Brand Strategy and Animation
RePhoKUs (a Consortium of Universities)
Soil depletion and phosphorus pollution are propelling the global population towards a crisis arguably as significant as climate change, but the issue is not nearly as recognised. We were brought in to support the RePhoKUs team to highlight the problem to stakeholders within the UK food system so that real change can be made.
The RePhoKUs team consists of researchers from Lancaster University, the University of Technology Sydney, the University of Leeds, the Agri-food and Biosciences Institute and the UK Centre of Ecology and Hydrology. As all of the researchers have different backgrounds and different priorities within the research, a challenge they were facing was to bring all of the information together and communicate it clearly, cohesively and consistently.
Through the magic of Zoom, we delivered a course of intercontinental brand strategy sessions, to share ideas, get everyone on the same page, really understand the purpose of the project and make a plan for its growth. From the sessions, we had all the ammunition to create an animation that fulfilled the team’s objectives.
First we established our animation’s tone of voice (a balance of empathy and authority) and created a script that included all of the facts, without being your bog standard explainer video. With a diverse target audience made up of farmers, retailers, scientists, government policy makers – among others – we had to be delicate with the content to make sure we didn’t alienate – or worse, ruffle the feathers of – any one group.
One of the main requests from the client was to avoid the doom-and-gloom, fear-mongering approach to the ‘we’re heading towards a crisis’ narrative. So to balance the weightiness of the message, we used a light-hearted, Monty-Python collage style, some great voiceover casting and a quirky piece of bespokely arranged music. The finished product is unique and full of character.
The animation is already gaining traction and the RePhoKUs team is confident that it’s a big step forward in refocusing the use of phosphorus in the UK, with the ultimate goal of sustainability and improved ecosystems.