Best of 2021: Cox turns a middle school drama production into an animated short

The cable provider, 180 LA and Nexus director Patrick Osborne stepped in for kids who can't perform together

Published On
Mar 31, 2021

Editor's Pick

Through New Year's, we will be counting down our picks for 2021's 30 best ads and creative marketing ideas.

At No. 27: Cox Communications helps out kids unable to perform in school plays in the pandemic.

One of the many ways in which the pandemic has affected school kids is that they can't perform together in any extra-curricular productions; drama, music or anything else involving larger groups. According to a survey conducted by the Educational Theatre Association, 85% of schools canceled performances in 2020 because of the pandemic.  So Cox Communications is stepping in to help out.

See the full list of 2021's Best Ads.

The cable provider and its agency 180 L.A. have enabled middle school kids at the Thurman White Academy of the Performing Arts in Nevada to put on a virtual production, by turning their performances into an animated short. With the the help of Nexus Studios director Patrick Osborne, students used technology to voice and puppeteer their own characters from the safety of their own homes.

The kids were able to use  a virtual booth to record their lines, while being directed by Osborne over Zoom. Facial capture technology was used to record each of the students’ performances and expressions to make their characters in the animated film as true to life as possible. 

The animated short, called "Drawn Closer," will debut in a Hollywood-inspired virtual premier party where students will walk the virtual red carpet and celebrate with their fellow students and families. The film will then premier on Sunday May 9 (Mother's Day) on Cox's Yurview. It's part of an ongoing campaign by the brand that focuses on providing "human connection" where it's most needed; a previous project from 2020 focused on seniors feeling isolated in the pandemic

“As a dad of two elementary school children, I’ve seen the impact that remote learning has had on kids’ connections to their friends, and to the activities that give them a sense of belonging,” said Mike Bokman, executive creative director at 180 L.A. “Helping the theater students of Thurman White reconnect, and giving them a chance to perform together again under this bigger, brighter spotlight, felt like it made a difference. It was an unforgettable experience for all of us.”


Mar 31, 2021
Client :
Cox Communications
Agency :
180 LA
Director, Brand Strategy & New Media :
Rachel Negretti
Vice President Brand Strategy & Consumer Insights :
Brian Stifel
Senior Vice President, Brand Stratey :
Gaston Vaneri
Senior Manager Marketing :
Brittany Tyner
Social Media & Content Marketing :
Roger Jones
Chief Creative Officer :
Al Moseley
Executive Creative Director :
Mike Bokman
Group Creative Director :
Jason Rappaport
Copywriter :
Emma Zakes Green
Copywriter :
Amar Marwaha
Senior Art Director :
Elizabeth Lay
Art Director :
Arvid Harnqvist
Head of Production :
Bryan Sweeney
Head of Strategy :
Kaleen Ogden
Strategist :
Mauricio Barreda
Director of Client Services :
Megan McDonnell
Senior Brand Manager :
Morgan Theis
Production Company :
Nexus Studios
Director :
Patrick Osborne
Script Writer :
Patrick Osborne
Executive Producer :
Juliet Tierney
Producer :
Josephine Gallagher
Production Manager :
Edith Chappey
Production Assistant :
Jenny Goodwin
CG Lead :
Mark Davies
Art Director/Designer/Matte Painting :
Melanie Climent
Storyboard :
Marta Martín Blanco
Character Designer :
Rayner Alencar
Character Modelling :
David Díaz Jiménez
Character Modelling :
Katrina Hill
Character Modelling :
Joachim Loesener
Character Modelling :
Petri Aaltonen
Rigging :
Niko Rossi
Lead Lighter :
Kenny Ip
Modelling & Lighting :
Patrick Tomasini
Shading & Modelling :
Irina Nguyen
Shading & Modelling :
Fabien Glasse
Animation :
William Lorton
Animation :
Alex Alabadi Aragó
Animation :
Pierre Plouzeau
Animation :
Steve Brown
Animation :
Steve White
Animation :
Clement Fassler
Animation :
Quentin Dubois
Compositing :
Gareth Tredrea
Compositing :
Aitor Arroyo
Compositing :
Frederic Heymans
Compositing :
Ewelina Freuer
Compositing :
Dalvir Matharu
Pipeline Developer / TD :
Tom Melson
Pipeline Assistant :
Harry Nichols
Motion Graphics Designer :
Bethany Levy
Editing :
Mark Van Heusden
Editing :
Ben Hunt
Editing :
Kyle Jon Shephard
Grading :
David Slade
Live Action Production :
Nexus Studios
Producer :
Fernanda Garcia Lopez
Live Action Producer :
Michael Schlenker
Production Manager :
Kevin Barrera
DP :
Mark Tierney
Tech :
Traiana Nescheva
Production Assistant :
Samantha Patton
Production Assistant :
Christo Ramirez
Sound Studio :
Pollen Music Group

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