Campaigns, Creativity and Christmas! 

Christmas is just around the corner! This month is a time of reflection and celebration as we look back over the year we’ve had both here at MOAS and globally. We were lucky enough to have a chat with Tom Edwards, the creative designer for our 2021 Christmas Advert, to find out more about his creative process and how his ideas came to life in our campaign! So why not sit down with a nice cup of tea and a mince pie or slice of Panettone and hear about how Tom has shaped our Christmas campaign, and why he chose to work with us here at MOAS:  

Tom, you created MOAS’ first ever animated video many years ago. How was the process for that different from this one? 

When the first MOAS animated video was created, MOAS was a new organization, and the purpose of that video was twofold. First, we wanted to reinforce to viewers and potential partners the magnitude of the migrant tragedy unfolding in the Mediterranean, and secondly, we wanted to show that MOAS had a real, actionable plan to mitigate that tragedy and save lives. At the time, there existed very little usable photography and a limited budget for communications, so using pencil sketches in a video format seemed like a cost-effective and impactful way to visually communicate the scope of the crisis. Eight years after that first video was produced, the mission of MOAS has expanded dramatically, and this newest video is a more upbeat representation of the many ways that people have been helped and will continue to be helped in the future. The new video also has an Advent theme, so the drawing style is a little less serious than the style used in the original video. 

Watch Tom’s 2013 Video Here

How has your practice changed over time? 

I have produced a lot of animated videos in different styles and with varying degrees of motion, but the process hasn’t changed too much over time. It usually starts with a lot of written descriptions and rough sketches to make sure that everything is pointed in the right direction. If a voiceover is part of the video, then I usually write the script, but that’s often a very collaborative process. Then final art assets are created, a voiceover is recorded if needed, sound is edited if that’s part of the production, and then final motion and video editing is done.

What is the process like when creating an animated piece such as the MOAS Christmas campaign? 

When I first discussed the Christmas video with Christina and Regina, they already had three solid ideas for treatments for the video, but when they told me about the Advent Calendar idea, I instantly thought that it would be the best option. With animation, beauty is often a function of time, but you can shift that equation a little bit by either simplifying the artwork or simplifying the motion. Much like the first MOAS video, the Advent calendar idea simplifies the motion by limiting any movement to the calendar itself. So, most of the production time is devoted to creating the artwork within the calendar. 



Where do you take the inspiration from for your creations?  

I like working in different styles, so I can get inspiration from almost anywhere. Usually, the details of a project bring to mind a potential style or two. Because no artist ever works in a vacuum, I always assume that a particular style is inspired by something I’ve seen in the past, but I don’t always know when or where I saw it.

What is the most challenging part of the creative process? 

Usually, the most challenging part of the creative process, whether writing, drawing or animating, is the moment when I first sit down in front of a blank piece of paper or a blank art board on a computer. Even if I know in my head where I want to go, there’s something a little daunting about that blank page, and I’m guessing that many people feel the same way. Once the first paragraph or small piece of a sketch is put onto that paper, however, it’s almost like the rest of the work just organically starts to sprout.

Why do you think animated pieces, like the MOAS Christmas advert, resonate so well with the viewers? 

Whenever I work on an animation, one of the goals is to make the conveyed information as digestible as possible for the intended audience. I think the combination of visuals, motion and sound can help to make the information more interesting and a little more sticky.

How much does the purpose of a project (so is it for fundraising, advocacy, marketing, entertainment etc) change your approach? 

Usually, I will try to inject a little humor into a video, but the first MOAS video was a good example of a project where there was no place for humor, so the purpose of the project can dramatically change my approach in some cases.



Watch Tom’s Christmas Video Here 

So there your have it…This is the creative process behind the MOAS 2021 Christmas campaign. We hope you love the content and please tag us @moas_eu and #MOASCHRISTMAS2021 when you see the animation. Please share our campaign when you get the chance, this way we can continue to grow our community ready for 2022!