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ON THE EVOLUTION OF A CLASSIC


Tapping into our unrivaled capabilities as a premier end-to-end agency, we partnered with the Television Academy to establish the official aesthetic of the 68th Annual EMMY® Awards. In addition to dynamic, high-concept key art—adapted for use across all advertising and promotional mediums—our collaboration generated stunning motion graphics and premium quality invitations for each of the three awards ceremonies.

 

EVOLVING THE EMMYS:

Although the iconic aspects of the EMMY brand identity remain consistent from year to year, the Academy values innovation in the form of fresh concepts that raise the bar with each consecutive season. As thought-partners of the Academy, we began our collaboration by reviewing previous campaign looks and mapping out their continued evolution while taking into consideration the specifications set forth by ABC—the network responsible for airing the 2016 telecast.

Springing forward from 2015’s graphical, art deco look featuring black and yellow elements reminiscent of Gatsby’s glamorous roaring ’20s, we developed this year’s sleek, modern concept with an elegant color scheme of red and gold against a stark black background. Drawing inspiration from the EMMY statuette concept originally designed by television engineer Louis McManus in 1948—which features an idealized, winged woman holding an atom—we created high-concept key art that would reflect the fusion of arts and sciences integral to the Academy brand and those its ceremonies honor. Blending the glamour of classic Hollywood red carpet moments with striking gold elements mirroring the EMMY statue, our dynamic concept honors the scope and history of the EMMY brand while simultaneously contributing to its evolution.

Key Art

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Since it served as the seed for all other promotional and advertising efforts, designing the key art provided us with a unique opportunity to tap into the diverse skill set and robust offerings we house at Midnight Oil: first developing a high-concept design, then flexing our creative muscles by translating that design for seamless adaptation across any medium.

 

EVENT HORIZON:

With the high-concept creative established and key art locked, we seamlessly transitioned to the next phase of the project. Armed with an approved campaign image, our next objective centered on bringing the story of that image to life beyond its static frame with a motion graphics package of the key art reveal to appear with titles when introduced on-screen during the telecast. Starting with conceptual storyboards that illustrated the reveal for various executions, we explored different approaches to telling the story that would uphold its overall efficacy and dynamism.

Motion Graphics Story Board

The HORIZON concept we developed for the motion graphics package serves to maintain the same art-science metaphor that informs the key art. The story truly comes to life when we roll off the edge of what looks like a golden sphere before, upon pulling back, it becomes clear that the object is actually a rotating EMMY statuette. For the next few seconds, light and energy emanate from the base of the statue in silky converging patterns, giving form and shape to one letter at a time until both the statue and the letters come to rest in place. With one last surge of light and energy, the fiery EMMYS logo and animated statuette are fully revealed.

 

 

Motion Graphics Key Art Reveal

 

SKY’S THE LIMIT:

One of the key differentiators of Midnight Oil as an end-to-end agency is our unique ability to serve all client needs in one place. So, when the time came to begin designing and manufacturing the official EMMYS invitations in line with the overall campaign aesthetic, our teams segued into this stage without missing a beat. The process began early on with a collaborative, “sky’s-the-limit” concepting phase in which our Creative and Production teams came together to explore designs that would capture the classic elegance of Hollywood, the red carpet, and the EMMYS telecast.

 

Official Ceremony Invitations

Together we successfully devised an invitation architecture and fold pattern that would deliver optimal functionality and brand consistency while upholding the super-premium quality for which we are known across the industry. Our extensive research and development process yielded an elegant origami fold structure that opened to reveal stunning key art elements showcased against a black background. From sturdy card stock with a soft-touch finish to foil embellishments and type, we left no premium finishing unturned. And since each invitation had to be arduously compiled by white-gloved hands before it could be sent, we made sure to treat every single element therein as if it were an individual sample to be heavily scrutinized. Taking into consideration the special nature of the EMMYS ceremony, we even designed the invitations themselves to become treasured keepsakes for both nominees and invited guests.

 

THE TAKEAWAY:

This project highlights our position as problem-solving creative partners our clients can trust. The collaborative nature of our process has allowed us to do away with the hand-off altogether, ensuring creative consistency, integrity and security across the board. Due to the iconic history of the EMMYS brand itself, not to mention the confidential nature of the telecast planning process, these were especially crucial factors in our partnership with the Academy. Equipped with team members who are all capable of bringing to life the full scope and vision of a given project at any stage along the way, our clients never have to worry about translating ideas from one team to another and can have all their needs met under a single roof.