February 14th, 2014

Thanks to the explosion of online video and the growth of mobile, the popular "micro video" format is generating a crop of creative mini videos across platforms like Instagram. With only :15 seconds to squeeze out their story, brands are creating unique and interesting bite sized videos that entertain, inspire and inform. For this year's CES, The Mill in Chicago and Alpha 245 joined forces to help give Whirlpool's latest innovations a strong viral presence through a series of animated micro videos.

Whirlpool is not only the largest home appliance maker in the world but they're also one of the most innovative brands. Producing vital and competitive products for over 100 years forces innovation in everything you do. In a refreshing move to get the word out on Whirlpool's newest technological forays, Alpha 245 came up with the idea to let Instagram and Facebook do a lot of the heavy lifting, and the Mill+ team to creatively execute.

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"The team at Alpha 245 knew that they had created an opportunity to do something fresh with the way the Whirlpool brand spoke with its audience," says Bowe King, Creative Director, "They also had a pretty concise idea of how they wanted to go about presenting the messages. Happily for us, they came to The Mill early in the concept phase and we were able to collaborate on the creative direction and problem solve the execution."

Having a team of creatives and animators from different backgrounds put The Mill Chicago in the perfect place to follow through on this. Meanwhile Senior Producer Andrew Sommerville sourced a large local photography studio for the entire production schedule that gave the stop motion animators enough room to continuously animate three table top set ups in tandem, then sequentially switch out sets for the remaining animations.

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One of the most interesting creative aspects was that for the stop motion to work in its intended way then the animations wouldn't have the ubiquitous glossy production sheen. "Something that was put on the table from day one was that the animations shouldn't look too slick", King explains, "it was decided early on that the animations will feel more honest the more raw and fun they look. The more that they feel like they were created with innovative crafty techniques as opposed to slick high budgets, the more viewers will get into them and pass them on to their friends. It’s amazing to have your root motto on a project be "make sure you have fun". The team was able to live that motto and I think it shows."