Tom Bunker and Pete Sharp have collaborated on a high octane, futuristic animation for Nike China, as part of its Children’s Day campaign to get kids back into sports. Founded on an apparently rising trend in China for parents to inhibit their children from playing sports in fear of them hurting themselves, Wieden + Kennedy Shanghai commissioned four animated shorts and four sets of illustrated plasters, to encourage young people to wear their bandages as a “badge of honour”.
Each animation and plaster pack represents a sport – football, basketball, skateboarding, and in this case, running. Pete designed the plasters for the running range, while the others were adorned by Stevie Gee, Wassim and Lili Des Bellons. Nike gave out these free packs of plasters on Children’s Day in China with every purchase of sportswear.
“The plasters tell kids it’s OK to play hard, get hurt and get back out there, which also acts as a message for over-protective parents too,” says Tom. W+K approached Pete with a script and concept for a film to go with his pack, who then asked Tom to collaborate on the animation, which sees Tina “the unbreakable tin girl” and her robot cheetah friend race to an ice cream parlour. It’s aptly action-packed, exploding with vibrant colour and fast-paced sequences.
“We definitely took a lot of influence from 90s kids TV shows and some anime too,” Tom says. Produced in just under five weeks from storyboard to artwork and animation, working with Blanca Martinez, Sean Weston, Frankie Swan and Ryan West, the process was apparently as adrenaline-fuelled as the result. “We had so much to fit in to such a short space of time, which is definitely evident with the finished spot, but I think it works.”
When asked to describe the final outcome, Tom says simply: “Absolutely mental.”