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Unlikely Pair of Puppet Heroes Highlight Our Insatiable Desire for the New


The campaign from Nexus Studios and Johnny Kelly inspires conscious consumption for Back Market

Unlikely Pair of Puppet Heroes Highlight Our Insatiable Desire for the New

Today, Back Market, a leading global marketplace that offers accessible pricing on quality devices as a more sustainable alternative to buying new, launched its Tech Reborn campaign and enlisted double Cannes Grand Prix winner, Johnny Kelly, to create the centrepiece film, 'The Monster'. The delightful puppetry film shows an endearing relationship between a young girl and a monster, the film highlights the impact of our insatiable desire for the new, offering an alternative, regenerative approach.

To create 'The Monster', Johnny Kelly turned to puppetry with a sprinkling of stop-motion and 2D compositing. The production featured over 20 hand-crafted puppets, three of which were different versions of the monster himself, the young girl, four city slickers, four miners, four zoned out tech fans, not to mention the crying clouds. Johnny relied on the humour and charm of the script along with the expertise of the puppeteers to inhabit the characters and bring personality to their performances. This was particularly vital for the larger than life Monster, who is simultaneously emotive and comedic with his jelly-like legs and chaotic energy. Created with discarded charging cables he is the embodiment of the disconnect we as a society currently face, and the opportunity for change. 

Johnny's animation team at Nexus Studios drew from their extensive toolbox to create a world that seamlessly blends the traditional and digital. They used photogrammetry to capture the sets, puppets, and props to help with pre-visualisation and developed a more dynamic turnaround for compositing, enabling the animation team to quickly visualise in a 3D space how the 2D animation will track on to the real life puppet’s face. For the magical scene where the phone is made new again, the team used stop-motion along with clever choreographed lighting to craft a stylised representation of the Back Market phone regeneration process.

Master model maker Andy Gent and his talented team were behind the creation of the monster and his fellow puppets. Set fabrication from Asylum and Arch Model Studio.

'The Monster' is launching regionally in New York in time for the US holidays and will be placed in premium video placements and premium social, with notable broadcast moments including the Thanksgiving Day Parade and Christmas in Rockefeller Centre.

“Somehow, I get to play with puppets for a living, and this particular puppet was especially fun to play with. Assembled from the kind of cables you find in every drawer, in every home around the globe - monster is a sort of big-tech 'Mr. Messy'. Behind the juggling phones and belching phablets however, is a slightly less silly message about our obsession with the new, and the havoc our over-consumption is wreaking on the world.” said Johnny Kelly, director at Nexus Studios.

“The story of The Monster asks us to reflect on our own buying habits and challenges the belief that you have to sacrifice something when buying products that have a lower impact on your wallet and the environment. Back Market believes we should do more with what we already have, an idea shared through the tale of a monster who sees that ‘new’ isn't always better,” said Woody Wright, head of US marketing, Back Market. “We feel privileged to have worked alongside visionaries like Nexus, Johnny Kelly, Andy Gent, and their talented teams. Johnny’s clear and delightful vision of ‘The Monster’ helped elevate the script and overall message, and we couldn’t be more proud with how the campaign was brought to life.”

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Nexus Studios, Mon, 21 Nov 2022 16:30:34 GMT