Fans of Brawl Stars, the Video Game, Helped Animate Its New Ad Frame by Frame

That's 296 colorful frames in all

Whoa, dudes from Brawl Stars, everything about your digital world—from the sky above and earth below to your weaponry, clothing, hair, skin and eyes—keeps very rapidly changing color! 

To drive engagement with the mobile game's community, digital agency Waste and its design studio This Thing of Ours dropped batches of black-and-white animation frames on Reddit and invited fans of the mobile game to color them in.

All told, the U.K. shop received 700 frame submissions, of which 296 were used to create this extremely frenetic 25-second promo film:

"The idea was inspired by a Johnny Cash fan film from a few years ago, where fans messed about with individual frames," Waste associate creative director Benny Bentham tells Muse. "That was our jumping-off point to creating something, a blank canvas, where people could share their creativity and individuality—and have fun while doing it."

Here are some of the original line drawings:

"We gave them complete creative freedom," says Harry Fairfax-Jones, Waste's business director for gaming. "They could do anything they wanted with the frames, and they really went for it. The process was simple: We dropped the frames in four batches on Reddit. The community chose a frame to color in. They then shared it back on Reddit. Once all the frames were done, we chose the very best and stitched it back together into the final film, prompting them to get involved with real in-game rewards and to get their name in the credits."

This particular slice of user-generated mayhem made sense because "fan art is massive in the Brawl Stars community—they just can't stop making awesome stuff," says Bentham. "Brawlimation was the perfect way to bring them together to create something truly epic." 

"The most important thing for us was to make sure there was as much variety in the frames as possible, to reflect the individuality of the community—and we knew it would add to the aesthetic of the final film," he says. "We also dropped the rate down to 12 frames per second, so it didn't fly by in a blur but allowed people to catch a glimpse of each frame as it played out." 

Oh no, those images didn't fly by at all. Excuse us while we peel our eyeballs off the wall. 

"The entire story was crafted to be a frenetic montage of Brawler action," explains motion director Alex Robinson. "Every single frame needed to be interesting for someone to color in—and that meant each and every Brawler in the film played an equal role. Each one performs a cool move, and each one passes the action to the next character." 

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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