Watch: How Born Free captured lockdown tales and garnered celeb fans

Pete Ioulianou, senior creative at Engine, walks through the process of creating Born Free's animated ad during lockdown.

Campaign's Pick of the Week. Numerous other accolades. And an endorsement from Tiger King's Carole Baskin. What better reception could an ad have?

Highlighting the suffering of animals in captivity, "Creature discomforts" uses the voices of animated animals to explain the emotional toll that being locked down has.

When approached by Born Free with the idea to draw a parallel between humans and animals, Pete Ioulianou, senior creative at Engine, said that his eyes lit up.

Immediately, Ioulianou and his creative partner Ollie Agius jumped on the idea of putting human voices into animals' bodies, drawing on the animated classic Creature Comforts by Aardman, which was later brought on board to animate and direct.

The entire production was handled over Zoom calls and remote recordings, with no script and non-actors, in order to preserve the charm and warmth of real human stories.

Detail and sound design were a huge consideration for Ioulianou and the team at Engine, as can be seen in the behind-the-scenes footage above, in order to communicate the loneliness that animals in captivity face.

On its recognition by the industry and further afield (namely "Carole fuckin' Baskin!"), Ioulianou said: "The recognition is obviously great, but as a creative when you get to the end of the process you're a bit blind to it, because you've lived with the idea for so long and you ask: 'Is this good, is this not good?' So the fact that people really like it is really humbling."

The making-of footage above was created and edited by Sam Hopkins.

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