England rugby players become gentle giants in this beautifully animated -- and surprisingly touching -- spot for mobile brand O2, marking its official sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup.
The spot, by VCCP, features expressive animation by Elliot Dear of Blinkink (who worked on John Lewis Christmas ad The Bear and the Hare in 2013) and a rousing score (by Theo Vidgen, who composed music for "The Hobbit") that might even bring a tear to your eye.
The story features England rugby players including captain Chris Robshaw literally becoming giants. The bewildered animated characters have some trouble going about their normal lives -- travelling by Underground, saying goodnight to their wives and kids -- until they realise their enormous form is there for a purpose when they spot a little boy with an England rugby poster in his bedroom. The tagline is "Make Them Giants."
According to a statement by Bllinkink, Mr. Dear wanted the characters to feel authentic, from their design to their body language. In order to get this right, Blinkink worked with the Rugby Football Union and VCCP to bring some of the players from the England team to the studio. The animation team were able to take photographs and video footage for reference, even getting players to act out their scenes.
The two-minute spot breaks this Friday during the season premier of Channel 4's "Googlebox," with cut-down versions running thereafter. New segments will also be added to reflect breaking tournament news.