Johnny Fearless created the animated film, called "flight of the stories", which was posted online today and will also air in cinemas.
The ad shows quotation marks growing out the ground and then taking flight across northern France to London, before coming to rest at the Imperial War Museum. The message is that although many soldiers never returned from the war, their stories did.
IWM is also running press, radio and online ads as part of the campaign to promote the new gallery, which opens on 19 July and coincides with the centenary of the start of the First World War.
The campaign was written by Paul Domenet, art directed by Pia Knight and directed by Darren Dubicki through Aardman. Total Media handled the media planning and buying for the press, outdoor, cinema and radio ads, while AKA did the same for the digital display ads.
Penny Hamilton, the head of brand and marketing at IWM, said: "The film is both beautiful and poignant. I think it captures exactly what we were trying to convey – for while it is true that some of the people never made it back from the fighting front, their stories have, and it is our duty at IWM to ensure that they continue to be told. This is what we will be doing in our new First World War Galleries."
This is the first campaign by Johnny Fearless for Imperial War Museums. The agency won a contested pitch to create the advertising for the launch of the WWI gallery in April 2013.