Three stuffed toy animals, an elephant, a cat, and a donkey are cheering with Oreos over glasses of milk.

The Fair

During a time of notable division and uncertainty within the U.S., OREO’s TV spot ‘The Fair’ calls on Americans to unite and strive towards a brighter future, together.

Co-directed by Framestore Pictures’ Murray Butler and Framestore Creative Director and Head of CG Andy Rowan-Robinson, the team partnered with The Martin Agency across a live action shoot and CG character animation to create an endearing story with a timely and critical message.

Effects Simulation
Animation Supervisor
Visual Effects Supervisor
Concept Design
three stuffed animated animals at a fair. an elephant sitting on the left. a cat in the centre holding an oreo cookie. a donkey on the right holding up an oreo cookie and there is a glass of milk right beside it. they are happy

Set in a closed fairground, the fable is based on two plush stuffed animal prizes, a donkey and an elephant (well-known political symbols), as they work together to help an abandoned stuffed toy cat (representing the nation itself) find something to eat. Initially competing to help her, they achieve nothing, but their eventual teamwork symbolizes how coming together, regardless of backgrounds or walks of life, can make a positive impact for the sake of the country’s future.

“It’s a message we all felt like we could get behind. In the run up to a contentious election with a lot of shouting across the political divide, this spot is an appeal to sanity and reason -- regardless of political persuasion,” said Murray Butler. “We needed the audience to believe in these characters, and for the message of the story to deliver in thirty seconds, which was a tough assignment. The passion that the creative team at The Martin Agency, led by Jordi Martinez, had for this story was infectious. It’s important for our artists and creatives to work on projects that they care about and believe in, and this was one of those projects.” 

animated stuffed animal donkey and elephant looking towards the camera in a fearful way in an elevator
an animated stuffed animal cat with a sad expression on its face

The team was tasked with creating all three brand new CG characters, directing a nighttime shoot at Luna Park in Coney Island, as well as animating and finishing the entire story, all within a six week time period. Animation was tapped as a natural creative vehicle for storytelling, with its sense of childlike playfulness and idealism, while the empty fairground served as a nonpartisan and nostalgic backdrop in which to bring the characters to life over a shared snack of OREO cookies.

Rowan-Robinson undertook creative leadership alongside Butler, together developing the story beats before focusing on individual responsibilities. While Rowan-Robinson focused on character development and animation, Butler headed up the live action shoot, enabling the team to parallel path the creative development of character and story. The CG team was led by Framestore’s Global Head of CG Vince Baertsoen, while VFX Supervisor Matt Pascuzzi attended the shoot and oversaw the compositing team.

an animated stuffed teddy donkey and elephant standing in front of a deepfried oreo cookie stand. they are looking at each other very frustatingly
a couple of stuffed elephant teddies hanging up. one of them looks defeated

“We knew from the start that we all wanted to be part of this project, so we found the angles and boarded the story beats, designed, built and animated the characters in record time,” said Rowan-Robinson. “In a thirty second spot, with a story such as this, clarity is key. Our main concern during the process was that the message would read well through key moments. We worked to ensure that the performance really came to life in the animation so that the audience could truly feel everything, from the cat’s disappointment to witnessing when the elephant and donkey realized the error of their ways.”

three stuffed animated animals at a fair. an elephant sitting on the left. a cat in the centre holding an oreo cookie. a donkey on the right holding up an oreo cookie and there is a glass of milk right beside it. they are happy


The Martin Agency
Framestore Pictures
Managing Director
Jennifer Siegel
Head of Production
Anne Vega
Director of Photography
Jon Chema
Production Coordinator
Olivia McLean
Post Production
Managing Director
Charles Howell
Senior Executive Producer
Dez Macleod-Veilleux
VFX Supervisor
Matt Pascuzzi
Global Head of CG
Vince Baertson
Lead Animator
Jon Burke
Production Assistant
Natty Cabral
Steffan Perry
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