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Brother International
Matt Hunt
Geoff Brooks

Food Traceability Commercial

The brief was to create an online commercial for Brother International’s range of printers used in food traceability. The commercial at its core had to be easy for their pan-European audience to understand and appreciate the many scenarios these printers can be used in for business efficiency. With the commercial being rolled out across Europe it was critical that anyone could immediately understand their potential benefits and the scope of the range.

The key objectives were to create a commercial that was original and challenging. As printers themselves are not necessarily the most exciting product, we were aiming to create a commercial that quickly and clearly highlights to the audience, the different applications that the printers can be used in, all wrapped up in a fun and lively package.

Another objective was to create a live action animation commercial that felt like a hybrid animation due to the use of illustrations and live action combined.

If you enjoyed this style of commercial please check out our Healthcare commercial which was the next commercial in the series due to the concept’s success.


As part of pre-production and to get sign off to create the commercial another significant objective was to create a pre-visualisation of the advert along with a meticulous production bible to guarantee the commercial came together perfectly.

With the target audience being pan-European food retail businesses it was important that the concept was easy for anyone of any nationality to understand. Our strategy was to ensure all illustrations were universal so that the locations were obvious at first glance. Part of the strategy was to avoid using any VFX/animation (apart from the end-board) so that everything the audience see on screen is real, this was partly due to us wanting incredible production values and because our client wanted the commercial to have a human feel. When creating the illustrated facades and blocking out how and when they interacted with the camera we ensured that each movement had the sense that a human was controlling it to add to the charm.

Another part of the strategy was that the different backgrounds, mid-grounds and foregrounds had to be continuously moving. This was for two reasons. Firstly, so that the target audience felt the advert represented the busy, ever changing continuous nature of the world of food retail that they work in every day and that the Brother printers were the perfect ever-present product to make working life easier and more efficient. Secondly for stylistic purposes. This style is far from the norm in content creation because it is highly complex and very easy to get wrong so our strategy was to go down this route to stand out and grab attention.

There were a multitude of challenges due to the difficult style we were trying to achieve as this style of commercial is all about creativity and technically challenging situations. Shooting the main scenes in one continuous take involves a huge amount of preparation and blocking. The choreography needed to be at the same level as a high-end theatre performance. The large crew along with each actor, facade, prop and background had to move in absolute unison for the concept to work. We overcame this by producing an incredibly detailed document (production bible) that highlighted every single movement to a specific time so that all talent, crew and stage-hand acted as one. The slightest miss-cue meant starting from scratch. Our director painstakingly planned each detail in advance to give the best chance on the shoot day, by mathematically calculating the distances against the camera lens between the talent and the moving backgrounds, mid-grounds and foregrounds. Lighting was also a challenge as it needed to be continuous and accurate as we couldn’t afford any re-takes due to lighting issues. Our Director Geoff and DOP created a system to ensure each scene felt different and flowed in the right manner.

Wonderful feedback

Our client have commissioned another advert in the same style for printers used in the Healthcare sector from the back of a test screening held at their European HQ and local head offices across Europe due to their pleasure with the style and the response received from their highly critical internal teams. We were warned once we received the original brief that the team who commissioned our concept were taking a risk as video was a new route for them so now that they have ordered more of the same due to their satisfaction of the impact it will have we feel we have truly succeeded with the brief, concept and all objectives.

The objective regarding the commercial being easy to understand was met with the full satisfaction of our client. They confirmed that the commercial is easy for their pan-European target audience to understand. This was reinforced by the way in which each illustration asset was scrutinised by all their local offices.

Creating the pre-visualisation and production bible were invaluable and helped us achieve the quality of the finished commercial. Finally, as we originally set out to do, we successfully created a live action commercial that feels like a hybrid animation.

If you enjoyed this award nominated commercial then please do check out more of our Commercials.

Are you looking to use video production to advertise your business or brand? That’s great news! Use the contact form to let us know what you are looking for and a member of our team will be in touch. Or simply give us a call.

Video Production Manchester: 0161 962 5455