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Beware the TollTroll: How Funday Used Animation to Make Toll Crossings a Breeze


CCO Jared Folkmann & ACD Sabrina Christo tells LBB how a cuddly - if slightly grumpy - troll named Lou is making life easier for GoToll users

Beware the TollTroll: How Funday Used Animation to Make Toll Crossings a Breeze

Nobody likes tolls. The quintessential roadtrip blockades - the seemingly needless stoppages in an otherwise free-flowing journey - aren’t anybody’s idea of a good time. But, as a playful new campaign from Funday for GoToll illustrates, breezing through those pesky tolls has become easier than ever. Don’t take our word for it - just ask Lou. 

A simultaneously surly and cuddly troll with a proud unibrow, Lou has become the surprising new face of GoToll’s ads. Three spots, delightfully animated by Popok, demonstrate the ease with which travellers can bypass tolls - and the need to talk to Lou - if they simply download the GoToll app. 

The ads, and Lou himself, started life within the Canadian agency Funday. To find out more about how Lou came to life, and why the slightly moody mascot was the right choice to front the campaign, LBB sat down with Funday’s CCO Jared Folkmann & ACD Sabrina Christo…

LBB> Jared and Sabrina - to start at the beginning, how did this idea first originate? 

Jared> Tolls are the buzzkills of the open road. It’s a drag to get dinged, but such is life. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t make this part of our journey a little more pleasant for drivers. That’s where the ‘charm’ of Lou comes in. He embodies our general disdain for tolls but, deep down, he empathises with drivers and wants to make their toll experience feel like a breeze, hence his encouragement for everyone to download the GoToll app already!     

LBB> And can you tell us a little about how the concept of the TollTroll feeds into GoToll’s brand positioning? 

Sabrina> GoToll is the effortless way to drive, eliminating all the unpleasantries associated with tolls, ie - pre-loading accounts, trip tracking, collecting receipts for expense tracking, or transponders (who even uses those anymore?!). The concept aligns to the brand’s benefits and promise to deliver an eased before, during and after toll driving experience.     

LBB> Lou is a great character. What was the character design process that helped you land on the finished product? 

Jared> We wanted Lou to take the edge off tolls, and the negative stigma associated with them. And while we may still not be big fans of tolls, it’s hard for us not to fall in love with Lou. Sure he acts all grumpy but, on the inside, he’s a big softy. You get a hint of that right of the bat with his soft blue fur and highly boopable pink nose.

LBB> And might we see more of Lou in the future?

Jared> As riveting as it is being a toll booth operator, we’re pretty confident he’ll be able to slot some time in his calendar to make another appearance.  

LBB> Who did you work with for the voice acting, and what made them the right person for the job? 

Sabrina> We worked with Luis Bermudez. Our team sent over a few scripts and Luis spot-on delivered a demo that captured Lou’s big personality in a way that honoured his troll qualities while still being approachable, warm, and funny. He also brought his own sense of humour, which felt very natural to the character. Lou is Luis. Luis is Lou. Coincidence? We think not.     

LBB> How closely do the finished ads - and the finished design of the TollTroll himself - align with your vision at the outset of the project? 

Jared> When we first saw the initial character designs from the Funday team based on the original concept, we knew we had something big here that needed a rockstar team to bring to life. Popok did all the 3D renderings and final animations. They elevated Lou right down to every last detail, and made him even better than we could have imagined. They’re absolute pros and it shows.   

LBB> What was the biggest challenge you faced in putting together this campaign, and how did you overcome it? 

Jared> Coming in on budget. Of course it’s nothing out of the blue for agencies to navigate within budgets, but when it comes to animation… You simply can’t skimp out on it. If it looks cheap, it cheapens the brand. So there was some risk going this route, but it paid off tremendously by working with phenomenally talented people.    

LBB> If you had your time again, is there anything that you’d do differently? 

Sabrina> Lou is a one of a kind guy and we wouldn’t change him for anything. Not even his unibrow. Stew says, hi, by the way.  

LBB> Finally, Lou seems just a little bit surly in these ads. Before we see him again, is there anything we could do that might help him cheer up?! 

Jared> Download the GoToll app! Or at the very least remember to bring an extra coffee next time you drive through his toll. He takes it extra muddy with a side of - get the heck outta here! Xoxo, Lou. 


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Categories: Services, Travel

Funday, Wed, 18 Jan 2023 15:58:00 GMT