Today Ask Listen Learn has reached 22 million students, informing kids about the effects of alcohol. Responsibility.org approached us with an idea for an animated cartoon series that would inform pre-teens about the risks of underage alcohol use. The strategy was to clearly convey the scientific facts, showing students exactly how alcohol could affect them, and helping them to reach their own conclusions – rather than just telling them not to drink. Also, we planned to use relatable characters and humor to keep kids engaged and open to the message.
During our initial meeting with Responsibility.org, we discussed our goals, target audience and content logistics. The series would feature 8 episodes: an overview, and 7 sub-chapters dedicated to specific parts of the brain, covering how the brain works, how alcohol affects the brain, and how that, in turn, affects behavior and health.
To drive immediate identification with our audience, we decided that the series would feature and be narrated by two middle-school aged kids. We also decided to use an abstract non-human character to represent both alcohol, and a person affected by alcohol. This allowed us to illustrate the effects of alcohol in a clear, engaging way, without suggesting judgement or fear around adult drinkers (who might resemble someone the viewers would know), or showing our kid heroes engaging in questionable behavior.
We explored a number of different approaches for the heroes before we found the right balance of fun and friendly. The alcohol character had an even broader range of early possibilities. Once we had solid concepts for all the main characters, we fine-tuned and fully realized the designs. Simultaneously, we developed the basic style guide for the series – establishing a color palette, font choice, and design conventions for the other foreground and background elements.
Following an extensive audition process, we found the perfect voice talent for our characters and recorded the voiceover tracks. We then assembled moving storyboards, to preview the basic timing for each piece, and moved into animation – dividing the scenes between our animators, who used their individual strengths to add personality and life to every scene.
Following a final assembly with music and sound effects, we delivered the finished videos as seen below. We were very happy with the final product, as was our client:
“Thanks so much for all your hard work – everyone loves the videos. We really enjoyed
working with you guys and have been so impressed with the product."
We had a great time working on this project. We look forward to hearing about the positive impact it is making in the lives of employees at kids across America. Hip Hip hooray. To learn more about this project and others call us at (929) 397-2893