Issue #097

Megan Hotson


Welcome to your weekly dose of TooXToo, this week featuring BBC’s mesmerising winter Olympics film, how Samsung has levelled up with their gaming breakthrough, Minnie Mouse re-imagined, and the ‘bee bricks’ coming to Brighton…

BBC’s winter olympics film

A 3D wonder that deserves a gold medal of its own. This film combines stop motion animation, in-camera effects, and 3D printed sets to produce footage that reflects the harsh conditions that the winter athletes endure.

The winter Olympics in Beijing begins today (February 4th) and the BBC’s epic trailer has done well to generate excitement, as well as convey to watchers what is to come for the athletes, and what they have had to manage thus far in preparing for the games. It was devised by BBC creative and was directed through the Blinkink production company. Impressively, no real ice is featured in the film – just incredible, 3D animation.

Director Balázs Simon commented on the film: “I really admire people having the will to push things to the limits (…) What could be a better example for that than the Olympics? Especially the Winter Games where they compete in environments that are so different from our usual experiences. When I got approached for this project, the biggest question for me was how to portray and live up to that dedication … we wanted to portray them being born into ice and snow and eventually breaking out.”

This animation not only promotes the games - generating a swell of excitement but creates an appreciation for the gruelling environments these Winter Olympians have had to train in and will have to compete in in the coming weeks. Making a sporting experience cinematic has a powerful impact in being able to reach viewers in a more compelling way.

Samsung’s gaming breakthrough

Samsung, amongst other tech-oriented brands are harnessing the power of gaming’s surging popularity. They have unveiled a new chip in collaboration with Bartle Bogle Hegarty to create excitement around its launch.

Samsung’s Exynos 2200 "next generation" chip used to be available only on games consoles but now offers a high-quality gaming experience on mobiles. Gaming will therefore be elevated through transforming the graphics experience for users on mobiles. Realising this was not the most, as described by campaign live, “sexiest update” the feature of Bartle Bogle Hegarty was hoped by Samsung to make this innovation a little more appealing.

Sam Hardy, senior account director from Samsung explored their latest gaming breakthrough, stating: ““for Samsung, we wanted to put a stake in the ground and humanise the technology, rather than focus on functional, tech-heavy, product messaging. To change perceptions”.

The process of developing this gaming chip began with a thorough brainstorming session between creatives around what this product would and could truly mean for gamers. Pursuing a consumer-centric approach to the development of the chip, allowed the tech produced to focus on humanising gaming – something that seems paradoxical in an artificial space, but nonetheless very important in order to appeal to the desire for human connection in a digital world.

Minnie Mouse… re-imagined

Miss Minnie Mouse, the iconic Disney character – usually seen dressed in red has been re-imagined and re-dressed by designer Stella McCartney. The infamous mouse can now be seen donning a two-piece, blue and black polka dot… suit.

McCartney was inspired to create this look for Minnie to re-imagine the character as a “symbol of progress for a new generation”. Luxury designer McCartney has not only focused on inclusivity, but has also prioritised sustainability with this ambition design, as she described she has ensured that Minnie's illustrated outfit is made of "responsibly sourced fabrics".

The character's fully inclusive, fully chic makeover will be unveiled on International Women's Day (March 8th) – the pantsuit is only a teaser of the full look. Disney’s initiative will also feature a McCartney-designed T-shirt staring this famous mouse, alongside the slogan: "Divine Feminine" and will be seen on the catwalk in McCartney's Fall/Winter 2022 runway show.

However, it seems this symbol of progress is only a temporary fixture to celebrate Disneyland Paris30th anniversary,and will not be implemented as a long-term change to Minnie’s identity.

This is a shame considering all that this creative direction represents, and how good this mouse looks in a premium pantsuit…

The Bee-bricks coming to Brighton…

The construction and design industry are constantly developing the processes and materials used in building to double down on sustainability, efficiency, and innovation. The recently designed ‘bee-bricks’ are no exception to this…

The beehive bricks are blocks with holes in that will act as spaces for insects to take refuge in during the colder, harsher winter months. These insect hospitable building blocks are going to be used across the South coast of the Uk in Brighton. In fact, it has been announced that any new development over five metres tall will have to include at least one ‘beehive brick’ and three bird boxes.

Councillor Alan Robins has praised this latest innovation and move to respond to the city’s environmental initiatives, arguing that this “simple scheme will increase biodiversity and encourage wildlife to thrive in our city”.

Despite the buzzing reception from the designers, and those implementing the bricks in Brighton- the feedback has not been fully free from critique. Scientists have warned that these perforated blocks could attract some unfavourable residents to the city, such as mites that will spread diseases.

Though well-intentioned, then, this innovation designed to boost biodiversity might have to be re-thought to compensate for unwelcome visitors…

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