Christmas is a busy and magical time for any city, and the charming university city of Oxford is no different. In late 2021, we were commissioned by Oxford City Council to create a campaign to attract visitors to the city during the festive period. The purpose was to encourage people to visit, eat, play and stay and capture the imaginations of families by delivering a concept that resonated with the city’s heritage through an attractive design style.
We began by looking at what Oxford is known for and the stories we could tell from its rich history. The story of Alice in Wonderland was born in Oxford, and the city celebrates Alice and all of the characters through its statues, shops and installations.
We also produced outdoor, print and moving digital media advertisements – including creative to sit on the Oxford City Council and Experience Oxfordshire websites.
The campaign was successfully delivered alongside associated PR and communications, attracting returning visitors to Oxford and sprinkling a healthy dose of festive magic on a culturally rich destination.
Through discussion with the client and several stages of development and concept art, we decided on an art style inspired by the works of Studio Ghibli, the popular Japanese anime studio famous for films such as Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro and Howl’s Moving Castle.
We believed this style would resonate with children and families and re-imagine Alice in a new, unique way.
After creating character designs, background art and brand assets, we began to combine everything together. We storyboarded then hand-animated 2d elements before integrating them into a 3d environment with 3d camera movements.
This video features our version of Alice stepping through the Looking Glass into Oxfordland, meeting characters such as the White Rabbit, the Caterpillar, the Red Queen and the Mad Hatter in iconic Oxford landscapes and locations, combining the magic of Wonderland and historic Oxford.