Kong Helps Reimagine Einstein as a Helpful Smart Meter Display
Kong Studio delivered Gravity Road’s vision by designing and animating an 8-bit Einstein for Smart Energy GB.
Smart Energy GB approached creative agency Gravity Road to develop a digital campaign showing the benefits of their smart meter displays. The brief was to take the representation of Einstein in a different direction, and Creative Tom Reynolds knew using games console inspired animation would be the perfect solution.
The idea developed into morphing Einstein’s likeness to mimic that of an old video game character. The enhanced smart meter would then sit within a live-action scene of a real home. Kong’s animators set to work experimenting with that most famous face as a cheery 8-bit smart meter helper.
Kong Studio had already proved they could bring the right energy, after a successful collaboration with Gravity Road for Smart Energy GB and Carers UK, where a real-life carer was characterised within an animated campaign. But could Kong handle one of the 20th century’s most iconic thinkers?
After much deep thought, Tom & Bill came up with a brilliant idea of using pixel expert and friend of Kong, Caka Facioli. Caka’s miniaturising skills had been honed from many years designing Emojis for Skype, and combined with Kong’s natural ability to come up with streamlined pipelines, it was the winning formula to make Gravity Road’s Einstein theory into a reality.
On the Einstein design development, Kong Co-founder Tom Baker said –
“Einstein’s face is about as recognisable as they come and there are no shortcuts in pixel art. Or are there? We worked out a genius technique for creating 16bit pixel animation without needing extensive pixel art, clean-up artists. “Eureka” I shouted! We’ve discovered a clever trick for a clever face. It also helped a lot that Cako was pixel-perfect for the job.”
Camille Hanish-Oakes, Producer at Gravity Road Said –
“We thought Kong Studio did such a great job on the Smart Energy GB and Carers, that she couldn’t wait to get them back on board with the next Smart Energy campaign. This time the project brief was elevated with a challenging process to match.
Each time there was an adjustment or a technical query, Kong Studio were across all the details, adapted to the changes and understood what they were providing. Throughout production, Emma at Kong and Jonathan Klahr kept our various production arms informed and updated. Kong Studio were very much Gravity Road’s animation department, which made the process as smooth and as seamless as possible.
I am absolutely pleased with the result and Smart Energy GB are happy with the two ads we have produced.”
Smart Energy GB’s ‘Thanks, smart meter display!’ campaign is available to watch here.
Client: Smart Energy GB
Digital Agency: Gravity Road
Creative Director: Sophie Cullinane
Creative: Tom Reynolds
Account Director: Claire Petzel
Account Manager: Martha Robertson
Producers: Camille Hanish-Oakes & Rowena Jeffreys-Jones
Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Producer: Charlie Thacker
Post-Production: The Mill
Design & Animation: Cako Facioli & Tom Baker
Visual Development: Bill Elliott
Visual FX: Jonathan Klahr & Dan Pryor
Producer: Emma Burch
Production Company – Familia
Director – Jeroen Mol
Producer – Vanessa Hetherington
Editor – MSE.TV
Grade & Conform – FreeFolk Post Production