Our wishes were granted the moment we were asked to make this spot for Oreo Saudi Arabia. Seriously. We knew we had an amazing opportunity to reinvent the classic Middle Eastern folk tale for Oreo’s Wonderfilled universe. With the sorcerer-centric song as a guide, we developed an original cast of characters and layouts to support the story, set in motion with the campaign query: Wonder if I gave an Oreo… The real magic may lie in the development of our swirling transitions – an ancient Hue&Cry secret. From there our team of cel animators brought it all to life, one frame at a time. Using Arabic as a lead language was a first for the campaign, which initially launched in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE and Oman earning over 2 million views on YouTube and counting. Yep, it worked like magic….
The Oreo Wonderfilled design style is well established, but with so many recognizable characters from past renditions of the Aladdin tale in the world, we were determined to define characters of our own. Our design process proved to be a delicate balance of reinvention, adaptation, and the wild card: creating characters for another culture. For example, early rounds of the pivotal sorcerer character included a variety of beard options. We soon learned the subtle implications that grooming styles, length and shape can convey within Middle Eastern culture. The solution? A sorcerer with a mischievous moustache instead!
Cel animation is a notoriously tedious and time consuming artform, created one frame at a time. So any change requested after production begins can risk derailing the project altogether! So how do you limit client requests? With careful planning! It takes a comprehensive production plan and lots of communication. Below is a side-by-side comparison of the storyboard (board-o-matic), rough animation (work in progress), and the final animation – each representing a client sign-off point during production. It's amazing how close we were from the start...and that, my friends, is planning!