When it came time to produce a fun social campaign for TBS’ Miracle Workers, starring Daniel Radcliffe, TBS had everything it needed except for amazing animation.
That’s when it turned to frequent collaborator, Atlanta-based Creative Mammals, to give the spots the fun and edge the network felt they needed.
“TBS wanted to do something really fun with great illustrations and they had a couple of examples,” said Robert Burroughs, executive creative director, Creative Mammals. “We took that and reached out to our network of artists to find the right fit. We all wanted the campaign to have a little bit of an edge, to not be totally safe or clean.”
In addition, considering the fantastical nature of the content, the spots could not be realistically created in live action, said Stacey Topkin, director of new business development and marketing, Creative Mammals. That made animation the perfect solution.
Burroughs reached out to an illustrator he thought was particularly right for the job: New York-based MC Wolfman.
TBS’ creative team wrote the scripts and shot the live-action portion of the campaign with Radcliffe. They then passed that work off to Creative Mammals.
Each of the five social spots considers how “in the Dark Ages, people really did believe in incredibly ridiculous things,” as Radcliffe, in costume, notes.
In “Witches,” above, Radcliffe reveals that in the dark ages people thought that witches gathered, um, male genitalia, put them into nests, fed them and cooed over them like little pets.
“Is this true? Did they do this?” he asks, incredulously. “I’m confused ... and intrigued ... and yet have never wanted to not know the answer to something more.”
Once Radcliffe gets over processing that disturbing information, he goes on to introduce other spots discussing such topics as people apparently thinking that tiny demons dwelt between the leaves of cruciferous plants, just waiting for humans to consume them so they could possess their new hosts. (Two ideas for why that became a belief: 1) to explain the potentially painful flatulence created by eating such foods or 2) to get out of having to eat those foods in the first place. Just because it was the Dark Ages doesn’t mean kids were any less creative.)
And, especially relevant in today’s age of constant toilet-paper shortages, people once used moss to perform that task. (Perhaps that’s an option for you if your local grocery store seems to never have a new supply on offer.)
To create the spots, Creative Mammals worked closely with Wolfman to storyboard and ideate the concepts. Once the look was locked in, Wolfman passed the illustrations on to Creative Mammal’s team of animators to recreate as motion graphics, using such software as After Effects, Photoshop and Cinema 4D.
These spots are all in a 16:9 ratio but Creative Mammals also produced them in 1:1 ratios for Instagram, Burroughs said.
Check out all the spots below and tune into Miracle Workers on Tuesday, March 31 at 10:30 pm ET/9:30 pm CT on TBS or streaming on Hulu.
SVP, Brand Creative: Bret Havey
VP, Brand Creative: Jonathan Quick
Director, Brand Creative: Allison Karnbad
Editor: Eric Combs
Agency: Creative Mammals
Executive Creative Director: Robert Burroughs
Senior Producer: Brandy Drew
Illustrator: MC Wolfman