Magnus Group, established in 1973, is a family-run haulage, warehouse and freight forwarding company based in Suffolk. The MD and owner, Olly Magnus, took over the company from his late father. Since then, he and his team have set about modernising the company, and one arm of their strategy was to create an animation that would convey their core values internally to the team and externally to current and potential partners.
Working direct with the client, Mummu were able to provide full marketing positioning and strategic advice, as well as the 2D & 3D animation that Mummu is most known for.
From discussion with the client, Mummu saw the potential to create an animated corporate film miles ahead of the competition, inspired by what was important to Magnus – team and family… and the local football club Ipswich Town, which Olly and his late dad have been life long fans of. (It just so happens The Magnus Group are now headline sponsors of Ipswich Town, too – that is how deep the love goes!)
With the trust between the two parties established at the start of the project, Magnus were eager and happy to be led through the animation journey allowing the creative freedom and storytelling without boundaries that runs through the ethos of Mummu.
Mummu were excited by the challenges this raised and brought together the best team for the job, from scriptwriting & voice casting to the most suitable illustrators and animators – Mummu’s vast and varied network allowed us to dip into our up-and-coming talent pool as well as our tried and tested team.
The script writing and voice casting for Magnus the talking lorry, was to be suitable for the target audience, ideal clients and the internal team, all while avoiding being childish or patronising; instead, it needed to remain approachable and friendly.
Positioning the main character as a talking lorry had its own challenges, traditionally talking vehicles might conjure images synonymous with children’s TV and their characters – think Thomas the Tank Engine – but Mummu were confident they could reimagine this stereotype to make Magnus the key mascot and leader, narrating and guiding an adult audience through life in the logistic and haulage industry.
Through storyboarding and development, Mummu created a narrative which enabled Magnus to lead and educate the audience on how crucial the haulage industry is in making sure goods are available for consumers to buy when they need them and how Magnus are there, with the knowledge required, to make these things happen every step of the way.
After several rounds of feedback on drawn character designs, Magnus the lorry was modelled & animated in 3D – with the 2D character style in mind; the model itself used flat shaders, so Magnus fitted in seamlessly next to the team.
To align with Magnus being friendly and approachable, Mummu chose to keep his facial features simple so the viewer could concentrate on the message conveyed.
The human characters were designed with traditional frame-by-frame animation in mind. Mummu created scenes and animated the six characters within the Magnus workplace, which enabled them to go from their everyday realistic roles to abstract moments conveying them as ‘everyday heroes’ helping deliver the goods consumers expect to find.
Finally, Mummu delivered a 2-minute animation, combining 2D & 3D methods, driven by full character narrative delivering a brand awareness film unlike anything seen before within the haulage & freight sector; reflecting the company culture, values and client interface, with strong messaging and unquestionable positioning – thanks to the additional marketing insight Mummu provided.
We are continuing to work with Magnus Group, using the characters created across print and further social and online content. We can’t wait to see the characters on a billboard at local Ipswich Town FC and even a soft toy range!!
Marketing Strategic positioning – Creative Direction – Script writing – Script casting – Design – Storyboarding – Illustration – 2D frame-by-frame animation – 3D Pre-production (lighting, rigging, textures) – 3D animation and compositing – Production
2 minute Master animation – 6 x characters cut-downs
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