Students work with an animation agency to promote new Wallace and Gromit App


As part of the Advertising Design course at USW, three students were commissioned by ‘Aardman Animations’ to work on an advertising campaign to promote the new Wallace and Gromit storytelling app, “The Big Fix Up”.
Students Ben Geall, Andre Gardener and Jess Thomas-Middleton were tasked with coming up with a promotional video to sit on the Apple iTunes / Google Play as part of the promotional campaign.
Below, we caught up with the three students and asked them about their experience of working on a live-brief for a globally recognised product.
What were the aims of the project?
Edward Russell, Project Producer at Aardman Animations:
The project was set up because my company needed a fresh set of eyes and, as we’re government funded, we can’t put spend behind marketing. I had worked with the students before and realised how great they were, so I wanted to engage with them.
How were the students involved?
Ben: We became involved in this campaign through a project on our advertising design course. Edward had come in and challenged us to create promotional material for their upcoming Wallace and Gromit project, “The Big Fix Up”. 
Andre: This was done remotely but with the correct team and the right organisational skills, so it was not a problem. It was challenging at times, but you learn to use criticism constructively. This was my chance to show a real-life client my ability!
How did you approach the brief?
Ben: Edward pitched the brief and after we signed some NDAs, we got to see the app and parts of the storyline before anyone else. Luckily, this was at the start of the year, so we were able to meet Edward, work with our groups and present our ideas, getting helpful and constructive feedback. We had multiple sessions working with our groups where we discussed what we wanted to do and gave each other roles. There was a final pitch at the end of the project where we were able to see everyone's ideas and get feedback / questions from the class and Edward.
Andre: When approaching the brief, I felt confident about whatever was to come, we were being prepared throughout the course, being taught how to communicate with clients and work in the industry.
How did you approach creating the content for the campaign?
Jess: We worked with each other over Google Docs and video chat to create a concept and storyboard for a 30 second video ad that was then brought to life by Aardman Animations.
Andre: We had a few calls with Edward where he told us what he wanted from this campaign and what we should and shouldn’t do. We then workshopped our ideas in our creative team and later pitched them. Once we had pitched, we were given feedback which allowed us to improve and further develop our ideas.
Ben: Creating the content for the campaign wasn’t too difficult because of the preparation we were given by the course prior to this assignment. We have practiced working in teams and working on real-life briefs, the only difficulty was having to get over any fear of presenting our ideas to the class and industry professionals. The live briefs that we have worked on throughout the last three years have definitely given us agency-like training so we can all feel more confident when perusing our careers.
What was your favourite part about working on this campaign?
Ben: My favourite part was meeting Edward and talking through my group's thoughts and ideas. It was very reassuring for me and good to get some constrictive criticism that is needed at this level to see what standards are demanded at the top level.
Jess: Throughout the brief, I loved being able to talk to and work with experienced industry names, especially with a company as established as Aardman Animations. It boosted my confidence in working on live briefs, especially for when I have graduated and landed a job in industry.
Andre: My favourite part of working on the brief was to see it in live action and knowing that I had a part to play in this finished product.
Interested in studying Advertising Design at USW and working on live briefs? Click here to view our Advertising Design course.