Creative in association withGear Seven

Kong Studio Animates Real-Life Family for Smart Meter Campaign

London, UK
Creative agency Gravity Road devise Smart Energy GB’s smart meter campaign in collaboration with Carers UK

With the cost of gas and electricity rising, taking stock of our energy use at home using a smart meter can help us keep a tab on our bills. Smart Energy GB is the not-for-profit, government-backed campaign helping everyone in Britain understand the importance of smart meters and their benefits to people and the environment. Their national campaign is reaching homes and small businesses across the UK. While Smart Energy GB’s role is to spread the message to everyone, they have a particular duty to make sure low-income, vulnerable and prepay customers are aware of and can benefit from smart meters. 

Creative agency Gravity Road were tasked with putting together Smart Energy GB’s most recent smart meter campaign in collaboration with Carers UK. Gravity Road Creative, Tom Reynolds, came up with the concept of showing real-life people to illustrate the benefits to those caring for family members and friends. The aim was to be authentic and relatable. Kong Studio were brought on board to design, animate and bring the 2D vision of an actual carer to life.

In this instance real-life unpaid carer Elsa shares with us how installing a smart meter has freed up more time for her and her father to do the things they enjoy together. Elsa’s voice-over lends an authentic and intimate glimpse of life with her father.

To create a 2D animated Elsa, Tom Baker, Kong co-founder and animator, met her over Zoom. Using photo references of Elsa and her Dad, Tom was able to design and animate their 2D counterparts. Using Smart Energy GB’s brand colours as the basis for the interior colours with the added incidental items that come with modern life, including the all-important smart meter, the space comes across as cosy and lived in. The result is a bright and colourful house interior showing a genuine and relatable family in their own home.

Kong co-founder Tom Baker said, “Tom at Gravity Road wanted to make sure the animation included the little details from a person’s life to add depth and make the carer feel authentic, which of course being a real person she was. But animating a real person is tricky. It’s great to have references of course, (and given how much we live our lives on social media there was plenty), but it’s also challenging to get a likeness without creating a caricature. With Elsa she has a great smile, amazing hair and also being a naturally energetic person, it really helped bring her animated version to life. I hope she’s happy with it!”

Penny Mills, head of digital at Smart Energy GB said: “At Smart Energy GB we are passionate about sharing the smart meter message with all households and small businesses across the UK. It is especially important that the message reaches vulnerable people and those who care for them. When we teamed up with Carers UK we knew we wanted a campaign that was genuine, but also friendly and accessible. We loved Gravity Road’s concept of featuring a real-life unpaid carer, and Kong Studio made this a reality. Tom Baker’s ability to illustrate and capture Elsa and her father as an animation brings warmth and charm. We are extremely pleased with the final animation.”

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