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The Simpsons


The Challenge of marketing a timeless brand.

When FX took on The Simpsons franchise 20 years in, they had an interesting challenge. How do you market a brand with such a revered and unique heritage in a new way? How do you market it in a way that won't confuse viewers into thinking they are simply watching an episode and not an announcement for the show itself? The FX Team had a great starting place for this with the idea of The Simpsons Deconstructed. The thinking was that you reduce the brand to its essence. That is, the eye shape, the yellow hue and the black outline. 

Our Conceptual Approach

The direction the FX team provided was to go a very minimal and deconstructed direction. Happily, we did, but our first few animations albeit unique felt a little too calm and subdued for the whacky essence of The Simpsons.

Getting Off of the Computer

We realized we needed to push this much further to engage the very culture saavy audience. We also knew there was no way we would ever out-animate The Simpsons animation team. For both of those reasons, we got out our pencils and sketch books and began drawing all the weirdest most unusual deconstructed intepretations of The Simpsons we could think to. From there, we brought those into Adobe Illustrator and some really energetic and magical solutions began to unfold.


The Simpsons Simplified

Another key direction from FX was to make sure and highlight other interesting elements of this enormous series by giving some concentrated thoughts to secondary and even tertiary characters, so as to not always focus on the key family members.  It opened many new doors to us in imagining mash-ups based on themes from the series, key locations throughout the episodes, and even getting to pay some attention to the featuring of other species found in the show, as seen in the Fluid ID with the 3-eyed fish, Santa’s Little Helper, and Itchy & Scratchy.

When in doubt, make it blobby

Like with most creative processes, you have to just jump in and try many ideas in order to find what might actually work, or often times one idea that inspires a totally different approach and results in something so beautifully chaotic that you could have never imagined it from the start.  You have to begin traveling down many roads of in order to find the path that you might have never thought to explore, but when you see and feel it you just start sprinting.