Tag Archives: MPowered

Animated PSA shows benefits of solar-powered lanterns

Agency FCB Garfinkel called on design / animation company The Studio and music house Found Objects, both in New York City, on an animated PSA that shows how the Luci inflatable solar lantern by MPowerd offers areas without electricity access to light

The two-minute piece shows two young boys in Africa walking to school and how their world opens up thanks to the books they read, educating them about life outside their remote village. There is a colorful dream sequence showing tone of the boy’s world getting brighter. When they get home and the sun goes down, they can’t read anymore. But one of the boys picks up a Luci solar lantern, allowing him safe access to lights — no need for Kerosene-based lanterns. See the video here.

According to The Studio’s creative director/president Mary Nittolo, “Our original inspiration was the look of traditional shadow puppets, but as we went along we came to feel that we needed to use more familiar visual tropes. The shadow puppets concept would have looked amazing, but we didn’t think it would have made the same connection with viewers. So we ended up with an aesthetic that includes a number of influences, including shadow puppets, traditional zoetropes, cut paper animation and even a little Disney’s The Lion King.”

The Studio called on Autodesk Maya and Adobe After Effects.

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What was the biggest challenge on this one? “Really the most challenging part was coming up with the overall look of the animation,” explains Nittolo. “Once we settled on an aesthetic it all came together. We did some tests, but what stands out for me about this is how much agreement there was among every one involved about how it should look. Once the initial animation was done and we heard the beautiful voiceover it was clear this was something special.”

Nitollo not only enjoyed the work, but she believed in the PSA’s message: “It was a privilege to work on this project and bring not only attention, but an affordable solution to an overwhelming problem,” adds Nittolo. “Across sub-Saharan Africa, 90 million primary students are without electricity. And, each year, indoor pollution from dirty fuels results in four million deaths. What MPowerd gives is an opportunity to make a modest investment that can be life altering.”