Date9 July 2021
Published byNicole Arnett Phillips
Established in 2015, Fox & Co has been creating visual stories across broadcast and digital platforms, for both local and international clients like MTV, Google, Slack, YouTube Originals and Facebook, for any and all screen sizes.
Fox & Co are driven by creativity and connection. They’re incredibly passionate about facilitating growth and participation in the wider creative community, both locally and internationally. By hosting the monthly Motion Design Meetup in Wellington, they’re using their voice and reputation to build a platform for the next generation of motion designers, animators and creatives in Aotearoa.
Nicole: Kia ora Phyo and Ange, thanks so much for your participation in our Kātoitoi pilot! Fox &co reviewed, Motion, Digital and Self-initiated. If we could start off with sharing the projects that stood out to you when you were reviewing those categories?
Phyo: The Voice of Racism was a great stand out for me, as was Meddle in the New Zealand Election. I thought the approach to the political campaign was really refreshing, bearing in mind budget and travel restrictions, along with everything else 2020 had to offer us! The idea was well thought out and the execution on point.
Ange: I echo Phyo on the standout campaigns. The Clemenger BBDO - Voice of Racism was a huge win for me. This is how we see more people using design to start, and have these tough real-world conversations, that would otherwise be so difficult to do in face to face. Tugging on the emotion strings of the realness and rawness in the voice clips coupled with the use of the non-descript 3D imagery of a face, brings a different emotional experience to it. It’s free of any existing preconceptions and allows for an opportunity to talk about the real issues being communicated.
Nicole: Whether you want to stick in the digital motion kind of arena, being that that’s your wheelhouse, or expand out, is totally cool – whichever direction you want to take, but really keen to hear if there were any insights or trends you took away from the categories that you reviewed?
Ange: One noticeable trend was how people are using design to embrace the hard conversations, to address the human truths or as a platform to expose whatever is going on in the world at any one time. The Springload Autism Assessment was incredibly clever. We’ve been doing a lot of research into AR and AI and what the future looks like from a creative front, so to see other industries adopting these technological practises and ways of thinking was really impressive.
Ange: The one thing you really start to see through all of these pieces, is how people started to adopt new ways of doing work, because of the pandemic. You see people have been thinking about technology and digital spaces when concepting.
Nicole: Did you have any preconceptions? You touched on the fact that, given Covid, there was a digital transformation thread running through the submissions; was that something that you expected to see, or was there something else that you expected that you might see in the work that either was realised, or wasn’t realised?
Ange: Because Katoitoi was the launch of a local platform, I was expecting a lot of the creative to be more founded in historical narratives, or to touch on a lot more of what’s happening locally in terms of different cultures, diversity, language and how we’re experiencing life.
Phyo: I was expecting to see a lot of creative focused around Covid-19, and was surprised that this was not the case. We had a short lockdown where our lives were disrupted for about 6 weeks and then we pretty much moved on to focusing on getting our lives back to some sense of normality. So it was good to see that there was a focus on other matters too like environmental awareness, racism and so forth.
Nicole: Was there either a moment of delight or a surprise in what you saw?
Phyo: I think mine was the Meddle in the New Zealand Election, because it’s a New Zealand political campaign, but the whole thing is made to feel like it’s happening in another country along with the use of stereotypes encourage people in New Zealand to vote. I think that was a really clever approach and really enjoyed the campaign.
Nicole: I agree. That project is a standout for me, just because of its intelligence, but also its humour, and it plays off the fake news and the meddling and all of that kind of contextualisation of what is the truth, and what is democracy. Those are heavy issues, and it makes light of them, and is engaging through its way of doing that.
Ange: Another trend that came through was boldness – not the typical ‘in your face’ boldness. The racism campaign embraced the hardness of the issue. Whereas, the Meddle campaign is tacticaling serious issues about having a say in the elections, but it’s just so cleverly done that you can’t be offended, or you can’t take anything negative away from it.
Phyo: It’s come from an outside perspective of someone in Russia.
Nicole: I agree; it’s brilliantly conceived work. So, is there anything that you would like to say or share about potentially Katoitoi as an initiative, but more over the value of archiving New Zealand design work?
Ange: It’s a great platform, a necessary platform. It’s a source of inspiration going forward – and there have been lots of discussions about moving to a space where we’re digitising media to safeguard our narratives, ensuring that they remain factually accurate and retain their original meanings. I think as a storytelling platform, people will look back and have a very real archive of creative work that speaks to the here and now - the pandemic, the elections, Black Lives Matter. They’ll be able to see the world as we saw it.
Phyo: It’ll become a great platform to find references or just even getting inspiration for future projects.
Ange: Going forward, it might be valuable to separate out a purely ‘local’ category that explores a deep-rooted sense design in our reality, telling stories and exploring creative that is uniquely of Aotearoa.
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