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Nexus Animates New Stop-Mo Campaign for Dorset

“Life Begins at Breakfast,” a new stop-motion campaign created by Sunshine and Nexus director Conor Finnegan, features handmade felt woodland animals waking up to the sound of Dorset AM.

Dorset Cereals is launching a brand new TV campaign to wake up and inspire consumers to start the day with a naturally healthy breakfast.

Launching on May 12, the TV commercial targets an audience of 35+ and is on air in London, South East and South West regions. The commercial was created by Sunshine and Nexus director Conor Finnegan, with the TV media space planned and booked by UM London. London-based Nexus is the independent production company and animation studio behind “Hands,” last year’s award-winning commercial for Honda.

The warm and witty spot showcases Dorset Cereals’ personality and links to nature, aiming to build on the emotional connection between consumers and the brand. The “Life Begins at Breakfast” message uses entertaining animal characters supporting the brand image to reinforce how important breakfast is to starting the day.  

The 30-second ad is an animated live-action film set in a Dorset woodland with animals waking up to the sound of Dorset AM -- a radio station run by a small blue bird called Mike and a squirrel called Colin. The animals are inspired by the new look Dorset Cereals packaging.

“The brief was to create a world where Mike, a bird DJ who works at Dorset AM, wakes the nation with his early morning radio show, Dawn Chorus,” Finnegan details. “It was a tight enough schedule from initial go-ahead, with just two weeks for model/character-maker Jessica Dance to create all 18 characters (each one lovingly crafted in 100% organic British lambs wool). Meanwhile, Andy Gent and his team were creating the miniature sets and props that make up the film. We had a two day shoot at Clapham Road studios where we shot all the puppets live-action on set, puppeteering them on sticks and creating walk-cycles with lumpy wheels. After the shoot it was back to Nexus HQ where we began adding all the 2D animated arms, legs, wings, eyes and 3D beaks, etc. It was lovely to see the film come together from initial designs to sets and characters being built to finally adding the VO and animation. Each step getting closer to the finished product.”

Set to Iggy Pop’s “Wild Child” track, the film is populated by various animated felt and wool woodland creatures starting their day; whether it’s waking up in bed, showering, jogging in the woods or heading off to work. It even features a multi-generational mouse family, all starting the day listening to the Dorset AM woodland radio station.

The new “Life begins at Breakfast” campaign is running from May 12th until June 8th and is being supported with an integrated PR, digital and in-store activity to drive trial and awareness.

Mandy Cooper, Head of Marketing at Dorset Cereals, commented: “We are a small company in a competitive category so we need to be distinctive, memorable and build an emotional connection with the consumer. We are thrilled to launch this campaign as the film really captures the brand’s fun, creative and warm personality.  The attention to detail and craftsmanship that Sunshine and Nexus have given to this commercial is outstanding and we are going to be running an online competition to spot all our subtle logos hidden in the ad. The animals waking up in their Dorset woodland just makes us all smile and perfectly portrays the energy you should feel when you get up every morning and eat a natural healthy breakfast.”

Source: Nexus

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

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