THE ASK: Bottle Rocket Media was selected by American Girl to produce a series of videos for a variety of new products for the holiday season. All of the videos were going to live on YouTube. The videos would feature American Girl Dolls, accessories, and doll clothing too.
THE CHALLENGE: American Girl has always experimented with different video formats and styles to communicate their offerings. This time around they were looking to do a stop-motion series for YouTube. However, traditional stop motion would not appeal to their demographic, and also they did not want to spend the time or money to create this type of video.
THE SOLUTION: The style we landed on is called “doll-play” in the biz. Rather than animate the dolls we just had children play with them on camera. Same script, same story, but the inclusion of children’s hands grounded it in reality.
This project required us to create four unique sets scaled to the eighteen-inch dolls. We collected everything we could from the American Girl HQ and purchased or built the rest.
Storyboards and sketches were created to layout each shot of the videos, including a top-down layout plan where the room elements would be, and where the camera would be for each shot. Our production design team then got to work, taking those sketches and bringing them to life. After that, we utilized the appropriate camera angles and lighting to ensure it had a realistic feel
In post-production custom graphics and music were created to complete the look and bring it all to life.
THE RESULT: These videos tracked successfully on YouTube and social media with more shares than American Girl was used to receiving. The client was thrilled and we went on to repeat this style project that year.