Every now and then you are shown an idea that is so great that you tell as few people as possible, hoping that no one gets in the way and ruins it. That was the case with Dot, the animation created for Nokia by the brilliant combination of Wieden & Kennedy and Aardman Animations.
It started with Professor Fletcher’s CellScope, which was originally invented to send pictures of blood cells from Africa to doctors abroad, for expert diagnosis. The CellScope used readily-available phones like the Nokia N95, so was a great example of our campaign tagline: “It’s not technology, it’s what you do with it”. We created a video that told the story about Dr Fletcher’s technology, but the team at W&K asked if they might experiment with the microscope to create something fun. They came up with the idea of a tiny stop-motion animation, to showcase the amazing imaging capabilities of the Nokia N8. They said they wanted to try to break the Guiness World Record for the Smallest Ever Animation*
Once Aardman’s Sumo Science team was on board and seemed genuinely excited by working within the limitations we set, then I was sure we were on to something good. I told virtually no one, to protect it from the excesses of a major corporation that always, inevitably, has too much to say.
As a client, it’s rare that you see a finished film that is everything you were promised, and also much, much more. The craft, the timing, the magic of it is just breath-taking. As a commenter on Youtube put it “I’m an iOS developer and am thinking, at this moment: “wow! nokia is cool again!”.
Also, as a client, I can’t take much credit for the film. My job was just to believe in the idea and to protect it from the inevitable squabbling, opinions and unhelpful suggestions from stakeholders trying to “add value”. Too many cooks would definitely have spoiled this broth. Sometimes less is more.
* BTW, it did break the record: Guiness World Record for Smallest Character in a Stop-Motion Animation!