Virgin Mobile “Angels” (2006/:30)

Virgin Mobile “Fleurs” (2006/:30)

Virgin Mobile

“Come to a Better Place”


A hallucinatory trip cooked up by Toronto-based agency ZiG, this campaign touches lightly upon heavy political issues such as equality, environmentalism and corruption and is set to a killer track by the Swedish band Teddybears.

Each of the six vignettes show a lamentable circumstance turning out well. We couldn’t visualize the tension between good and bad by colors: To use Virgin’s red as the good color would contradict archetypal associations, to use it as the bad color would violate the campaign concept. It was designer Eli Carrico’s idea to do it through texture.

Some of my initial style frames.
The miserable situation that needs attention — the marionette politician, the endless urban development —, is displayed in a high-contrast, hand-colored style that is immediately recognizable as the technique of choice of 1960s political activists: Think Alberto Korda’s Che Guevara image, Roman Cieslewicz’s silk screened posters or Terry Gilliam’s animations for Monthy Python. In this world, all characters look like photographic cutouts.

In contrast, each vignette’s resolving agent — the butterfly, the elephants, the fish — is rendered in an optimistic, hyperreal, cartoony style that might bring to mind the contemporary imagery of Me Company or Takashi Murakami.


Agency: ZIG, Toronto
Client: Virgin Mobile Canada

Design & Production: Brand New School, Los Angeles
Creative Director & Designer: Jens Gehlhaar
Art Director: Rob Feng
Lead Animators: Jason Whitmore, Thomas Kurniady
Illustrators: Eli Carrico, Dickson Chow, Andrew Bernet, Robert Bisi, Jens Gehlhaar, Thomas Kurniady
3D Animators: Dickson Chow, Adrian Sarin, Fred Harro
Producer: Devin Brook

Music: Teddybears Stockholm, “Yours to Keep”