How do you transform a simple and iconic symbol into a lively character that encourages people to use a public health hotline?
With incredible technical modelling, expert animation, an injection of humour and a tight team that thrives on creative challenges.
Ad agency Ogilvy Brisbane briefed the Watermark Creative team to create a character for PHN Brisbane North’s ‘Anytime Health Advice’ campaign, which aims to reduce the number of unnecessary trips to their hospital emergency department.
The campaign uses the cross, a symbol of help, health and care, in a variety of familiar health-related situations to capture people’s attention and invite them to phone or visit an online health checker for advice, before visiting the emergency ward.
We were tasked with creating five animated scenes featuring the character, from which stills would be used for static banner ads.
Dave Follett, Courtney Hopkinson, Simon Shaw and David Way worked with the Ogilvy Brisbane creative team to explore the character’s elasticity, texture and material, facial expressions, visual gags and scene compositions.
One of the primary challenges came with conveying specific expressions such as nausea and urgent, toilet-related panic through simple facial design. This was achieved through several rounds of sketch work and exploration by experienced character artists Dave Follett, Simon Shaw and David Way, in collaboration with the Ogilvy team.
Equally as important was ensuring that the character felt like it was made from the familiar, stretchy material used for latex medical gloves. 3D visual artist Courtney put an incredible amount of detail into achieving just the right amount of blemishes, creases and stresses to bring our rubbery hero to life. He began by sculpting and developing the 3D forms in ZBrush before moving the character into Cinema 4D for texturing, lighting and rendering.
Once the static 3D assets were built and approved, Timo Lenton animated the character in five familiar medical situations including a stomach bug, a scooter fall, and a nasty gardening accident.
The process of slowly seeing our hero emerge from the many iterations of design kept the entire team motivated and enthralled with each step forward. It’s almost impossible to wear all the necessary creative hats at one time (design, craft, story, execution and so on), so bringing together a dream team ensured that the process was streamlined and that each step received the most professional outcome.
As a result of everyone’s hard work, the project has been featured in the coveted ‘Character Design’ shortlist on Béhance.
Brisbane North PHN
Ogilvy, Brisbane Australia
Lead 3D Artist
Lead 3D Artist