The Best Work You May Never See: Serviceplan Turns Out Animated Film "Majd and The Librarian" For UAE Bank AECB

By

Robert Goldrich
Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021

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This animated film, titled Majd and The Librarian, comes from agency Serviceplan Middle East for Al Etihad Credit Bureau (AECB). The unique campaign uses the metaphor of borrowing books from a library for applying to a bank for credit.  This is Serviceplan Middle East’s first brand film for the Dubai, UAE-headquartered AECB, and was made for the web as a content piece to raise awareness about the brand using a subtly communicated narrative about the responsibility of borrowing. 

Majd and The Librarian tells the story of a young boy borrowing a book from his local library and forgetting to return it, only to rediscover the book many years later. The opening sequence features a young man finding a dust-covered copy of “The Arabian Nights” in a box while clearing out his attic, which takes him back in time to the library where he borrowed it as a child, reminding him of the kind librarian who had encouraged him to take an interest in reading. 

The lad, now an adult, returns to the library where the male librarian has been replaced by a young woman, who opens a locker to reveal a pile of books and a note left to the boy by the old man with the message: “Every word kept. Counts.” No dialogue is necessary in this touching animation, which sensitively and simply recounts the story as an allegory for borrowing something and keeping your word to return or pay it back.  

The film was directed by Esfandiar Haji and Shahriar Ghatre of Hanzo Films, with animation by Vulturehead studio.

Credits

Client Al Etihad Credit Bureau Agency Serviceplan Middle East Natalie Shardan, managing director; Frances Valerie Bonifacio, head of strategy; Akhilesh Bagri, executive creative director; Akhilesh Bagri, Georgia Fattoracci, writers; Andre Couto, Saleh Elghatit, creative directors; Kenneth Barnes, Kunal Gagwani, art directors. Serviceplan Group Jason Romeyko, worldwide executive creative director. Production Company Hanzo Films Esfandiar Haji, Shahriar Ghatre, directors; Hijaz Moosa, exec producer. Animation Vulturehead Animation Studio, Istanbul, Turkey Elahe Khalili, production manager; Reyhane Mirhashemi, Hadi Tabas, Babak Arjmand, Niloofar Behbud, Ali Honarpour, Esfandiar Haji, Yasaman Hossein, character animators; Naim Vahidian, Esfandiar Haji, shadow & lighting animators. (Toolbox: Toonboom Harmony) Music Saman Auboutaleb, composer.

 

 

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