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The Best Work You May Never See: Vhi Healthcare's "Katherine" From Publicis Dublin


Robert Goldrich
Monday, Aug. 14, 2017


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Gavin Kelly of production company Piranha Bar directed this hybrid live-action/animation piece titled “Katherine” for Vhi Healthcare, a health insurance company in Ireland. Conceived by ad agency Publicis Dublin, the spot introduces us to Katherine, a primary school teacher and cancer survivor, and follows her journey from being diagnosed with thyroid tumors through to her intensive treatment and recovery. Beginning as live action with Katherine in a classroom, the film delves into her memories, which play out as an animated model miniature within the real setting. 

Katherine describes the emotional challenges of being away from her family and confined to an isolation unit during her radiation treatment. The interplay of space between the real Katherine and the animated one acts as a metaphor for the separation she felt during this time. However, the soft character animation provides a tactile tale that echoes Katherine’s peace of mind, thanks to all her treatment being covered by Vhi. The physical interaction with her avatar illustrates how Vhi helped her through the process and allowed her to get back to doing what she does best in the classroom.

Flexing its expertise in live action, animation and postproduction, Piranha Bar not only shot the film, but designed, developed, and animated all of the 3D CG miniature characters and sets.

Piranha Bar’s Gavin Kelly said, “The new ‘Vhi Testimonials’ spot is the most complex animation we’ve created with Vhi Healthcare so far, so it was an exciting challenge for us. For ‘Katherine’, we wanted the Vhi subscriber to interact physically with her animated memories, so we thought carefully about how to weave together the live action and animation seamlessly. The seriousness of the story called for a more mature animation style compared to previous campaigns, but we still wanted the film to have a bright, accessible quality to reflect the positive outcome of the story.”

“Katherine” is now running on TV and online.


Client Vhi Healthcare Agency Publicis Dublin Production Piranha Bar Gavin Kelly, director; Richard Chaney, creative director; Emily Brady, producer.

Category of ScreenWork: 


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<iframe width="1280" height="750" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
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