Award-winning design and digital production company Thornberg & Forester (T&F) has developed a new film entitled "Word of Feet" for Dansko Footwear, a leading maker of comfort footwear. Dansko is a 100% employee-owned company based in West Grove, Pennsylvania.
The film, produced from a concept developed by Toth + Company, a Boston-based integrated branding agency, uses a clever storytelling approach to tell the Dansko brand story. Conveyed in the form of an animated fairytale, the nearly 2-minute long film is told from the perspective of a series of feet in search of comfortable footwear. "Once upon a time, there were feet," it begins. In this tale, hardworking feet everywhere suffer from discomfort until the "word of foot" spreads about the unbelievably comfortable Dansko shoes. The story explains how the iconic footwear first came to America from Europe, and as word spread, Dansko became the favorite shoe of people everywhere.
"'Word of Feet' is something we are all very proud of, for many reasons," began T&F co-founder, principal and creative director Justin Meredith. "First, it represents the directorial debut of our longtime art director/designer Kyle Hurley, and it's also the first T&F project completed entirely in Hollywood, where Kyle has been working for us since last year. Toth and Dansko came to us after seeing our award-winning brand film for our own company, and our work for the GEL Conference, so we shared a common vision and passion for this project right from the beginning. Dansko and Toth are dream clients for everyone here, and we're grateful to have had the chance to partner with them to tell Dansko's story in such a fun and colorful style."
Karen Hite, Toth's associate creative director, noted that, "The Dansko brand has grown in large part because of word-of-mouth referrals from one happy customer to the next. This inspired us to tell their brand story in a fun, endearing way. We were thrilled to partner with Thornberg & Forester who brought the story to life. A film featuring feet has the potential to be off-putting, but the style their team created has a very charming appeal."
According to Hurley, from the moment he saw the script, he was hooked. "Toth's script naturally lent itself to a fluid and quick, train-of-thought style revealing of images. The quirky concept, along with the tongue-in-cheek narration was a perfect combination to make the film both charming and engaging."
Hurley created the illustrations along with Ken Krueger, making them quirky and simple to reflect the narrator's train-of-thought. In Meredith's words, Hurley "ran the show and did an incredible job," adding, "I think through Dansko you see Kyle's sense of humor come through."
For creating the animation and finishing the project, T&F used Adobe Creative Suite and After Effects.
In the music and sound department, T&F's Hurley called-in a secret weapon: His brother, the renowned composer, musician and audio engineer Dean Hurley. Surprisingly, it's the first time the brothers have teamed-up professionally. "We bounce ideas off each other even when we aren't collaborating, so this just seemed natural," Kyle explained. "His music really finishes the piece and polishes it up."