Over the last year, we've been thrilled to partner with Propeller, a platform that rewards users for doing good. We designed the brand identity and website, and built the platform from the ground up. When it came time to launch the site, we were really excited to spend some free time creating a video that explains what Propeller is all about. It was important to us that we create a video that communicates everything Propeller has to offer, while continuing to represent our thoughtful, playful nature as a design studio.
Writing the script was a much bigger challenge than we'd imagined. We discarded a multitude of drafts before landing on a script that was approachable, fun, and—most importantly—made sense. We wanted to create a loose series of characters that would help guide the viewer through our story. First came the "You" character; a girl who faces the viewer. She represents the average Propeller user. Next, we created the "Influencer" character, representing figures that people want to feel closer to through social media. A seemingly unattainable figure, the Influencer never faces the viewer, is always surrounded by a halo and throngs of fans, and is clad in a white suit that evokes Elvis Presley. Look out for his hand signing the piece of merchandise towards the end of the video! Finally, we have the "Friends," representing other users with similar interests as the viewer.
Once the characters had been created, we broke the story into 2 halves. The first half addresses the need for Propeller, and the second half explains the ways in which Propeller is the solution to the problems brought up at the start of the video.
We'd already created a robust brand toolbox to pull from when designing the video. Propeller's branding features a vibrant and approachable color palette, typographic and icon style. From there, our lead designer, Roxanne, used her personal illustration style to create the characters and bring the video to life. We had fun using the Propeller logo in subversive ways: as a representation of the cosmos at the start of the video, more obviously on a device to show that it's a digital platform, and at the center of the Earth at the video's end, symbolizing the idea that Propeller will take you where you want to go.
We found animator Joe Donaldson via an animation he did for the Lingo app. We felt the look and feel of the video aligned with the kinds of work we do. We reached out to him, and so began a great collaboration! Joe brings so much talent and experience to the table—we learned a lot from his process. We also had help with sound effects from at Wesley Slover.