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th1ng Mixes Live Action, Animation For Government Campaign

th1ng directed and produced five commercials commissioned by the U.K.'s Central Office of Information (COI) to promote learning languages to teens and young adults. The advertising agency was Farm Advertising.

The TV spots, mixing animation and live action, lie at the heart of a new 6 million-pound government advertising campaign launched by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). The campaign aims to encourage young people to study foreign languages to open up future opportunities in their people's professional and personal lives.

The brief was to create a series of attention-grabbing TV commercials aimed at 11 to 14 year olds. The ads had to draw on a mix of iconic youth culture references such as sport, music and dance and highlight the significance of languages within youth environments. They needed to demonstrate the importance of language learning as a gateway to a new world of opportunity. It was important for language learning to be perceived as fun and exciting.

The ads feature up and coming dancers, footballers and musicians at play. They invite people to discover more about how "to try life in another language" at a T4 hub Web site www.trylifeinanotherlanguage.com.

Three commercials were by new directors at th1ng, including DANCER by Dan Lumb, DISIZ by Angry Natives and NEON CITY by Anne Xiao. Daniel Cohen directed FOOTBALL and SHADOWS.

DANCER features street dancer Clara; DISIZ the eponymous-named Parisian streetwise hip-hop artist; SHADOWS, the Spanish singer Nubla; while German indie band Fotos takes center stage in NEON CITY. FOOTBALL is a pure live action piece featuring street football skills by young Real Madrid academy stars.

All five 30-second TV commercials will air on Channel 4 and Sky channels this month and also will be broadcast online on the campaign's Web site in longer length formats. They were shot on location in France, Germany and at th1ng in London, with all post-production handled by th1ng in-house.

Dominic Buttimore, th1ng's exec producer said, "The commercials were directed by th1ng's new breed of directors who have shown promising talent and very impressive capability. The whole series has been very well received and the feedback is very encouraging".

To watch the commercials visit: http://th1ng.tv/newth1ngs/.

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