In the month that three Mars missions are set to arrive on the Red Planet, charity WaterAid sets out to remind us—never mind the excitement of finding water on a new planet, there are still communities that still can't get access to it on Earth.
The film is a vibrant and touching animation by agency Don't Panic and Nexus Studios' recently-signed director Neeraja Raj. It tells the story of a little girl from Madagascar, who dreams of being an astronaut and makes a a homemade rocket in order to collect water for her family, after hearing a news report on the radio saying water has been found on Mars. Her mission fails, but thanks to WaterAid, running water does reach her village after all.
The voiceover, delivered by legendary U.K. news anchor Sir Trevor McDonald, reminds us that while some aspire to find H2O on Mars, some still dream of finding it on our own planet.The spot features a specially-composed cover version of David Bowie's "Life on Mars" as its soundtrack.
The film will air during peak times on the U.K.'s Channel 4 and is the first-ever animated ad by WaterAid. The charity opted for the medium while travel is restricted during the pandemic. In order to achieve authenticity, it worked closely with one of its "Voices from the Field" communications specialists, Ernest Randriarimalala, on all aspects of the film, from recreating Madagascar’s landscape to details of the characters’ appearances.
"This is a heartfelt tale based on real-life humans and their very real struggles," said director Raj in a statement. "We approached it with honesty and humility and chose to tell it through the visual language of traditional 2D animation to achieve an emotional vibrancy that is unique to the medium."