Advertising, Web, TV

Sage Intacct: Finance Superhero

We Don't Mouse Around


Like a shining beacon on the horizon, Sage Intacct provides hope for a better day – when you’ll spend less time entering and checking data, and more time forming strategies to help your organization reach its financial goals. Almost sounds like something out of a comic book, right? Well, that’s exactly what Sage Intacct was going for in this fun spot we created for them along with our buddies at Chuck & Charlie.

One of the things we love doing over here at Pipsqueak Animation is coming up with interesting and unique art direction styles that fit the needs of the project and push us into new creative directions. And while we have worked on some comic book adjacent projects over the years, nothing called for a look that leaned quite so heavily into the genre. And for Sage, a comic book brought to life was a perfect match for the latest marketing campaign to “Become a Finance SUPERHERO”. Here are a couple of images from their print campaign that we used as inspiration:

Character Design:

With that as a starting point, we needed to come up with designs for our office workers and their corresponding super hero personas. It was a bit tricky to find the right balance between these versions. We needed the office workers to feel young and energetic but not so ripped in their office attire that it was obvious they were in fact super heroes. And yet we wanted our super heroes to feel like characters you could find in a Marvel or DC comic book. Here’s what we came up with:

Art Direction:

Next, we needed to come up with an overall art direction look. We went back and looked at some golden-era comic books and while we’d love to show you what they looked like, we don’t want to accidentally use copyrighted material. Instead, check out some images here.

Style Frames:

And from there we created style frames to work out how to efficiently create a comic book look that was on-brand for our client and the marketing hook. Below you can check out one of our early experiments using half tones and comic book fonts & boxes to help convey the overall comic book look.

Animation Style:

Sage loved these early experiments and once we had the look locked down, the last thing we needed to figure out was our animation style. Both Chuck & Charlie and Sage wanted to keep the animation feeling like a comic book come to life — not like a fully animated TV show. Fortunately, we have a lot of experience in these animation styles. By breaking out portions of each drawing, we used classic puppeting techniques to animate character limbs and some facial components.

And because the client really wanted to maintain a comic book look, we didn’t need to worry about animating between drastically different key frames. Instead, we just cross dissolved and added some compositing sweeteners. On top of that, we used warping and deformation techniques in AfterEffects to animate things like our flowing capes. Here’s one of the first animation tests we did.

From there it was off to the races creating all of the elements we needed for each shot and sending them along to animation and compositing. Combine that with a fun script and superb VO and editing by Chuck & Charlie, and we quickly finished the spot. What do you think? Did we succeed in bringing this superhero comic book concept to life?

If you like what you see and have your own branding or advertising needs, give us a holler! Our costs can fit your budget.