Ancestry Animated Explainer Video

Ancestry DNA Animated Explainer Video

Little Jack

Toast were invited to pitch for the latest Ancestry DNA Explainer Video. The idea behind the campaign was to produce a range of direct and engaging animations that focus specifically on what a consumer gets when they purchase the Ancestry DNA kit.

Having used the product ourselves, we knew first hand that the process of using an Ancestry DNA kit couldn’t be simpler. This, combined with the fascinating potential to uncover where your ancestors came from, were to be at the heart of the campaign’s message.

This was an exciting opportunity for us to follow up from last year’s Ancestry DNA advert we produced, ‘Inspired Journey’. Whereas ‘Inspired Journey’ was a live action shoot, the idea this time was to produce a range of animated TV adverts so the two could run in tandem.

animated TV adverts for Ancestry
Animated whale for TV advert
DNA Animated Explainer Video
acestry dna explainer video

Morgan Stanley Product Video


Morgan Stanley Video

Morgan Stanley Video commissioned Toast to produce a video for one of the company’s new investment strategy tools, ModelWare. The finished video was shot entirely on HD and features strong visuals, moving graphics and animated text created by our in-house design team throughout. Morgan Stanley wanted the video to use across web exhibitions & credentials. The video was shot on location in Canary Wharf and in the Morgan Stanley office.


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Stock ticker symbols around canary wharf buildings

Tootle Stop Motion Advert

Stop Motion Advert – Tootle.co.uk

Tootle.co.uk is an online platform helping customers find a buyer for their car from a network of hundreds of competing dealers and car buying services. Normally when you sell a car, you’re the one chasing the buyers. Tootle.co.uk turns that idea on its head. Toast’s stop motion advert underpins this concept in a fun, quirky way.  Set in an everyday living room, toy cars career around the room in a race to bid for the seller’s car.

The stop motion advert was created by a team of animators whose philosophy is simply to make well-crafted stories. The process threw us deep into the world of miniatures; from carefully selecting model cars to 3D printing hundreds of figures, which were then individually hand painted. Rigs were used to achieve car stunts, which were subsequently rotoscoped out in post-production.

The music was composed by Tim Arnold, a London based composer known most recently as the first music artist to release a concept album about Soho, London. This TV campaign is accompanied by a series of radio commercials. Both the radio and TV adverts were brought to life by the brilliant voice of Tony Gardner.

CMO of tootle.co.uk, Cara Whitehouse said: “tootle.co.uk is disrupting a market with deeply ingrained behaviours, and Toast’s creative stop motion animation concept brings the unique benefits of using our platform to life in a clever, engaging and simple way.”

The stop motion animation process

Stop motion animation involves an enormous amount of time and patience, a scene is built, in this case the scenery mainly involved working around pieces of furniture. The cast of characters are assembled and the lighting is worked out before any animation can begin. To make the workflow process smoother and to iron out any kinks in the animation flow a pre-vis animation was produced using 3D animation software, from this test the client could see how the stop motion animation would look once complete. The actual filming process uses a high-end stills camera rigged to take thousands of stills which when played back form the animated advert. Once one picture has been taken animators move onto the set and make micro-adjustments to the location of figures and props to simulate them moving around the scene.

animation pre-viz
3d printed animation figures
stop motion animation

The cast

In many stop motion animations the cast of animated characters are made from a flexible material which can be adjusted slightly between each frame to make them appear to move. For the Tootle advert we employed a more modern technique of 3D printing to build all the characters from a hard plastic, instead of moving body parts the animators just replaced the entire character. Once 3D printed each hard plastic figure had to be hand painted with each character having their own set of clothes painted on. The cast was then taken to the set with the different character poses being swapped in and out as needed.

The location

The main action sequence featured in the advert takes place in a sitting room with the stop motion animated cars racing around the furniture. The joy of the advert is the interaction between the toy cars and the environment, animation is a great medium for using fun to portray brand values or to soften a brand message. The pre-vis stage helped hugely in working out the flow of the animation and allowed for the fun moments to be worked out before having to start recording images.

The magic

Once all the frames of the animation have been recorded the editing process is where the interaction is honed and the pace of the TV advert is set. The stop motion animation process often involves a lot of rigging to keep objects steady or in this case to make the cars magically fly. This rigging must be removed in post production. At this stage sound effects and music were also added, giving the 3D printed characters real voices really brought them to life. The final process was to grade the colours of the final piece to make sure the cars and set looked vibrant making for a fun advert.

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Toy tootle cars flying through the air

TV Advert – Joey Essex

TV Advert – Joey Essex

What a TV advert can do for your business

When log book loan company Varooma wanted to boost their sales which had been mainly built on social media advertising they decided it was time to run a TV Advert. And with Joey Essex commanding an impressive 3.59 million social media followers, it was a no-brainer for Varooma to enlist this celebrity for their first ever TV advert. The advert shows a confused Joey struggle to get his head round the fact that his “Smart” car can lend him money. The idea was conceived, shot and posted at Toast.

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varooma logo

“Dealing with Toast was a pleasure from first creative meeting to completion of the project. Their creative ideas and execution provided us with a quality advert which has had substantial impact on our sales, reputation and visibility.”

Peter Rickenberg CEO, Varooma

The “as seen on TV” effect

Moving up from social media advertising to TV advertising can seem like a huge leap. Buying the media slots for a TV advert can be a large outlay for any company and having to buy the media upfront differs from the online world where campaigns can set daily budgets for spending. TV does however have a great benefit over online advertising, the “as seen on TV” effect. The reason you’ll still see badges on companies websites trumpeting their TV adverts is because TV works. A small company that invests in a TV advert instantly boosts it’s size in the minds of potential customers or new users. The perception that only big brands advertise on TV still holds true and its this belief that makes any company advertising on TV appear to be orders of magnitude larger than they really are.

TV adverts also have the possibility of making a small regional company into a national brand overnight. With easy shipping options a small business that takes orders online can promote themselves nationally and build a UK wide business through TV advertising.

Building trust

Another huge benefit to running a TV advertising campaign is the ability for an advert to build trust for a company. The mere fact that a viewer sees your advert within their regular TV watching and along side well known global brands implies a level of trust that would take years to establish. In fact just by running a TV advert a company can project an established feel even if they are in reality a month old startup.

Joey Essex near Smart car
Joey Essex says Wallop
Celebrity endorsement by Joey Essex

Make an impact

If you’re new to the market and your brand doesn’t quite yet have the recognition of the Nike swoosh your tv advert has got to work hard – straight away. You’ll need an advert that has impact. There are a number of ways to achieve that marketing punch but the most important factor is to be precise. Be precise in writing a brief that creatives will use to develop an ad campaign. Then at all stages through the process retain that precision and focus, this will result in an advert that represents your brand at it’s best and conveys your message to the viewers. Simple ideas are often the strongest and most memorable.

Involving a celebrity in your TV advert

When considering whether to use a celebrity endorsement as part of your marketing strategy there is a question to be answered: is celebrity endorsement right for my brand. Can the correct celebrity be found and would they bring something to the marketing mix that’s currently missing? The next step is to think about a good tie-in between your brand and a celebrity, it could be as simple as the same name. Other approaches to fitting a celebrity into your branding could be the same sensibilities or as we’ve used with Varooma a widely held perception of the celebrity. Having a brainstorming session with people who understand your brand can often throw up some great approaches. Then it’s a matter of finding out who the celebrity’s agent is and approaching them with an initial offer.

Once you have a celebrity onboard you’ll need to deal with all the necessary legals. Then it’s making sure you have brilliant creative. Are you getting the most from using a celebrity? Creating a clever strategy to mesh the celebrity into your brand is about realising more than just the sum of all parts. Whether you choose to retain a celebrity for just print and TV advertising or use the celebrity for a brand ambassador role is a matter of how well that celebrity would perform in a non-scripted environment and your budget.

Boosting sales with a TV advert

Before your TV ad starts running it’s worth making sure all your business systems are running smoothly. A sudden rush of orders from a well performing TV advert can crash a shaky e-commerce system. If you’re taking orders by phone, do you have enough lines running and enough staff to answer calls? It also a good time to make sure you’re offer is just right, a mass of sign-ups to your website are wasted if everyone suddenly realises your offer isn’t competitive.

Preparing for your ad to go out

It’s a good idea to run a social media campaign either in parallel with your TV advert or as a teaser to build up anticipation before your ad runs. Social videos often work well as cut-downs of the final TV ad. Another way to tease the commercial is to run a behind the scenes campaign showing the casting and filming of the TV ad, everyone loves to see how the magic of TV takes shape.

Then all that’s left to do is invite your friends round, order in popcorn and wait for your TV advert to play out on TV, it’s an exciting experience. If you’d like to know more about making a TV advert with Toast please use the button below to contact us.

Joey Essex Varooma TV Advert

Trice Insurance


Trice Insurance TV Commercial

Trice Insurance app – Launch March 2018

Any script that encourages us to push our own boundaries – as well as doing a tightrope walk along the hairline crack between humour and controversy – is welcome here at Toast. We specialise in getting new brands noticed on TV, the best way to that is with a compelling TV Commercial.

In partnership with Creative agency GingerMonkeys Creative, we enlisted the talents of director Gregg Masuak who brought to life this highly unusual script in his own inimitable way. Trice Insurance is set to launch on Monday 19th March and I’m sure it’ll set tongues (and tails) wagging.

Agency: Gingermonkeys Creative
Director: Gregg Masuak
Producer: Chloe Roberts
DoP: Oliver Curtis
Editor: John Gradwell
Colourist: Dan Moran @ Coffee & TV
Sound: Matt Brace @ Lucky Cat Post

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Trice Insurance TV Advert

Explainer Videos for Home Credit

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Home Credit – Animated Marketing Videos

Toast was requested to produce a range of animated marketing videos for micro-finance company HomeCredit.

Home Credit

A finance provider, with operations in 11 countries (predominately in Asia), Home Credit provides small loans to those who ordinarily would be rejected by mainstream banks. From those with zero credit history to those who simply don’t have a bank account, Home Credit lends responsibly to those who need it most, helping improve the lives of many around the world. Home Credit take pride in their local marketing teams, often setting up stalls in local shopping malls where their local operatives can meet potential new customers.

Animated Marketing Videos

So far much of Home Credits marketing has been using stills and infographics online, these animated marketing videos were one of Home Credits first ventures into the world of marketing videos. With the majority of Home Credit’s business taking place in Asia, it was important that from the offset we approached the scripts with these specific markets in mind. As well as this, we wanted to hone in on the human element of personal finance; really focusing on the kinds of reasons someone would approach Home Credit for a loan. Using animated characters to tell their own stories we could show new customers how someone just like them had been able to afford financing for a new scooter or laptop.

animated marketing videos home credit
Home Credit animation
investment return animation

Animated Videos

Home Credit provided us with case studies of individuals who have benefited from one of their loans and so with all this in mind, we produced three separate scripts from which we produced the social video. Each based in a different country and each depicting a different circumstance where a Home Credit loan helped. Before undertaking any animation we produced a number of character development storyboards. These boards showed how the characters would look in different illustration styles. Once the characters look and feel was approved we produced short animation tests to show how the final animated marketing videos would look. The end result being three 2D character animations, all with the same core Home Credit explanation, but each with a varied characters and circumstances.

2D animated character
Animated results board
animated route of scooter journey

Character Animation

With four separate voiceovers bringing the different characters to life, the videos were completed with ease and the client was extremely pleased with the end product. By using animated characters as the main voice in the video the subject matter is easily conveyed. The animated marketing videos were designed to be shown on social media platforms throughout Asia.
The animations aim to bring a bit of charm to a notoriously grey subject matter, whilst remaining informative and interesting to watch.

Working with Toast

If you have an animated marketing video you’d like to discuss use the button below to get in touch with Toast.

Animated explainer figures on a scooter

KEF Audio Social Videos


KEF Audio - Social Videos

KEF Audio asked Toast to produce a range of social videos showing some of their audio product range, we came up with a beautiful video featuring each product separately and a brand video that shows a band getting ready for a performance. Each video shows a different KEF product with supporting graphics elements highlighting unique features of that product.



Planning your TV media buying

Promotional Video Production

Bahrain – Promotional Video Production

Toast has worked with many clients across multiple sectors including large corporates, charities and individual start-ups producing promotional videos which stand out amongst the online chatter to deliver bold messaging. We always spend a large proportion of our time researching any product or business to really gain an understanding and discover all we can about a client before proceeding with any creative ideas. Because video is such a powerful tool when used to promote it delivers a much more compelling message than print or static photography. Being able to tell a story and connect with an audience at an emotional level is videos stand-out quality.

Commissioned by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (BEDB), this promotional video production showcases Bahrain as a thriving country with the happy knack of combining centuries of heritage and trading tradition with a vibrant, welcoming modernity. In short, a great place to site your business as well as a great place to live and raise a family.

Golf game in Bahrain
Promotional Video Production for Bahrain
Bahrain company

Researching a promotional video

When planning a promotional video production the research stage is one of the most important elements of the whole production. Researching and targeting the final audience for the video early in the process can lead to a final production which delivers on all the key metrics important to the client.

Understanding your audience

Understanding who the final audience will be and tailoring the message which must be bold and engaging is an absolute must for any video looking to promote a product or service, or in this case the promotion of an entire country. Working out what to promote is often dictated by the client’s needs it is a process of discovery involved in the initial research stage. Once a compelling message has been arrived at it is then necessary to construct a storytelling narrative which the video will deliver.

Delivering the content

Another key stage in the research timeline is to work out what needs to be delivered in the final video. Is the video to be a stand-alone piece played at a conference on a large monitor or is it one of a series to be released online and possibly viewed on mobile devices. Making sure the content is delivered in a way that maximises its appeal can make or break a promotional video. Toast often suggest a kit of parts delivery which leverages the initial footage or graphics and provides flexibility to the client.

Building a narrative

Once the research stage has ended it is time to build a compelling story. Storytelling in a promo video can no longer be just about delivering the clients message, any new video released online has to contend with the output from services such as Amazon and Netflix. Viewers are used to seeing stunning visuals every day on their mobile devices, producing promo videos with the production values to compete with TV commercials and dramas is now a must. A dry corporate video will never attract viewers and definitely will not be shared online. Conversely a video with a strong message can cut through and build a large following around your business.

Video Production

Toast organised the entire shoot and logistics of filming in Bahrain from London. Equipment and crew were sourced either directly in Bahrain or from the Emirates. An advanced production crew was dispatched to Bahrain before the filming started to finalise locations and interviews needed for the production. The video production featured multiple locations and cameras with filming taking place in the offices of contributors to the promotional video production. Production and filming of the entire video took about 2 months with editing and post production taking place at Toast’s London offices.

C-suite contributors

Many of the interviews featured in the promotion were conducted with either CEOs or Managing Director level contributors, organising a place and time to shoot these interviews had to fit into their busy schedules. Rather than traditional talking heads these interviews were filmed and intercut with action from their daily business routines.

Promotional Video Production

The video features people from all walks of Bahrain life. Local business owners, expat business owners and employees, teachers, and professionals from different industries who all live and work in Bahrain. Their stories of choosing Bahrain come to life as they discuss home life, education and the lifestyle available to them. Entertainment and recreation are also an important part of Bahrain culture, the warm climate makes an enjoyable game of golf and access to beaches a year round possibility.

Inward Investment Video

The BEDB will use the promotional video production to appeal to startup businesses and individuals as well as attracting international companies who are looking to base their businesses in the Gulf region. The video promotes Bahrain as an easy location to situate a corporate HQ with easy links via the causeway to Saudi Arabia and within short driving distance of the United Arab Emirates. The video will be shown at many investor relations events around the world and will be seen by businesses looking to establish a presence in the Gulf.

Stunning results

The completed promo video was shown as part of a promotional push by the Kingdom of Bahrain. The video shows off Bahrain at it’s best, with stunning visual scenery and exciting action it was used to attract businesses looking to invest in the Gulf region.

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Bahrain World trade centre morning light

Charity Advert for END7

END7 - Charity Advert

Charity Campaign

END7 is a charity setup to combat 7 of the world’s neglected diseases. END7 decided to use the power of TV to deliver their shocking charity advert in the hope of persuading a large audience to contribute to their campaign. They raise funds to help build treatment programs to help some of the world’s poorest communities deal with these sometimes disfiguring conditions.

Neglected diseases

Many of the diseases covered by END7 are not widely known so putting them in front of the general public is part of END7’s remit. END7 uses funds raised to help protect people from the tropical diseases, they estimate that it costs about 50 pence to protect a person against disease for one year.

A hard-hitting charity advert

Advertising Agency Wunderman London came to Toast to help create this hard-hitting charity advert for END7. The advert titled ‘How to Shock a Celebrity’ shows the emotional reactions of celebrities including Emily Blunt (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen), Eddie Redmayne (My Week with Marilyn), Tom Felton (Harry Potter), Tom Hollander (Pride and Prejudice), Priyanka Chopra and Yvonne Chaka Chaka to extremely shocking footage showing the results of these diseases. The charity advert was filmed by Wunderman and edited at Toast.


The charity aims to raise awareness amongst the public about the diseases, the charity has the backing of large charity organisations including the World Health Organization and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. END7 hopes to eradicate the diseases by 2020.

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Emily Blunt looks shocked

Innocent Smoothie Advert

Innocent Smoothie advert

The ultimate challenger brand

Simple, creative and beautifully made… just like their drinks… this 30sec Innocent Smoothie advert was Innocent’s first foray into the world of television advertising. Innocent is the classic challenger brand, they came from nowhere with their quirky brand and fresh take on marketing. They soon realised that to break into the mainstream they needed to get the Innocent brand noticed by a mass market audience. TV provides a great platform to get a new brand noticed by a large audience and helps to build trust – which is much needed by a relative unknown. They needed their own Innocent Smoothie advert to help their brand quickly build sales and a loyal following.

The first of many Innocent Smoothie Adverts

Toast prides itself on working with new brands to smooth their transition into the world of TV advertising. We worked with Innocent Smoothies to translate their brand identity into a unique TV advert that would quickly convey a standout message. TV advertising can be a daunting prospect for new companies, we helped them navigate the process. Toast provides a script to screen service to make sure the entire project stays on track.

Producing a TV advert

Toast handled the entire production process from creative, building the right team to undertake the stop-frame animation shoot, through to editing and post production and finally making sure the advert was cleared to be shown by broadcasters. The advert was filmed on location in Gunnersbury Park in London, the setup was arranged with the hero carton taking centre stage. The fruit was added frame by frame to build the animation. The whole advert was shot on film which gives it a great handmade quality. Finally the chicken was persuaded to walk through frame to finish off the advert.

The resulting Innocent Smoothie advert was an instant and memorable hit, Innocents sales took off and they have built on the look to take their brand worldwide with nearly every Innocent Advert using a similar look to portray the brand message.

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innocent advert with smoothie carton with fruit in park