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Johnny Kelly Creates Heartwarming Ads for The Salvation Army

Nexus director Johnny Kelly partners with Grey Canada to create Food, Clothing and Shelter, three new 15-second spots for The Salvation Army.

Johnny Kelly, the two-time Cannes Grand Prix winning director and acclaimed director at London-based animation studio Nexus, has created Food, Clothing and Shelter for The Salvation Army in Canada. Commissioned by Grey Canada, the three 15 second ads will air on 25th November in Canada.

Kelly, tasked with directing the ads, took Grey Canada’s initial brief, centering on a ‘see-saw’ idea, to inspire the simple design for the films. Each ad sees coins dropped into the Salvation Army kettle, making the initial darker scenes transform into optimistic scenarios. Each film highlights how just a few coins can help change people lives, take people off the street and give them food, clothing and shelter.

The films were created using stop motion animation and Kelly and his team collaborated with Art Director Andy Gent to create the beautifully-rigged characters and worlds. The team wanted the movement in the ads to come from the coins, showing that money donated to The Salvation Army drives change. There is a stark contrast between the ‘before’ and ‘after’ scenes and to make the transitions feel as immediate and straightforward as possible, the team used quick lighting changes, immediately shifting the colour from cold nighttime to warm daylight. 

Director Johnny Kelly says, "Inspired by a Frankensteinian cocktail of W Heath Robinson and Mad Magazine’s ‘Fold Ins’, this series of ads were the perfect opportunity to live out my fanboy fantasies when it came to animated transitions. When I was little I was hooked by a little wooden lifeboat donation box - you drop a coin in and the lifeboat rocks. I wanted to create something that had the same warmth as this, and a similar immediacy. Without having to drain my parents pocket change..."

-- To view production stills from the Salvation Army campaign, visit AWN's Facebook page! -- 

Source: Nexus

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.