I am the Managing Director of the London based animation production company called Sliced Bread Animation. Specialising in character animation, Sliced Bread Animation offer 2D and 3D animation, illustration and design for digital media. Over the last 9 years Sliced Bread has successfully applied animation to all media platforms - offering anything from motion graphics, title sequences and TV commercials to online animation and series. Sliced Bread Animation has completed a number of successful projects for clients such as Sony, BT, Burger King, Coca-Cola, Adidas and Microsoft.
As a fresh and creative animation company Sliced Bread has always been very knowledgeable about new media platforms as well as the traditional ones. Knowing about the latest media trends and incorporating this knowledge into animation concepts and marketing strategies distinguishes Sliced Bread from other long established animation houses in London. Their clients appreciate that Sliced Bread is results driven adding value to their projects.
I studied animation on the acclaimed course at Farnham in Surrey and have been in the field of animation production for nearly 10 years during which time I have worked on a number of broadcast productions for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Fox Kids (US). I was Key Animator/Animation Director on 'Star Hill Ponies', a children's animation series shown on BBC TV and produced by the company behind the internationally successful 'Fireman Sam' series. I was also the Director on a pilot for a children's animation series called 'Sherlock Bones and Doctor Whatsit' before setting up Sliced Bread Animation in 2002.
Always looking for opportunities to work with advertising agencies, creative directors, marketing and PR agencies, web developers, TV producers, post houses, event managers and anybody with a requirement for bringing ideas to life.
2002 - Present
Owner / Sliced Bread Animation
Sliced Bread Animation, based in London, is a new breed of animation company, which is highly experienced in incorporating animation within interactive solutions for the web, for either commercial and marketing, presentation and training or entertaining purposes – or a mixture of all of these together. Our clients enjoy the quality of creative talent and technical expertise they would have from working with senior animators in a large established animation house but without the massive overheads. Or the hassles. It is why our client list includes names like Sony, BT, Adidas, Burger King, the Department of Education, Sky, the BBC and Channel 4.
Our size and ethos mean you’ll notice a very refreshing and intensely creative approach to everything we do. We’re responsive, flexible and dependable. And we have never missed a deadline.
We’ve been working with guys over at BRNK on a trailer for their exciting new app. What follows is part fiction of our times, part real world events as they unfold. It’s an experiment in how fast fiction – shadowing the news a few short weeks behind – is researched and written.
The first chapters take place in the summer of 2012 (with glimpses ahead of us, like the Prologue below). By the time we reach the end of the Pilot Episode the real world events idea will have crept up on you – and the here and now.
From Episode Two onwards you’ll begin to recognise themes and international incidents from recent weeks, through the eyes of fictitious characters we hope you’ll come to care about.
The subject of this post is one of those (now) old, well used quotes from the film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Whatever context you want to take it, I don’t think it has ever resonated more than in today’s marketing climate, everything moves fast and if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, then chances are you are going to miss (out). Marketing strategies are prepared many months, if not years in advance but the question is, with the now fast moving times, do they have the flexibility to respond to the moment? In my opinion that takes great courage within brand teams, and is largely based on whether they are willing to take a risk and put themselves forward before competitors. Can brands be agile and still maintain their values? Can they be reactionary?
The goals of Agile Marketing are to improve the speed, predictability, transparency, and adaptability to change of the marketing function. Via agilemarketing.net
I wanted to write this post and illustrate how agile marketing and digital production can go hand-in-hand and to dispel some myths about how animation and motion graphics can take a long time time and by virtue are expensive, which is not always the case. There are many levels of that process, that can be worked in order for marketeers to ‘hit the moment’. Engaging content can be created quite quickly; games, apps, websites and banners can all be generate in days, not weeks if its needed. Frameworks can be built within which target messages and values can all be placed in an instant.
The most recent, noticeable example in the storm of agile marketing was during this year’s Superbowl, when, halfway through the game the power went out for about 45mins, during which Oreo Cookie’s tweeted: ”Power out? No problem.” Then Oreo linked to an ad of an Oreo cookie, with the copy, “You can still dunk in the dark.” By the time the lights came back on, the tweet had already been shared more than 12,000 times.
The brand and its agency, 360i, were already huddled together and poised to produce a real-time ad. “We had a mission control set up at our office with the brand and 360i, and when the blackout happened, the team looked at it as an opportunity,” 360i president Sarah Hofstetter told BuzzFeed. “Because the brand team was there, it was easy to get approvals and get it up in minutes.” via Canadian Business
Back in 2005 we created an online series for SONY called Trona which assisted in promoting their online magazine My SONY. We produced one episode a week for 25 weeks and each episode was about 30-secs in length. The storyboard was approved on a Monday and the following Monday its was delivered complete. Since SONY is about (electronic) products, each week we agreed which product would feature, the stories themselves we pre-approved (in principle) on commission of the project. This project in my opinion is a primary example of how animation can work as an agile marketing asset. We laid down key foundations but we were able to move and change direction within any given week, we could roll with the moment. From our perspective this made the project even more enjoyable, it was challenging, innovative and got us recognised. From a SONY point of view it was risky and took courage from many stakeholders in order to make it happen. The project was a great success.
From an animation perspective we did this by laying down a skeleton framework, we considered the parameters in which an agile animation process would work, what tools did we need? And what parameters did we need to set? We created a library of assets, walk cycles, gestures, we created a lighting rig that could be dropped in at any point, we ensured the whole process was flexible. The only challenge was getting the (products) 3d build done in time, since we had the stories in place and knew the subject, we could use placeholders until we had the final one approved.
SONY said “Whereas we would normally arrive at a solution by talking to marketing agencies, Sliced Bread were able to deliver on both our objectives: create a ‘buzz’ around the My Sony membership program and acquire new members. We saw several very well executed creative ideas – and some did allude to ways in which an online animated series could elicit new members. However Sliced Bread went further. They seemed to get inside the Sony brand first to understand what makes people (our customers) tick. They then delivered a proposal that not only suggested excellent creative characterizations and plot lines, but was supported by interesting and forward thinking research.”
I guess the main challenge for a brand to work in an agile way is ensuring they upload their product values. There is so much focus on the brands that the wrong approach can cause a devastating result. Qantas Airlines hashtag fail is testament to that, and as discussed timing is everything.
Coca-Cola say: We have really valuable brands. Our brands is what our business is all about so we don’t want to be slap dash or careless and that balance between agility and care is something that we have to work at.
Image from the Coca-Cola – The Neverending Dance of Happiness Facebook game
So in conclusion, marketeers should stop to look around once in a while, see what is going on in the world at that present moment and make careful but responsive actions to it via the right (social) media channels. Online noise makes it a very crowded place, getting seen and heard above that is vital in today’s digital space. An agile approach allows flexibility to meet that demand, it may be too risky to make agile marketing the primary one, but creatively considered content production can put you on the right track for a successful campaign.
We recently completed work on 5x 1-min animations for MATRIXX Software in partnership with Faith The Agency, work included creating the style, character design, storyboarding and animation production. We focused on a simplistic traditional style, whilst ensuring the ‘gag’ was clearly delivered. The animations were created over a 4-week period and launched to coincide with new product offerings. They are currently being broadcast on Matrixx’s YouTube channeland will be used in other environments such as conferences and exhibitions.
MATRIXX Software offers our Communications Service Provider (CSP) customers an array of solutions designed to transform your business, IT and network operations to meet the demands of today’s data-driven environment.
Sliced Bread is a long established production company (specialising in animation) based in central London. We are seeking for a Junior Web Developer to be responsible for developing innovative, reusable web & mobile based apps & sites. Whilst developing specifications and making recommendations on the use of new and emerging technologies.
Your specific duties are likely to include
Work closely with the team to both develop detailed specification documents with clear project deliverables & timelines, to ensure timely completion of deliverables.
Convert raw images and layouts from a graphic designer into CSS/XHTML themes.
Communicate to the Project Manager with efficiency and accuracy any progress and/or delays.
What you’ll need
Bachelor’s degree in a related field (design, computer science) or significant equivalent experience.
Positive attitude and work ethic, passionate about the web and the ability to transfer this enthusiasm to the role with enthusiasm and self motivation.
A commitment to quality and a thorough approach to work
Ability to organize & manage multiple priorities.
Demonstrates flexibility in day-to-day work.
Sets high standards of performance for oneself.
Values clients and responds to their needs as they arise.
Establishes effective working relationship with clients.
Understands the professional development process and becomes actively involved by setting challenging goals and meeting them through continuous learning.
Excellent knowledge of Adobe editing suite (Photoshop, Illustrator) or similar tools.
Complies with all of our policies and procedures.
Other things we get excited about:
Basic knowledge of CSS3/HTML5 a big plus.
Familiarity with Adobe Flash and ActionScript 3
A strong design aesthetic.
Experience theming open-source CMS frameworks such as Drupal and WordPress.
What we offer:
A competitive salary based on successful candidate’s experience and skills
If this is something that interests you, please email us your cv to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is a selection of work from our internal communication projects. We work with our clients to help them inform, motivate and educate employees, other businesses and their stakeholders. We work across all sectors, providing practical consultancy and support for organisations that need to maintain engagement with employees. We have worked with some of the worlds leading brands including Unilever, HSBC, Microsoft, Zurich, Coca-Cola, Nestlè and SONY.
Whether the brief is a first stage of a communications task, an excellence programme or engaging global employees, we have the knowledge and experience. We know that delivering effectual employee engagement is achieved through experience, creativity, an understanding of the end recipient coupled with a disciplined approach to project management. We can provide real-time analytics tools which will assist in measuring the effectiveness of the project.
We deliver these through various media types like games, video and web based applications for deployment on desktop, tablet (Android & iOS) and smartphone (iOS, Android and BlackBerry) devices.
Unilever – Inside Unilever
To create a engaging video sequence that illustrates the unique benefits of the Inside Unilever, Unilever’s Sharepoint based collaboration platform, that was being rolled out to all employees within the organisation. The video sought to reassure employees that the system was user friendly whilst highlighting advantages in global collaboration within a demanding and competitive market space.
What we did
Created an award winning multipurpose concept, the final piece consists of 5 sections which can be used either as one, or as individual elements. We also created support material including posters and animated gifs of use scenarios.
In 2010 it won a silver at 34th Annual Telly Awards for the ‘online video’ category.
HSBC – Sharesave Animation
To develop a communications programme to engage over 300,000 employees based in more than 80 countries and 100 sites to secure maximum participation in the Sharesave scheme.
What we did
Created a screensaver animation for group wide deployment using a traditional 2D animation technique.
Sharesave participation increase from 39% to 47% – that’s over 30,000 people
Since then high participation levels have been maintained or increased despite the volatile global equity markets.
Over 88 countries have participated
0ver 90,000 applications were received in 2010
SBM Offshore operates in some of the world’s harshest deep-water environments to deliver floating production and mooring systems for the energy industry. Operating in over 20 locations worldwide, SBM Offshore had a brand that didn’t stack up to its extensive operations or resonate with its greatest asset: its employees.
What we did
Working with SBM Offshore’s branding agency we created a video as part of its complete design collateral in order to refresh its brand, unite over 6000 employees and create a communication solution that reflected its market leading position.
Safe Traveller – Corporate e-learning
To crate an online e-learning tool for The Risk Advisory Group, at the end of each module users must complete an evaluation exercise designed to enhance as well as test the knowledge they have acquired.
SafeTraveller is the online evolution of Janusian’s highly respected instructor-led security awareness training. After six years and four thousand people trained we have 99 per cent satisfaction ratings from delegates and their employers. SafeTraveller allows you to easily and economically deliver the essential elements of that training to all of your travellers over the internet or your corporate intranet.
Our expert security team has designed a course that encourages participants to think for themselves about their personal safety and security and learn to raise their awareness. The course records the progress of each delegate, affording your organisation the opportunity to maintain robust and universal security training records.
What we did
Safe Traveller allows corporate security and HR managers to rapidly and effectively roll out a highly cost effective and engaging travel security training programme across their travelling workforce. The project took just under 3-months to complete.
Currently rolled out
A new approach to customer service
To take a sound bite from an existing video sequence and illustrate it in a fun and humorous way. The voice-over explained a new approach to management of customer queries.
What we did
We started by creating a working storyboard, including the look and feel, character design and timings.
Sliced Bread launch the Cash Tin appat the App Store. A simple to use app that tracks your petty cash expenses. Add cash to the tin and then create new expenses that will automatically deduct the amount from the cash tin balance. You can add a date, description and an amount. The app will even allow you to take a photo of the receipt for reference. The unique aspect of this app is that it enables you to export a working spreadsheet along with the images to an email address of your choice, which is useful in a small business or home environment. The idea came from a need at the office which was then born into a working app!
Sliced Bread Animation are proud to be a partner of Jamie Oliver’sFood Revolution Day on 19th May. We supplied graphics and animation, as part of ongoing support material to be used throughout the campaign. We worked closely with @amanda and the Jamie Oliver Foundation – a pleasure to get involved as always!
Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day pre-roll sequence
Food Revolution Day on 19 May is a chance for people who love food to come together to share information, talents and resources; to pass on their knowledge and highlight the world’s food issues. All around the globe, people will work together to make a difference. Food Revolution Day is about connecting with your community through events at schools, restaurants, local businesses, dinner parties and farmers’ markets. We want to inspire change in people’s food habits and to promote the mission for better food and education for everyone.
We recently completed a new brand video for Berghind Joseph’s client SBM Offshore as part of their brand refresh, this can be seen in its entirety at www.sbmoffshore.com. The video was created as part of its complete design collateral in order to refresh its brand, unite over 6000 employees and create a communication solution that reflects its market leading position.
We’ve just launched SBM Offshore’s new brand identity – positioning it as a world leader in the oil and gas industry and uniting its 6000+ employees that are spread across 20 locations around the world.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year from the Sliced Bread team. Download your own PDF of the marker here, then try out the augmented reality Christmas message for yourself using the instructions below!
Another one fresh from the toaster – a new showcase sequence relating to our client and in-house projects on character animation. The piece highlights the capacity in which we work with agencies and direct brands.
Specialising in character animation Sliced Bread Animation offer 2D and 3D animation, illustration and design. Over the last 8 years Sliced Bread has successfully applied animation to all media platforms - offering anything from motion graphics, title sequences and TV commercials to online animation and series. We have completed a number of successful projects for clients such as Sony, BT, Burger King, Adidas and Sky.