Mullen Launches Cardboard Stop-Motion Effort for Century 21

By Erik Oster 

If you’ve moved recently (as two of us here at AgencySpy have), you know that while moving your life becomes dominated by cardboard boxes. Mullen took that idea and ran with it in their latest campaign for Century 21, making stop-motion spots created entirely using cardboard and only minimal color to add depth to the scenes.

In “New Nest” for example, a bird-loving elderly man moves to the city — the man, the moving truck, everything constructed from cardboard — and is originally distraught at the change of scenery. He soon notices, however, that there is a park across the street full of birds, making the location perfect for him and his wife. Other spots follow a young boy upset about moving until he finds a new friend and a more overtly-branded effort following the trials of a woman who strikes out looking for a new place on creeplist.org (I think you can guess what that stands in for) before finding the perfect place with Century 21. All of the visuals for the spots were hand-cut by artist Elizabeth Corkery.

The approach helps give the ads a distinct visual identity, making them memorable in a category where it’s hard to stand out. Each of the spots tackle a different challenge of the moving experience in an honest, relatable way, eventually arriving at the conclusion that the move was an improvement for those involved. Hopefully Mullen continues with this approach (and its collaboration with Corkery) as there’s plenty of room to explore the direction further.


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