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David Beckham’s tattoos come to life for emotional UNICEF campaign

UNICEF has released a powerful new film featuring UNICEF goodwill ambassador David Beckham that calls for an end to violence against children.

The new 60-second film shows scenes of violence against children that appear as animated tattoos on David Beckham’s body. While Beckham’s own tattoos were marks chosen to represent happy or important memories, millions of children bear marks they have not chosen: the long-lasting scars of violence and abuse.

The animation in the film depicts all-too-common forms of violence that boys and girls endure in spaces where they should be safe – their homes, schools, online and in their communities.

Rolling out on 5 December, the campaign will include a 60-second film and a number of cut-downs.

The spot was executed by animation and production studio, BlindPig, sister company of Absolute Post.

Phil Oldham, creative director of Absolute, said: “It was important for us to not hold back, and expose the horrific realities of violence against children. The tattoos were designed to tell these stories and yet remain honest to both classic and contemporary tattoo designs.”

Jonas McQuiggin, director, said: “It’s different from most campaigns in the fact that it lets the stories come to the forefront, instead of the celebrity. In the film, David’s body becomes a canvas to highlight the issue of violence against children and deliver the campaign’s powerful message; violence against children marks them forever. To me, the final product speaks for itself. It’s a remarkable example of how powerful and compelling stories can be communicated in a non-conventional way.”

Tom Cardo-Moreno at BlindPig, added: “Throughout the process we just kept pushing the idea, watching it back and thinking it was quite harsh – but each time realising we had to tell these stories in this way because, shockingly, this is the reality for many children. The guys at UNICEF were really receptive to our ideas and an absolute pleasure to work with. Everyone is delighted with the final outcome.”

Starting from scratch with the illustrations, the BlindPig team spent a lot of time sketching the designs and developing the script, ensuring that everything had been simplified to an extent that the story came across in the four images. The shoot was carried out at Duke Island Studios, with sound design by BlindPig and editing at Absolute Post.

Credits

Creative agency and production company: BlindPig
Creative director: Phil Oldham
Director: Jonas McQuiggin
Senior producer: Kirsty Murray
Producer: Nic Sanchez
Lead design and animation: Tom Cardo-Moreno
Design and animation: Christine Peters, Mohamed Orekan & Jodie Lancaster
Sound design: Joe Worters
Post-production: Absolute Post
Colourist: Matt Turner
Compositing: Absolute Post
Editor: Christian Lyndon @ Absolute Post

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