The brand movement specialists at strategic creative ideas studio We Are Plus (www.weareplus.com) have announced details of their latest project – a strategic, engaging brand film showcasing the category-leading SMART Board interactive whiteboard from SMART Technologies. We Are Plus was chosen to produce the project by SMART's agency, Toronto-based Sharpe Blackmore Euro RSCG. The film, entitled "The Magical Classroom," is being distributed internationally in seven languages via viral seeding and Facebook, and is also being featured in other applications and materials by SMART's marketing team. "We wanted to accomplish two things," said SMART's Vice President of Marketing, Linda Thomas. "Creatively illustrate the magical effect of our products in the classroom and launch our Love of Learning campaign. Clearly, this brand film accomplishes both in a very effective and engaging manner."
Founded in 1987, SMART Technologies introduced the SMART Board interactive whiteboard nearly twenty years ago. Now, there are more than 1.6 million SMART Boards in use around the world. SMART is a private company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, with offices in Germany, France, Japan, China, Singapore, New York City, Chicago and Washington DC.
"We're very proud to have been chosen to help SMART Technologies connect with consumers, parents and educators through such an appealing and fun brand film that explores the versatile functionality of the SMART Board, which is revolutionizing education," said Judy Wellfare, who directed the project and served as co-creative director for We Are Plus, along with Jeremy Hollister. "We believe this film will be seen as a new standard and reference for large-scale stop-motion animation, and that it will garner enormous interest worldwide."
The agency's project goal called for this brand film to communicate the overall message that "learning can be magical" in a fresh, unexpected, tactile way, where the SMART Board's interactivity and dynamic range of functionality are demonstrated. The approach from We Are Plus involved using a unique combination of live-action filmmaking with stop-motion animation techniques to imaginatively explore a series of painted walls, representing the process and possibilities of learning coming to life through the SMART Board. Serving as the story's protagonist, a hand places elements and objects from the real world onto the SMART Board, where they vibrantly spring to life.
"Each scenario visualizes different functionalities through lessons," Wellfare explained. "Through the journey, viewers discover the processes of photosynthesis and metamorphosis, and travel through time to the age of dinosaurs in a natural history lesson." Wellfare and her crew shot their footage over nine straight days on various locations in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Production was handled through Pioneer Productions.
According to Wellfare, the project's biggest challenges were in creating the large scale props that needed to be designed for stop-motion animation on walls. The props were created by Buenos Aires-based company, SodaPasta.
"We had to design and build the props in such a way that would allow easy, fast rigging during animation," Wellfare said. "Since we were shooting in natural daylight we were limited to the number of shooting hours per day, so the production design and rigging structure of the props was key to allowing us to work quickly and efficiently. Among many other feats necessary to capture what we wanted, we created a 16-foot T-Rex that was mounted on a rig and puppeteered. It was a very complex and fun process, and through an 'all-hands-on-deck' approach, fantastic prop construction and production support, everything came together beautifully."
About We Are Plus
A strategic creative ideas studio, We Are Plus are brand movement specialists and creative catalysts poised to deliver what is needed by brands today and tomorrow. We Are Plus thrives at the intersection of creativity and entrepreneurship. The company's unique expertise successfully transports brands, products, ideas and innovation to market. By uniting visionary brand strategy with masterful thinking, design, and production, We Are Plus propels these ideas across every form of media. We Are Plus works in concert with decision-makers behind the world's most prominent brands, forging powerful, lasting commercial connections with consumer groups ranging from niche to mainstream. Catch the movement by visiting www.weareplus.com, or call +1.212.473.3800.
Project Name: SMART Technologies "The Magical Classroom"
Debut Date: May 3, 2010
More Information: http://bit.ly/plusmagic
Client: SMART Technologies
Ad Agency: Sharpe Blackmore Euro RSCG
Creative Director: Ron Tite
Associate Creative Director: Michael Willson
Art Director: Gira Moin
Writer: Erin Beaupre
Executive Producer: Francesca Marchese
Director, Strategy: Jeff Plowman
Planner: Alice Schaffer
Account Director: Jessica Portmann
Production Company: We Are Plus
Director: Judy Wellfare
Creative Directors: Jeremy Hollister, Judy Wellfare
Technical Director: Seth Pomerantz
Lead Animator: Peter Wallach
Animators: Matthew Amonson, Jeremy Bronson, David Bell
Flash Animator: Aleth Romanillos
Animator/Compositors: Adam Stockett, Luis Simoes and Salvatore Randazzo
Executive Producer: Zu Al-Kadiri
Line Producer: Kea Allcock
Editor: Renato Sorbara, AWZ
Music and Sound Design: AWZ
Production Services Company: Pioneer Productions
Producer: Agustin Ortiz
Prop Construction: SodaPasta, Buenos Aires