O2 is a subsidiary of the global telecommunications company Telefónica, operating in the UK as the second-largest mobile network operator. Star Trader is an entrepreneurial programme launched by O2. Independent traders sign up online to distribute O2 PAYG sims and earn cash with each activation, working their way up through the ranks of its trader tiers to unlock rewards. DEPT®’s creative team conceptualised a campaign idea that supports Star Trader’s digital marketing strategy, which is managed by DEPT®. The informative motion video was pitched to our client and emerged as the heart of its introductory campaign to reach prospective Star Traders.
Scripting the narrative
Bringing people together was the underlying message of the narrative. Star Trader’s personas were designed as key characters in the plot, and how they linked together defined the storyline. All of O2’s key personas needed to be well represented with SIM cards connected to them.
Initially, we were brainstorming concepts surrounding a live-action video, but decided to push the creative envelope with animation as COVID hit. DEPT® perfected the illustration style through hand drawing the initial concepts and digitising them by intermixing Abode Illustrator, After Effects, Premiere Pro and Audition.
Once the creative concept was established, a script was written and an animatic storyboard was created to represent the flow and visual style. The vision was pitched to O2 using hand-drawn sketches animated on an iPad, to demonstrate the tempo and perspective. This acted as a vantage point to work collaboratively with O2’s internal team to retune the style, while adhering to its corporate brand guidelines.
Communicating brand personality
When collaborating with a brand as established as O2, the creative reins are held tight. The output needs to fit perfectly within defined style guides so that it appears as if it was produced in-house. DEPT®’s designers set out to replicate O2’s previous illustrative work, whilst striving to innovative within the parameters.
The illustrations are striking and simple, using bold organic shapes, solid areas of flat colours and hand lines. The O2 bubbles are the brand’s trademark and became the showpiece in this artwork. Our designers made the video appear slightly warped as if the viewer is watching through a bubble. Further use of the bubbles was cleverly placed for a more subtle effect.
The colour pallet consisted primarily of O2 branded blues, supported by hints of pastel colours. The facial expressions are happy and charming, to portray a sense of playfulness and imbue O2’s brand personality.
The illustrations were brought to life with a rigging technique most commonly used to animate characters for games and movies. Characters are represented in a 3D model using a series of interconnected digital bones, allowing our motion designers to control how the body moves; synchronising reactions and harmoniously connecting limbs. It’s the most sophisticated approach to represent emotion through movement. Exaggeration was added to make objects more dynamic, which were emphasised with custom sound effects.
A powerful communication tool
DEPT® has been collaborating with O2 for several years, refreshing its Star Trader brand positioning. Our team is well versed in its target audiences, messages and goals, so were equipped to create a campaign focal piece that would resonate with viewers. The execution combined DEPT®’s expertise in creativity, data and digital marketing in the most organic way.
Motion video is one of the most powerful ways to communicate a brand’s value proposition, simplifying complex messages for visual learning. The internet moves fast and people’s attention’s spans are decreasing as we scroll through social media updates, moving from one picture to the next. For brands to stay top of mind, they need to attract and keep a viewer’s attention, which this video does seamlessly. It was produced to be a timeless asset for O2 to introduce its Star Trader platform to new prospects. DEPT® is excited to continue its partnership with O2 and assess the impact this video has on future campaigns.
Managing Director, Design & Technology UK
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