The upside of automation
IBM - Glow
The Eureka moment
In the fall of 2018, IBM approached us with a monumental task: “So... how do we get people to see automation as a good thing?”. When it came down to it, the real issue was that humans are afraid of robots taking their jobs. Our creative team hit the nail on the head— “yeah but, their job tasks are already turning them into robots.” Boom. We had our idea.
Now we’re cookin’
We started comparing notes about each of our experiences starting a new job. The narrative was so relatable, the thing basically wrote itself. Except it didn’t actually, because we hired Kate Cortesi to do it.
Together, we all agreed that people start new jobs with a certain optimistic “glow” about them, flooded with new ideas of how to contribute to the company. But overtime, as day to day tasks mount, that glow tends to flicker, and extinguish. We knew there was a story here.
Combat the mundane
After a round of audience research, everything we learned pointed us to a gem of an insight— employee burnout is a real thing. We leaned deep into the empathy of that experience, and knew whatever we made had to be especially inspiring, to combat all things mundane.
Using employees for the low-value, everyday tasks wastes their talents. It’s like you bought a Ferrari, but you’re only driving it at 20 mph.
We imagined “Jane”
A new employee whose creative light had started to dim under the weight of mundane, day-to-day tasks. At some point in the storyboarding, Max was like “Wait— what if we tell the whole story without dialogue?”
More feeling, less thinking
We pushed on with a non-verbal script, that we decided to breathe a little life into with cel animation, aka “the long way” aka “old-school disney”. The technique is really a dying art— which felt right to breathe new life into employees that longed to feel more creative. Cue animation house, Bien.
Cel animation just has this quality that you can’t fake. It has a way of drawing you in, making you feel something.
There were some long nights. There were some fun nights too. There was also...
2 Creative Directors
2 Creative Developers
9 months of work
40 hour-ish of creative calls
A metric ton of Post-its
And approximately 7 pizza deliveries
What we ended up with was emotional, evocative, highly risky, and unlike anything I’ve seen at IBM.
Best. Project. Ever.
No but really— “GLOW” turned out to be one of our favorite projects of all time. It’s not often we meet a client that grants us this amount of creative trust— and it massively paid off for everyone involved.
We even got a shout out from School of Motion, but most importantly, we strengthened an on-going relationship with IBM that resulted in four more similar projects. To us, that is true success.
Agency Creative Director
Agency Executive Producer
Motion Design Studio
Motion Executive Creative Director
Motion Executive Producer
Motion Creative Directior
Custom Music Score + Sound Design