If we know anything about summer, it’s that summer means barbecues. Kicking off the season, Reggae Reggae Sauce launched a new claymation TV spot by JWT London and Aardman Animations. Featuring Levi Roots and a chorus of singing sausages, kebabs and chicken drumsticks, the animated spot is a new take on playing with your food. The spot shows off Levi’s playful spirit and how Reggae Reggae Sauce quite literally brings flavors to life. We caught up with creatives, Bruno Xavier and Christiano Neves, for more details on the making of this fun campaign.
Where did the idea to animate Levi come from?
On the brief we had two main things to consider: first we needed to use the Reggae Reggae Sauce song and secondly we needed to use Levi Roots throughout the ad. We wanted to use Levi in an unexpected way, and that’s when the idea of using him in Claymation came about.
Levi seems like such a fun guy! Was it hard to get him on board?
We thought it was going to be really hard to convince him that Claymation was the way to go. But the folks at Aardman were so keen on making this happen that they sculpted a bust of Levi Roots just so we could go in and sell him the idea. When he saw the bust, he immediately started laughing and we knew he’d bought into the concept.
The singing sausages are great. How did you come up with the look and feel of the BBQ characters?
Aardman are fantastic when it comes to creating characters, so we sent them a few basic sketches and they added on to it. We wanted the sauce to be used as the food’s clothes and hair, and they ran with the idea.
Can you tell us what it was like partnering with Aardman?
Amazing. Those guys really know what they’re doing and they really like collaboration. They make it seem easy and nothing is ever stressful.
What was your favourite part of working on this campaign?
It was when we went to Aardman Studio and saw our idea really start to gain shape and form. The puppets were enormous–the houses too. They had 25 different mouthpieces for Levi, 4 people designing the plants in his garden, one animator for the food, one just for Levi, and one for the neighbours and dog. When you see all that happening in front of you it makes you smile. You have an idea on a piece of paper—cut to six months later, you see 20 people working on it, building things that came out of our heads. It’s almost surreal.
You’ve done animation work before. Was this project different from the work you’ve done in the past?
We’ve done animation before but never with Claymation. The biggest difference is that you can actually hold the pieces in your hand, and touch the set and characters. They truly come to life as opposed to seeing a 3D animation that only exists on a computer.
What were the challenges of the animation process? And what did you do to keep the energy and creativity fresh?
It takes a long time to create good stop motion. Aardman strived for 2 seconds a day, and that’s on a good day. So the process is very long. Things don’t look right at first, so you must see past that initial stage. You have to trust that all those basic sketches will become something really special and look good. To keep the energy fresh we went to Aardman Studios a couple of times, watched their guys working things, saw their new films and up and coming projects and ate loads of BBQ food.
Be sure to check out exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the team in the ‘making of’ video below: