isobel and Seed Animations give tea brand Clipper a cool makeover in fun new ad

Tea isn’t necessarily the most fun or youthful category, but this musical commercial by isobel is pushing against the norm.

It was arguably John Gilroy, whose posters for Guinness in the 1930s-1960s featured seals, toucans and ostriches, that first alerted the world to the power of cute illustrated animals in selling stuff to others. Since then, animal characters have been widely recognised as advertising staples. Yet they’ve become so ubiquitous that you have to do something pretty special with them these days to grab people’s attention.

Today, Ecotone-owned tea brand Clipper has done just that with their new pan-European integrated campaign, ‘There’s Tea, Then There’s GOOD Tea’.

The campaign, the first to be created by independent creative agency isobel since it was appointed as Clipper’s European Creative agency last year, communicates its Fairtrade and organic tea in a fun and unusual way.

Why it’s special

The work uses colourful Clipper-style illustrations drawn humorously over animals in nature to celebrate the joy that comes from making a more sustainable choice. So far, so straightforward. But it’s the quirky way they’ve been brought to life by Seed Animation and set to bespoke music tracks composed by Lostboy (the Grammy-nominated songwriter and producer known for his work on Kylie’s ‘Padam Padam’ and Calvin Harris’s ‘Miracle’), that really help them stand out for the crowd.

In the ad shown above, the bird character is animated in an unusual manner: the bird and beak are photorealistic 3D, while its hat and body are hand-drawn looking 2D. This weird combo shouldn’t work, but it does, instantly drawing you and setting the tone for a disruptor brand.

When our cute feathered friend starts flipping out to some 90s-style ragga beats, it raises the energy further and can’t fail to put a smile on your face. Our hats are off to animators Freddie Elsom, Giulia Frixione, Daisy Mojave Holland, Thomas Knowler, Josep Bernaus Valls, and the Seed Animations team.

Rollout and support

The campaign pushes the notion that it takes more than just taste to make good tea: it also takes ethical and sustainable sourcing, natural ingredients and a fierce commitment to protect biodiversity. It will break in the UK first, across TV, streaming video, social media, and OOH (out of home) before being rolled out across other European markets later in the year.

The advertising will be supported by new Clipper packaging, including a number of eye-catching limited-edition packs, in-store activity and an on-pack promotion developed by Straight Forward Design.

“Clipper is a joyous brand with a wonderful, genuine personality,” says Ben Sump, executive creative director at isobel. “They aim to make good tea in all senses of the word. Most tea brands claim to make a delicious cuppa, but Clipper knows that it’s only really good if it’s a natural and fair cuppa, too.”

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