponsibility. We decided to use frame-by-frame animation to capture the full range of emotions and show the dramatic contrast between them.
The cheerful, bright beginning of this story in a postcard-perfect holiday look depicts the linear story taking a swift and dark turn. It is the highest point of the story. The puppy and the viewer are sent on a bad trip when caretaker are suddenly pissed off by the dog’s “unpredicted” behavior. It is portrayed with an intentionally dark, nightmarish feeling from the dog’s POV. The road becomes the dog’s leash. Every element in this scene pulls from previous situations, and here they come together as bits and pieces to create a surreal, emotional composition. It shocks the viewer and puts them on an emotional pause.
Favorite details: Almost every team member involved in the project has a pet. Some of these pets were strays. We wanted to avoid a directive or didactic tone, as such approaches often fall short in advertising and fail to resonate with the audience. But it is not an easy task to do when you take the story personally. Therefore, we focused on conveying a sense of discomfort, outrage and regret.
Time constraints: We had time limitations in two perspectives: two months to create the campaign, and a 60-second time slot for the on-air version. It turned into a challenge to tell the story as we originally intended. We adapted the script several times until we were sure that we fit within these restrictions. However, we cut out unnecessary points and focused on the most important things: the story and the craft.
Specific project demands: This project has grown in collaboration with the most talented people for one goal. Everyone was dedicated to bringing the best outcome to this project; it made the work easier and harder at the same time. Everyone’s contribution exceeded expectations, and it was exciting to see the creative and visual concepts getting better on every project step. Though, because of a tight production timeline, it was challenging when some great ideas needed to be shelved.