Last week we went to the Inside Bloomsbury: Publishing for Animators and Video Editors event and we had a great time! We even got to view the video created for the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone!
On the panel was Head of Digital Marketing Trâm-Anh Doan, Anthony and Jason from Robot Ninja and chaired by Senior Marketing Manager Rachel Wilkie.
The panel discussed the campaign for the 20th anniversary, why they chose Robot Ninja to be the animators, how they worked together and why it was so successful.
Trâm-Anh told the audience that the aim of the campaign was to bring back the feeling of nostalgia and make people feel emotional again. The team decided that the best way to do this was through animation by bringing back the focus to the words and the books. They used social media for fans to send their favourite Harry Potter quotes that are used in the video.
Why Robot Ninja?
When deciding who to hire as the animators, Robot Ninja shone! Robot Ninja opened their pitch with puns and GIFs to show that they are fans and want to be a part of the franchise. They added more creativity to the brief with 20 memorable moments that people could share as GIFs.
What were the next steps?
Storyboards and google sheets were created and fans were asked for their favourite moments. Trâm-Anh is used to seeing designs in a finished format, when being shown unfinished proposals and storyboards with lines and sketches the panel laughed at her `what is that?’ responses.
Robot Ninja worked with existing illustrations by Jim Kay. Working with existing artwork did take some time and Photoshop was often used. They wanted to bring out words individually and move away from faces, how else to represent Dumbledore? His cloak!
When creating the sound Anthony and Jason thought back to the times they sat in the office making funny noises into the microphone. They did not like Trâm-Anh’s choice of music; instead, they went with a slower track to allow for the up and down emotions in the video to breathe.
How to make everyone watch it?
Franchise partners shared the video; they were set up to post when it was released. Facebook featured the video on their creative hub. The video was posted at 8am in the morning, for people to be able to watch on their commute. By 10am, the video had 1 million views, which then reached 11 million!
Loop able GIFs were released throughout the year to keep engagement levels up. The aim was to make each moment interesting on its own and be able to loop it repeatedly.
It is important to remember that a video could have one life, but this life can be extended!
Beyond Harry Potter
Animation is an amazing way to highlight a great cover. It is a great moment for the author to be able to share something that is not just static and not just text focused.
A cover reveal that is not just static makes a statement on social media, especially because video performs so well on social media.
Something as simple as animating text can perform really well.
Bloomsbury Modern Classics, a list of 10 books, the covers of each designed by a different artist have been animated to bring new life to iconic covers.