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Pizza Express

Case Study

Pizza Express was interested in creating a fun in-store experience for children to keep them entertained. This project we worked closely with another agency (Echomany) to collaborate and create a successful campaign. 


The idea was to run an instore competition, where kids would be able to write a short story to get entered into the competition. There would be 3 winners each week, with first places prize including a bespoke custom animation based on their short story.

Creative Director

Daniel Shirley


Scope of work​




Character design

Sound design


We needed to create a new animation on a weekly basis. The animation had to not only capture the child like nature of the story but it also needed to keep the quality known for a brand such as Pizza Express.


An 8 week campaign, producing a new video for each winner. Each video was around one minute long and consisted of unique characters and back grounds.

The Approach

The strategy for this project was very important, the turn around was very fast and we were working in collaboration with a marketing agency. This meant communication was key, all members of the team had to be in sync so the project could run smoothly.


We split the project into the three main sections. Firstly, pre-production. The competition winners stories arrived at the beginning of the week, that is when the clocks started. We had to create the storyboards which captured the childlike essence, the stories often included a lot of fantasy and unrealistic elements so it was important to keep an open imagination.

The Design

Pizza Express already had a set design for their doughballs, so we had to use that as a reference when creating our different adaptations for each story. In order to keep within the time scale but also to capture the childlike nature, we opted for simple vector illustrations. These had minimal block colours that not only emphasise the doughball characters but kept the innocent style.

Along with the dough balls, the backgrounds and secondary characters were needed. We kept them in the simple illustrative style. Each story was unique and we had to push creativity to try and visualise the imaginative situations. For instance, A magical unicorn named matilda or a time machine that nearly got them crushed by a woolly mammoth or lettuce butterflies and tomato people.



We decided to use a motion graphic approach when animating the films. This allowed us to keep the movements simple yet enough freedom to add a variety of effects. We used 2.5D animation to add some extra quality in the work, this allowed us to use the 3d space to add depth to the animation.  The sound design was a collection of recorded sound and sounds, these were carefully picked and placed to help the story move along.

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