David Blecken
Dec 16, 2015

Student-created video shows role of energy bar in academic success

TOKYO - An animated short film for Calorie Mate is a touching effort to relate to students experiencing the pressure of taking university entrance exams.

Client: Calorie Mate (Otsuka Pharmaceutical)

Agency: Hakuhodo/catch

Production house: AOI Pro.

Name of campaign: ‘Show them what you’ve got’

Details: Otsuka’s stop-motion film for its Calorie Mate brand actually debuted at the end of October, but has only just been made available with English subtitles. It has so far clocked up close to 1.2 million YouTube views.

The video is themed around university entrance examinations—a high-pressure but poignant time in Japanese students’ lives. It tells the story, on a blackboard, of a young student’s coming of age. The animation is made up of 6,328 images hand-drawn by 34 university art school students over a period of 2,623 hours.

According to a spokesperson from AOI Pro, at the students’ suggestion, each scene was filmed as a piece of live action and projected frame-by-frame onto the blackboard, allowing for great detail. Scenes were pre-shot using a body double, with the main character, Yuna Hirai, later superimposed.

The connection with the product? Calorie Mate is an energy bar that can help sustain students through such a challenging time. The film aims to evoke nostalgia among parents, as well as speaking directly to the 600,000 students sitting university examinations and preparing to embark on a new stage of life. National university tests take place in January, with private university testing running into February.

Watch the making-of video here.

Campaign’s view: Just as with entrance exams, a huge effort went into making this video, and it shows. The result is perceptive and moving, elevating the humble snack bar to a friend that understands the trials and tribulations of students and plays a role, however small, in helping them grow.


Creative director/copywriter: Akihiro Fukube
Art director: Takuro Enomoto
Director: Tsugihisa Tanaka
DOP: Orie Ichihashi
Lighting director: Takuya Sakimoto
Producer: Hiroyuki Yamada/Shota Kawaguchi
Production manager: Rikiya Saito/Arisa Mochizuki
Cast: Yuna Taira
Stylist: Kazuki Yunoki
Hair/makeup: Eito Furukubo
Location coordinator: Toru Takahashi
Vocals: Anly
Editor: Noritaka Imamura/Kohei Sudo
Lyrics translation: Mandy Wang

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