Aardman does ‘Creature Discomforts: Life in Lockdown’ for Engine and the Born Free Foundation

Now that we’ve all experienced a form of semi-captivity, the Born Free Foundation is hoping we’ll have more sympathy for the wild animals that are locked down in zoos, aquariums, and circuses.

This ad is classic Aardman Animations, but with a twist imposed by Engine Creative. It takes the much-loved Creature Comforts franchise, and uses real interviews of peoples’ experiences in lockdown to tell the stories of wild animals forced into permanent captivity.

The interviews were recorded during the peak of lockdown, and participants weren’t told of the true purpose until after they were finished. Characters were then designed to match the voices, and the backgrounds designed to reflect the harsh conditions in which captive wild animals are forced to live.

Director Peter Peake at Aardman said: “Although lockdown presented us with challenges in production terms it inspired some really poignant and touching insights from our interviewees. I was also bowled over by how my small but perfectly formed crew came together so cohesively despite working remotely. We’ll all remember lockdown for a long time to come and it was great to have a project like this to get me through it.”

Engine made another animated ad for Born Free last year, called “The Bitter Bond.”

MAA creative scale: 8.5

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.