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PNB Housing Finance's animated ad campaign a breakaway

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Banks’ television commercials are known to depict various services in a staid, old-fashioned way, forsaking creativity for efficacy. Animation, however, is changing that.

The recent ads for PNB housing use the medium of animation to very interestingly explain the home loan services of the Punjab National Bank. The ads created by Mumbai-based 88 Pictures have one thing in common - the use of CGI animals.

Renowned ad film-maker Shantanu Baagchi approached the studio with an idea to create a high-end CGI project, which doesn’t necessarily look CGI. “We weren't sure about it but when we looked at the concepts, it appealed to us,” said 88 Pictures founder-CEO Milind Shinde.

88 Pictures chief creative officer Philippe Gluckman explained, "The project allowed a really interesting characterisation of animals through animation. One of the challenges, and interesting points, was to find the line where the animals express human emotions, but don't become overly anthropomorphic. It is deliberately not treated in an "over the top" cartoon style, which hopefully makes it more relatable.”

Animals in the ads are used to express human emotions. “I hope people will appreciate the subtleties of certain expressions and what they mean to convey,” shared Shinde.

Other than the animation work, the integration into realistic environments, and the many details needed to make the ad convincing, were wonderful to create, he revealed.

The spots were created by the ad director Baagchi but “given our expertise in working on high end animation content, we like to add our creative flavour to everything which not every director is open for,” Shinde added. “However, we had a great time working on them as the director was very open to ideas, as well as providing many of his own, yet never losing track of the end goal.” The team at the studio worked from storyboard to final output.

As a first ad project for the studio, was it challenging in any way? “Commercials are like short movies, one has to go through the entire process of storytelling and execution regardless of the duration, and deadlines are always short,” he highlighted. “The joy of working on challenging animation content attracted us towards this project.”

“It was a first for us but a great experience. We are open to get our hands on anything that requires pushing boundaries and creating beautiful pictures,” he concluded.

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