A motley crew of animated characters gives away free beer in W+K’s Camden Town Brewery ad
“Curse this delicious lager!” Illustrators Guy Field, Sophie Koko Gate, Bridget Meyne and José Fatkinson tell us more about their creations for the campaign, parodying a team meeting at the brewery.
- 19 August 2020
- Jenny Brewer
Wieden+Kennedy’s latest campaign for Camden Town Brewery sees an eclectic bunch of animated characters parodying a team meeting at the brewery, and discussing how they might add a little cheer to a rubbish year (by giving away free beer). Said characters have been created by a stellar group of illustrators from Blink: Guy Field, Sophie Koko Gate, Bridget Meyne and José Fatkinson, who came together to add their individual styles to the mix.
Camden has a history of working with illustrators for seasonal packaging, promotional work and live events, so when the concept set out to depict their in-house team, it made sense that they be illustrated. “We loved the idea of bringing our team to life in a slightly fantastical drawn world, so animation and illustration were always the intended medium,” explains the brewery’s head of brand marketing Zoe Wulfsohn-Dunkley. Aside from complementing its branding, it suited the timing of the campaign too. “We were lucky it perfectly suits the recent restrictions in terms of shooting live action. [Illustration and animation] work great for creating a campaign remotely.”
For the illustration style, Wulfsohn-Dunkley says the team looked for artists with “strong, recognisable, individual styles,” and strong character work, to bring all the different personalities in the script to life. “It was really important to us that the characters in the ad looked stylistically distinct from each other, so we embraced differences in line work, shading and gradients vs block colour.”
Guy Field was enlisted to design a few of the employees and the backgrounds of the ad, as well as scenery and close-ups. So he was asked to make the characters look disparate “like they were illustrated by different artists”. Field says this was a fun challenge as he was given license to use some “radically” different styles of drawings to how he’s usually asked to work with cartoons. His characters include Half Pint, Cam, Reg and Locke. “For my characters I wanted to contribute something really wacky and varied. James [Papper, the director from Blink] wrote me these great lil descriptions of what each person was like personality-wise, so I tried to imagine how they might look based on that. [He] really gave me free rein and encouraged me to make it weird. The whole creative vision behind the ad was very surreal and funny, so it’s super fun and comes easy to draw cartoons from that.”
The director invited Sophie Koko Gate to design “a sassy leader of the pack” for the film. “I wanted to try and personify the description James was giving me,” she explains. “We tried many different versions of the character before settling on a more stylised, simple design with attributes that could wave bend and bounce in the animation, adding extra personality.” The illustrator says she was “subconsciously” inspired by Thierry Noir murals around Peckham, and stolen ideas from her little sister’s sketchbook “who draws the funniest looking characters (always on side view)”.
Meanwhile, Bridget Meyne was tasked with creating a “lady giant, or BFG” referencing the “realistic fashionistas” from her previous work – “so I knew I would be drawing some exciting outfits,” the illustrator explains. “I wanted to make a character that was fun, but still believable – someone you might see at a bar and want to go for a drink with. She’s chunky and tough and a bit rough round the edges, but still glam. In terms of design I wanted to draw in a tight clear style, and have a halftone fill as if she’d come out a comic.” For the aforementioned apparel, Meyne was inspired by “pub wear from south London and wild Instagram outfits,” as well as “fantasy fashion… things I would like to wear”.
Last but not least, José Fatkinson illustrated a couple of the characters, which he simply describes as “wacky, cool and weird… I tried to bake a personality into the characters, so that maybe if you saw them walking in the street you might want to have a conversation with them over a beer or two.”
Give ‘Em Hells is out now, and you can scan the QR code shown in the film for a chance to win packs of lager delivered to your home.
GalleryWieden+Kennedy: Give 'Em Hells for Camden Town Brewery; directed by James Papper/Blink; illustrations by Guy Field, Sophie Koko Gate, Bridget Meyne and José Fatkinson (2020)
Wieden+Kennedy: Give 'Em Hells for Camden Town Brewery; illustrations by Guy Field, Sophie Koko Gate, Bridget Meyne and José Fatkinson (2020)
About the Author
After five years as It’s Nice That’s news editor, Jenny became online editor in June 2021, overseeing the website’s daily editorial output.
Jenny is currently on maternity leave.