Meet Sheldon, The Freesat Snail! See How You Can Create Quality Ads Which Are Also Cost Effcetive

It’s every snail’s worst nightmare – missing Coronation Street.

That’s the case for Sheldon the Freesat snail, anyway, who is a massive fan of the ITV soap. The trouble is, he can never reach a TV in time – so he keeps on missing his regular dose of Corrie. This is one of our very favourite adverts at the moment – a real heart-warming tale of how Sheldon the snail’s life is transformed by Freesat’s Freetime service.

Meet Sheldon here and watch his trials and tribulations – leaves, weather, life... and finally his moment of joy! The ad was created by TellyJuice and directed by David Skinner, while Framestore were brought in to create the loveable CGI snail. The Framestore team, led by VFX Supervisor Russell Dodgson, spent two weeks building Sheldon.

CG Supervisor Grant Walker brought in a real snail from his garden for reference. To create seasonal effects, the team used a combination of 3D, 2.5D and 2D, pouring water over a model Sheldon in order to create realistic patterns of raindrops on his shell. And how did they create realistic slime? By filming the movement of KY Jelly between two boards as they were peeled apart. Squelch.

Russell Dodgson says: "What's really nice about this job is that it relies on the staple aspects of what we do: brilliant animation, brilliant rendering and great compositing. There are no big camera moves to hide in, no crazy shots that will always look a little odd, just simple, nice storytelling with a beautiful character right up close to camera."

TellyJuice Creative Director, Dave Toomer says: “This project is poignant for Freesat and TellyJuice as it’s a perfect example of how brands can create a quality campaign, without the cost and complex process of a traditional advertising agency model. At TellyJuice we were able to use our core capabilities: idea generation, script writing, directing, motion design and by collaborating with Framestore, we were able to add world class CG as well.

“This means it is possible for any brand to create a high end, creatively conceptual AND cost effective advert, all whilst allowing the client to be closer to the creative.”

Paul Gilshan, Freesat’s Director of Marketing & Communications, says: “This new campaign is typical of Freesat, it’s fun and very different – a snail who just loves Coronation Street. We’re proud that Sheldon could help us demonstrate to viewers all the great benefits of our connected TV service, Freetime.”

The ad is being aired across the network over the coming weeks in peak-time programming such as Corrie, TOWIE, Uefa Champions League Football, and X-Factor.

Words by: Jenny Cornish