That Moment When...

We teamed up with Hornet to create a completely new campaign and direction for one of America’s biggest new and used car platforms, TrueCar.

We were tasked with highlighting the main functionalities of TrueCar whilst bringing warmth and humanity through the eyes of one of our four leading characters, Ella, Chet, Jesse and the Edgar’s. Each story paints a compact but illuminating portrait of their individual lives and shows how the tailored experience of TrueCar fits each of them, seamlessly.

Identifying themselves as ‘animation geeks’ since their very first email, TrueCar gave us the creative freedom to work closely with their new branding, designed by Pentagram, to create characters and their lifestyles and to imagine the ‘TrueCar World’, an environment to facilitate their car buying experience.

We had a lot of fun thinking of backstories for our characters, and together with the casting decisions for the live-action, coming up with true, relatable characters: from the house they live in, to the bag they are wearing and the sort of break they would take.

Visually, we took TrueCar’s established illustration style and elevated it to create something warmer and more personable for our animated scenarios. Characters needed to be friendly and approachable and we leaned into the graphic circles of the TrueCar brand, using this simple, elegant shape to reflect some of our design decisions for the environments.

Story-wise, we decided to keep our characters central and have the environments change around them, to cater for the amount of information that we had to fit in for each of their stories.

Technique-wise, we embraced our favourite mash-up of 2D and 3D, keeping our characters cel-animated, the backgrounds 2D whilst the visualisation of the TrueCar platform world is a fully immersive 3D experience.

Our biggest challenge was blending live-action into this world, which we achieved by shooting the characters on a white back drop which was then replaced by a simplified version of our 2D backgrounds. Using graphic, animated shadows and props helped them sit in this animated scene and feel part of the aesthetic.

As with every project, we pulled together a large team of incredibly talented designers, animators, compositors and sound artists who helped us make these 12 films.

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