Aardman show off their diversity with new Zoopla and Fortnum & Mason spots

Aardman has created two different spots for Zoopla and Fortnum and Mason, proving their versatility in animation and storytelling. 

Teaming up with Brothers and Sisters, Aardman created Jess and Debs, two relatable, humorous hermit crabs who are navigating the property market. The Zoopla ‘Crabs’ are a continuation of the ‘Crabs’ campaign that was originally launched in 2017.

Debs is very pleased with her “moving house mood board,” but when Jess tells her that Zoopla does it all for you, such as, create search areas, show running costs and track local house prices – Debs chucks out her board and goes straight to Zoopla. The end-line is “Smarter about property.” 

Aardman Director Darren Dubicki added: "This was the exciting task in creating a characterful Hermit crab duo for Zoopla. Figuring out the level of personality we’d need to bring them to life – giving them nuanced gestures so the audience believes there’s two real characters deep within their shells – firmly joined in neighbourly friendship, and moved around together for as long as they remember. 

“We hope that we’ve helped to create a blueprint for these crab characters, allowing them to venture further afield from the seaside… possibly meeting other friends along the way.”

Fortnum and Mason have been serving up feasting and festivities through 12 reigns of the monarchy. In that time it has been witness to momentous change as barriers have been broken and orders reset. Yet in all these years, one thing has happily remained the same – Christmas. In a world that’s ever-evolving and increasingly fast-paced, Christmas has stayed as charmingly familiar as gifts under the tree; a much-needed respite at the end of an eventful year. 

As a first for Fortnum’s, the campaign has been brought to life this year as a 45-second film. Created and written by creative agency Otherway and produced by award-winning studio Aardman. The film showcases the scale of change that has happened over the past 300 years, while the spirit of Christmas (and spirit of Fortnum’s) happily remains the same through generations. 

A mix of original archive footage was sourced and edited down to best set the scene for 300 years of change, mixed with live footage of products shot within the Piccadilly London store. While original Edward Bawden illustrations from the 1950s found in the Fortnum's archive have been carefully reproduced in digital form and brought to life for the first time through animation to add an extra Fortnum’s wink to the end of the film. 

"We wanted to make something joyous and merry, charming and captivating. It was such a pleasure to work with Fortnum & Mason - bringing their iconic Edward Bawden illustrations to life. The icing on the cake was looking through 300 years of change and seeing the importance that Christmas still brings to each generation.” Gavin Strange, Director, Aardman.