Telling Unicef UK’s story through animated video

Strategy: Content strategy | Campaign: Design and brand, Video and animation | Experience: Content and campaign management

Unicef UK is a children’s charity, raising funds to support the vital work of Unicef in 190 countries, while carrying out programs in the UK to promote the rights of children.

Unicef UK puts storytelling at the heart of their marketing and communications strategy. They understand that video is a versatile, engaging and increasingly popular medium, one that’s ideal for building an understanding around their cause, and sharing their brand’s core story:

‘Children in danger. Together we can make a safer word for every child.’

Unicef UK required a solution which would help them create the content they needed quickly: meeting the organisations high demand for video content, whilst respecting their brand guidelines and supporting their strategic goals.

What we did

Creating a visual language for animated content

Manifesto collaborated with the digital team at Unicef UK to devise a new visual style for the organisation and create a bank of 2D assets which could be used to quickly produce new videos at crucial moments. From characters, objects and landscapes, to overlays, subtitles and end cards, the charity has a ready-to-use, on-brand toolbox to help them efficiently create engaging content to support both new and existing campaigns, and respond to real-world events more quickly.


Producing engaging content to support multiple campaigns

We helped Unicef UK produce powerful, story-driven motion content for their social channels, supporting the strategic goals of multiple campaigns, including the charity’s annual winter campaign.

Traditionally promoted by a direct-response TV ad, we helped extend the campaign narrative across social channels by creating four one-minute animation videos for use on Facebook and YouTube, focusing on the effects of winter in the middle east: the lack of food and clean water, the freezing temperatures, children torn from their homes, and the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Making a brand film to communicate impact

Unicef UK wanted to explain how donations make a difference when an emergency hits, in a simple and clear way to their supporters. With this in mind, they wanted to create a ‘how your donations can help’ film, for supporters to have a clear view of how their donations are being used to support the lives of children in emergencies.

Manifesto spotted a bigger opportunity to tell the Unicef UK story; an opportunity to create a brand film by linking their core mission with the way donations help. We developed a concept that would make the audience feel nostalgic, reminding them of what it was like to be a child. The story unfolded inside a pop-up, with a central character navigating each scene on each page, narrated by a poetic, fairy-tale-like voice-over.



‘A Child’s Tale’, voiced by Unicef UK Ambassador Michael Sheen, was a huge collaborative piece, which made use of the full range of skills and experience across the agency, in design, image manipulation, 3D modelling, illustration, animation, editing and sound design.

How it went

Unicef UK’s new visual language helps us support their team in creating relevant and meaningful videos to engage their audiences across multiple channels. The animated assets and templates are used to create a mix of hub and ‘evergreen’ content which converts the attention gained by live action hero videos into support and positive action.

‘A Child’s Tale’ is now used as the organisation’s brand film, making transparent how the charity uses their supporters’ donations to them to help make a safer world for children, showing their impact, and inspiring their audiences to continue supporting the great work Unicef are doing around the world when emergencies happen. It picked up a bronze trophy at the 39th Annual Telly Awards for excellence in television and video.

How this helps us on your project

We can help you learn more about marketing with digital video and devise a strategy; review your current video content strategy and optimise it for success; or create engaging video campaigns designed to achieve specific marketing goals.

Kickstart your video content strategy with a Manifesto Content Lab.

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