Hannah Rose Newson Competition Brief - YCN - Cartoon Network Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication Design for Moving Image Level 3 DMI302
The Brief The Creative Challenge Kids’ imaginations are incredibly powerful and inspiring. Through their unfettered creativity, children can do things we adults only dream of. Cartoon Network has been built on imaginative minds and we want to encourage kids to not just use their imagination, but to do something with it. Target Audience Broad: All kids aged 6 – 11 year olds. Core: Boys aged 4 – 9 year olds. Mandatories Appealing to this audience is about understanding the world a kid inhabits, what they find funny and what makes them go ‘wow’! Entrants should be conscious to avoid themes, imagery or language that would breach Ofcom codes and prevent the campaign being aired. The colour orange should also be avoided as it is synonymous with our main competitor, Nickelodeon. Research (Any themes to push or barriers of show etc) We have identified an audience segment that favours Cartoon Network. He is not just an individual, but a mood sometimes felt by a child. Steve Make Believe is a seven year old boy. He’s more of a loner than some of his peers; he’s inwardly focused and likes to be taken care of. He is cautious and likes to watch things happen, but has an edgy, mischievous and complex sense of humor. Steve loves TV, video games and sports and his favorite shows are action and comedy cartoons. Brand Values We are not a public service broadcaster; we are not worthy, we never talk down to our audience. • Our tone of voice is confident and fun. Encourage kids through an on-air campaign to realise the power of their imagination and do something amazing with it. • We are vibrant, bold and thrive on imagination. • In a word, Cartoon Network is a place for ‘madventure’. Creative Requirements You should create an on-air campaign that would not look out of place on Cartoon Network, but you are not restricted to pure animation. Your campaign can include one or more executions - and individual spots should not exceed duration of 60 seconds. Deliverables, Artwork and Additional
Campaign Process / Message The on-air promo should encourage children to go away from the TV thinking about Cartoon Network, as well as influencing creative and productive play. This will build an association between fun in the real world and the fun they see on Cartoon Network. It must create a talking point between children, for example in a playground situation, this will publicise the channel via word of mouth, a strong promotional vehicle for children. The excitement created by word of mouth will urge the children not only to watch Cartoon Network after school, but to think about what the promo is encouraging them to do. In addition to the on-air promo, I feel there must also be an online presence to this campaign. When children arenâ€™t watching television, they are likely to be playing on the computer, Cartoon Network must establish their website as somewhere to visit and interact with, the current website will have to be extended in order to support the on-air promo.
Good ideas change the world. Encourage children to beleive in their potential.
Campaign message. Imagination is limitless. Is is important to question things.
Get the quiet kid to come to the front. live your dreams.
CN understand the world a child inhabits.
Research - Logo
The Cartoon Network brand is fun, confident, exciting and bold. It stands as a platform which promotes a variety of new cartoons and claims ownership of established ones. It needs to bring a variety of shows together, as well as elevate itself as a channel brand in its own right. In order to achieve this, and complement a wide variety of styles the brand needs to be adaptable as well as robust. The Cartoon Network brand achieves this with a large courageous typeface, distinct contrasts between letter forms and a simple colour pallet of white, black and sky blue highlights. The logo also plays with 2D and 3D elements, creating a fun and dynamic feeling. The logo fits all characters within the channel programming, the top right image shows this. The Cartoon Network logo allows all of the characters to assert their ownership on the logo, this creates an environment in which these characters can exist in, away from their shows. This brings the audience closer to their favourite characters, as associates the brand with the product, this can be seen on the bottom right. By putting the cartoons in control, the personality of the channel is born, this personality is bursting with ready made jokes and humour, which appeals to a whole spectrum of children.
Research - On Screen As Cartoon Network acts as a platform for a wide variety of cartoons, their on screen branding also needs to represent this. Their current on screen content was created by Capacity, an American Moving Image company. Their package creates a strong brand affinity by merging Cartoon Network’s entourage of lovable characters being interchangeable on blank vinyl toys. The result is a playground of rich colours and unlimited combinations. By using one unifying shape, and gathering all of Cartoon Network’s characters into one place, these blanks figures, called Noods, are all one shape, but can be translated into many different characters, and brought to life. This approach allows character affinity that can only come from an emotional connection and through a narrative experience. A theme through many of the idents is the transfer of colour between different objects. In their natural state the Noods are pure white, so there needed to be an in-between state in which the colour could exist. Cartoon Network’s original creative brief described blobs of colour, similar to Super Elastic Bubble Plastic. These colourful, undulating blobs were a major part of the storytelling as they became the primary vehicle for transferring colour onto and off of characters and other objects.
Research - Print Based Media Cartoon Network have the licensing rights to a host of cartoon brands, many more famous than the Cartoon Network brand itself. The brand must elevate as a brand in its own right. There is a separate need to communicate with business partners as a cartoon brand without appearing childish. This created the idea of putting â€˜the cartoons in controlâ€™. Communications simultaneously deliver a marketing message whilst revealing the character of the cartoon. The art direction takes itâ€™s inspiration from an animation style with particular attention to cartoon details and a knowing sense of humour, all within a strongly branded Cartoon Network environment. Communications are cleverly positioned for different audiences. Business messages have all the cartoon fun, but talk to adults. For instance, media packs for media buyers parodied the magazines for that target audience. The consumer messages strongly deliver the essence of the programme, through humour.
From the images on the left it is clear that print marketing strategies use the bold vibrant cartoon characters that make up the content of the channel. The logo sits strongly amongst the vast vibrant colour selections at it is so eye catching, however it relies on the cartoon content to back it up, and give in context. The black and white checkered brand identity can be used in a variety of ways, to deliver messages and draw attention to certain areas of the print, it can also be used for a border (bottom right) and for sub headings and various other campaigns (top right) .
The brand book - reflecting the pace and sensibility of the TV channel.
6 sheet posters presenting the programmes.
Research - Website The Cartoon Network website offers an online environment for children to interact within the channel brand. At the top of the website there is a scroll bar of all the beloved characters of Cartoon Network, the child can interact with them by scrolling left and right, choosing their favourite character or show, where they can learn moreabout it within a specialised section about that particular show. The website is generally used as a promotional platform to expose kids to the various programmes. There are a wide variety of games, which are designed to fit specific shows, allowing the child to interact with the characters and storylines with a first person, hands on approach. As children are spending more time at the computer and on the internet, this part of the website is a successful way of getting the children in touch with the channel via a different media outlet. The design of the website isn’t as dynamic and as colourful as I expected, yet as it is simple to navigate and easy to understand. Apart from the show specific profiles and games, there isn’t a lot more on offer, there are TV listings, a shop, on demand video content and “my CN”. Currently there isn’t much that is personal and exciting about “My CN” and I think that children would quickly become disinterested in it. I think this area of the website is something that needs to be improved, and could work hand in hand with the campaign message of encouraging kids to go away from the realise the power of their potential, and do something amazing with their imagination. Currently you can collect rewards such as trophies and coins through games and problem solving. It also acts as an online platform for socialising, allowing children to talk with other friends who have created an profile. However I don’t think that there is any underlying message of encouraging creativity, I think the website needs this, if Cartoon Network want to create a campaign which supports independent fun away from the TV the on air camping should promote an online presence which offers all sorts of fun things to do. As I mentioned previously, I think that there are three aspects to the campaign, one is creating an exciting buzz via word of mouth, two is encouraging kids to think about cartoon network while doing creative and productive things, and three is to create an online environment which bridges the gap between the child is watching TV and playing and doing things away from Cartoon Network. I will go into the further details of my idea for this campaign later on within this report.
My initial ideas for the project was to create a promo about a fictional place called the “Ideas Factory” in which all the creations and ideas for Cartoon Network are created by adults, who are the Cartoon Network team. The promo was going to be a call to action for the kids watching it, telling them that wanted Cartoon Network want kids to come and share all their fabulous ideas with them, however, I dropped this as I realised it didn’t need to influence how kids saw Cartoon Network, but show a child going through an adventurous journey with their imagination and the help of Cartoon Network characters.
The promo must show the uniqueness of the client, not applicable to other channels. It must empower children to believe in their own abilities as well as inform children that Cartoon Network is a channel that understands them. The promo should encourage children to go away thinking about Cartoon Network, and come back to them feeling good about themselves. The promo needs reinforce the ability children have to create something magical from nothing.
Research - Competitors Cartoon Network’s main competitors in my opinion are television channels like Nickelodeon, an American cable television channel. Since 2006, Nickelodeon has been run by MTVN Kids, and the programming aimed mostly at children ages 6–12, with the exception of their prime time block that is aimed at teenagers ages 13–17. It has it’s own specific animates series like ‘Doug’ and the ‘Rugrats’. Their website is very popular, and in March 1999, Nick.com became the highest rated website for children aged six to fourteen years old. Nickelodeon used the website in conjunction with television programs which increased traffic. The channels long standing splat logo is a household name. The brand is fresh and appears to be in tune with kids needs. It is bold, original and audacious. Cbeebies is a television channel produced by the BBC aimed at children 6 years and under, it was first launched on 11 February 2002. The channel launched a website, featuring links to most of the channel's programming (past and present), with activities (such as games, songs and print-outs) related to the programmes, as well as information for parents about them. The channel shows programmes like “Clifford the big red dog” and “Charlie and Lola”. Both of Cartoon Network’s highest competitors have large online capabilities, where the user can log on, download, upload and print out, there is a whole world in interactivity within their hands, which gives scope for external advertising and publicity as well as word of mouth promotion. This is what The on air campaign also needs to encourage along side inspiring children to realise the potential of their imaginations.
Story Board for Promo My final story board for this project shows a young boy of about 8 years old sitting in his room, in an every day situation, he turns the TV off, and proceeds to play an imaginary game on a switch board like contraption made from cardboard and egg boxes. As he presses the buttons he summons up four Cartoon Network characters, Dexter, Flapjack, Blossom and Chowder, The cartoon Network characters are hand drawn adaptation, to indicate these are his own fabrications, and not actually the real thing. One we have established we are in the imaginative world, which is defined by different lighting techniques and greater saturation of colour, the viewer comes into contact with a variety of stop motion animations of every day mundane objects being turned in new more interesting things. This is the campaign message, â€œDo something amazing with your imaginationâ€?. The boy continues on his adventures by pretending his lounge is flooding with water, to save himself he puts down pillows, which act as stepping stones to his armchair, which is his safe spot. In terms of production of this project, I will be using a lot of stop motion with a digital SLR, and compositing it onto the footage via After Effects.
Production Mood Board Here are some examples of the kinds of production techniques I would like to use within my project, i like the strong vignettes , highly saturates focal points and crushed blacks.
Production The actual production of this piece needs a lot of consideration, especially as I am in charge of the entire project. The first thing I decided was the actor and location, I chose an 8 year old boy called Oliver who I know via a babysitting job I have, I agreed with his mother that I could film it in their lounge, this was helpful as I wanted a normal household setting and somewhere he would be comfortable. It was fortunate that at the time of filming, the lounge was blocked off from natural light, as the were having building work going on, and the only window was boarded up, this convenience meant that I could control all lighting easily, as if I was in a studio. This bring me on to crew, I requested the help of a second year Broadcast student called Ethan Harman to help me with lighting, and I also acquired a camera man, who did 2 years of Broadcast, and is now specialising in Post Production. Having 2 crew members meant that I could direct them and the actor freely this means I could guarantee everything was always in the right place and the right time, as well as instruct and encourage the actor. One I had completed filming i then captured all footage onto my laptop and took it into Final Cut Pro, where I cut the footage down and editing it accordingly to the storyboard, I also chose a peice of music at this point so I could work consistently with the final peice of sound. One I had the pacing and allt he footage in order, I then gave it a rough colour correction, before taking the scenes frame by frame and importing the into After Effects, this is where all compositing and post production was done, such as adding vignettes, marking objects and working frame by frame in great detail to ensure all animation was consistent. All the stop motion work was shot on a digital SLR film under controlled lighting condition, with a Dado lighting kit. Because I didn’t shoot any of the stop motion in a studio, I couldn’t key each frame, and instead i spent a great deal of time cutting out each frame from it’s background in Photoshop, very laborious! Once all scenes had been completed in After Effects, I then re-exported them back into Final Cut Pro, where I did a final colour grade and touch up.
Final stills Some shots of my final peice, please see DVD for completed moving version.
Online presence - Imagination Factory. The Imagination Factory is a concept for an interactive online area within the Cartoon Network website, I mentioned this previously in my competitor research. The idea takes the Cartoon Network experience further from television and into the computer. The Imagination Factory concept would be mentioned at the end of the “Do something amazing with your imagination” promos, to support children in their quests for adventure and knowledge. Not only would the promo encourage children to do something different and exciting, the website gives them a platform from which to start. The online area would be built upon the “My CN” section of the current website, and be full of things to download, print out, flash based interactive experiments and games which put the child in control of their favourite characters, allowing them to play with simple animation techniques and change their appearances. As well as downloading things already generated, the child would also have their own personal “Lab” space and profile within the factory, where they can share their creations, drawings and adventures, and upload their responses of tasks which are set by Cartoon Network via the website. There would also be weekly competitions for “Best home made Robot” or “Best outside Den” and the winners would be hosted in the hall of fame.
The Imagination Factory
The Imagination factory needs to be the perfect combination of fun and knowledge, it needs to make educational tasks fun and accessible, promoting safe home made experiments, and exploration. What would it offer? - Downloads of the Imagination Factory brand for desktops and screensavers. - Printable masks of cartoon characters / opportunity to make your own masks. - Printable factory - build it yourself. - Activity Packs, encouraging children to find specific bugs / insects / plants. - Children’s science experiments that can be done in the home - Fun learning. - Report back - show off what they have achieved with the activity packs. - Recipes - how to make rice crispy cakes / other simple recipes. - How to create simple stop frame animations / flip books. - Arts and Crafts ideas. - Fact of the day - Quirky funny. - Making music with household objects. Etc. I MA GI N ATION FACTORY.
Online presence - Imagination Factory.
The promo should direct the viewer to both go away from the TV and create something self initiated, but also encourage them to visit the Imagination Factory.
There are many ways in which the Imagination Factory can create interest away from both the TV and the computer. Rough ideas above.
Research - Mood Board - Imagination Factory
Conclusion Generally I am pleased with the amount of roles i have taken on with this project and succeed with, it has been my first fully self directed live action and animation project. I set a task which required a lot of dedication and patience, such as animation, compositing, directing, editing, colour grading, and lighting. I think all of these skills have come together to produce quite a solid piece of work which hasnâ€™t strayed too far from the original concept. Once again, the only thing I regret is my time planning, as I filmed the piece 2 weeks before the deadline. I presumed that would be enough time to complete everything , however I underestimated the amount of time and detail that would go into project like this, with only one person working on it. I think I just about managed to pull everything together, but as usual it would have been nice to have spent more time on the final edit, just tweaking and playing. However, even saying this I really feel I tried my hardest with the creative concept and the production processes, and have genuinely put a lot of time into the final piece. One other thing I would change about this project is the process I went about capturing my stop motion, I have learnt that it is wise to capture all still footage in front of a green screen in order to key it out quickly. I found myself spending excessive amounts of time rotascoping and deleting excess background in all of the photographs, which added a lot of unexpected hours into the making process. As a solution to the brief, I think it does what is required, as it asks for an on-air campaign which encourages children to realise the power of their imaginations. I think my promo does this, in a simple yet concise fashion, I wanted to keep the idea quite literal, but create a wow factor that kids will get excited about. The Imagination factory idea is still a loose concept, however I didnâ€™t follow up too heavily on that side of my project as it was not what was asked for, yet I think it has validity and could add great depth to further promotional campaigns for Cartoon Network.