by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki) “Make. Change.” is the mantra for Design Indaba Festival 2015, which has been taking Cape Town by storm since 20 February until 1 March 2015. This year, The Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town has conceptualised the creative for the event with a campaign showcasing the use of paper that harnesses the brand’s core theme, #MAKECHANGE.

Twenty years on, the internationally well-respected Design Indaba has broadened its offering and is now a through-the-year, multidisciplinary celebration of creativity.

Design Indaba 2015 #MAKECHANGE TVC screengrab - #makechangeThe brightest talent

The annual festival includes the Design Indaba Expo, FilmFest, Music Circuit, multiple simulcast versions of the conference (which has attracted and showcased the brightest talent since its inception in 1995) in cities around South Africa, and other events. The website attracts over half a million visitors each year, and there is also a Design Indaba Do Tank which tackles projects that showcase collaboration and creativity. This platform also hosts community initiatives, training workshops and manages design projects, many of which are funded by Design Indaba Trust, the non-profit arm of this operation.

#MAKECHANGE is a clever campaign which speaks to Design Indaba’s core message for 2015 — that it’s up to everyone to take matters into their own hands and influence change for the better. It’s all about creating a better future using thinking, creativity and, of course, design.

Paper has been used as a thematic material in the print, TV ads and more, with elements all having the appearance of having been handmade. So much can be done to or with paper and paper-based materials, and this versatility reflects the creative human spirit. Paper can also be sustainable, recyclable and lightweight, so easier on the environment.

The Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town TVC for Design Indaba: “Make. Change.”

Taking an in-depth look at the TV commercial, Jupiter Cape Town has created a stop-frame animation ad in which the central character is a geeky (but trendy) young man (made of paper), who talks the viewer through the central concept of the event — effectively its manifesto. Throughout the ad, clever folding, tearing and wrapping animations are used to transition from one scene to the next.

“You’re not crazy for thinking you can change your world,” begins the paper man, sitting on a park bench. “There’s a lot to change.” As he says this, the page (which is his world) folds, and he pops up out of a hole in front of a factory.

Real interacts with paper

In combination with this stop-frame protagonist, lifelike hands interact with the paper environment. For example, a hand comes in to pull our hero out of the way as a cardboard factory rolls up and is replaced with a vegetable garden. As this happens, the voiceover continues: “Wrongs to rights, ‘brokens’ to fixed… Hey, even some ‘goods’ that can be made better.” We watch as the hand fixes a swing, then grabs some sunshine and puts it in a jar above a desk.

Design Indaba 2015 #MAKECHANGE TVC screengrab - makeBut it’s up to us, as the voice-over says: “A flash of inspiration could come from any one of us, igniting the urge to bend, build, mould, shape… to make.” Here the lifelike hands are bending and folding coloured paper in different ways to make the shape of the word “MAKE”. “Little by little,” the little paper man reassures us, “in time, things will be different. And, before we know it, we’ll have made a better place for all of us.”

The climax of the sequence portrays a happy polar bear and a happy penguin on an ice floe before it transitions back to the paper man on his bench. “You’re not crazy for thinking you can change your world. You’re crazy if you don’t try,” he says, before pulling a string that brings down the #MAKECHANGE hashtag, followed by the web address.

Meticulous attention to detail

If you look closely, the creators have paid meticulous attention to detail, and each frame, with its folds, crumples and torn edges, is a veritable work of paper art. The music, a peppy bit of jazz guitar, drives the animation. The colours used for all the items are bright — vibrantly so — and there is an overall sense of optimism; the ad convincingly conveys that actively participating in change brings hope.

Design Indaba 2015 #MAKECHANGE TVC screengrab - brightly lit roomThe copy manages to give a strong message without being patronising, yet is clear enough for a child to follow. The bright colours, funky music and fast-moving animation all serve to draw the viewer in, and should appeal to all but the most jaded of viewers.

As an ad, it’s deceptively simple, and the message serves to reinforce Design Indaba as an environmentally conscious, environmentally activist, brand. It’s an inspiring ad that should speak to the creative in all of us, and give us hope for a brighter, greener, more hands-on future.

Animation director: Ruan Vermeulen (LMMC)
Animation and post production: Wicked Pixels

Jupiter team:
Executive creative director — design: Joanne Thomas
Creative director: Carla Kreuser
Copywriter: Kate Royce
Art director: Robert Prinsloo
Project managers: Alison Pegg and Vuyokazi Jonas
Retouching and DTP: Gareth Skibbe, Haydn Fairman and Ernestine Daniels:
Design intern: Sarah Gregg-MacDonald

See also:


Oresti PatriciosAd of the Week, published on MarkLives every Wednesday, is penned by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki), the CEO of Ornico, a Brand Intelligence® firm that focuses on media, reputation and brand research.

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