Senior Creative; Copywriter
Agency_Sixty Degrees, Doha CLIENT_Qatar Foundation, ROtA Project (Reach Out to Asia)
Briefing_48h to create four mascots to engage primary & secondary students on behalf of the ROtA project. What started as a creative brief ended up in a strategic brand narrative. This was the winning answer:
“ROTA envisions a world in which all young people have access to the education they need to realize their full potential and shape the development of their communities.”
- The creation of characters as assets with the potential for generating awareness and revenue;
- Engaging children from a very wide age range (5 to 14); inviting them to have thoughts, images and ideas they have never had before;
To nourish young minds and spirits and prepare the coming generation to change the world through knowledge, innovation and creativity.
To structure narratives that combine triggers for different development stages:
Simple language with descriptive and sensory words, rhythm and repetition, as well as animal and human characters;
From 7 to 10_
Stories about friendships, new skills or talents, daily occurrences that are opportunities for growth as well as testing values and critical thinking skills;
From 11 to 14_
Positive role models, stories about balancing external influences with individuality, content that feeds the need for experimentation and freedom of choice.
To create a mixed set of characters (human / non-human) in opposition to creating all ‘mascots’.
These characters should be designed to cover:
Four areas of knowledge / human skill;
Four basic groups
of psychological profiles;
cultural backgrounds (considering
the ‘local diversity');
Four archetypes (Jung) translatable into
PEMS profile / Earth:
Practical, experiential, grounded.
Arun, the brother
Name Orig.: Cambodia
Literature_ Social Sc.
PEMS profile / Water
Emotional, empathic, caring.
Kalila, the sister
Name Orig.: Pakistan
PEMS profile / Air
Freethinker, abstract, creative.
Name Orig.: Yemen
PEMS profile / Fire
Exciting, dynamic, transformative.
Djin, the little draco
Myth of “Djinestan”
- Each one should bring key human skills necessary to evolve ‘in life’. Each character’s main strength must come from both knowledge and understanding - superpowers that any child can have.
- These characters have a common world. However, their individual personalities must be able to work independently to promote particular goals or engage with distinct personalities (since our targets are in different development stages on a range from primary to secondary school).
- These characters must have a well-built personality and background story to allow us a greater freedom in terms of future narrative and exposure – from content strategy to ‘back-to-school’ merchandising.
Four children brought together by destiny, who will discover incredible powers and use knowledge to change the world. (One adventure at a time.)
Rough lines in 'grown-up' terms:
- Arun, Kalila, baby Raana and Djin are 'children' of different cultures, backgrounds and races brought together in times of great challenge;
- They were taken in by a foster carer (a veeery old hermit) and raised to pursue knowledge, free will and free-thought;
- The background story would start from one remote location and followed a ‘route’, where the characters meet and decide to explore the world together. (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine and Yemen);
- They are represented as coming from different 'worlds', with 'no parents' or bloodlines, yet they are as family;
- Each child has its unapologetic talents and tastes, chosen beliefs and different dreams;
- They are influenced by people and circumstances where their abilities are constantly challenged and nurtured;
- Unfortunately, there are children in the world who STILL CAN't enter this magic place where fascinating things happen, because they didn’t learn how…
- They decide to go on an adventure to spread the 'magic' around the world. With challenges to fit each culture/imaginary, ending up in a 'magical influence' that leads to enjoyment and expansion;
- Their missions, dilemmas and adventures always involve teaching, discovering or learning;
CHARACTERS OVERVIEW (_taster)
At this stage character charts should be built covering:
Particular aspects_speech patterns, posture, habits, talents, hobbies, their favourite things etc.
Character context_origins, family, past, most significant life events, accomplishments and fears
Interaction_How they relate with others, mental attitude, philosophy, strengths and flaws, etc.
Kalila, the older ‘sister’
Also called Kali, she is the one taking care of the group when grown-ups are not around. She loves books, languages and telling stories. She can communicate with any creature in the world, no matter where they come from. She has ‘the gift of Words’ which also makes her very persuasive. Especially useful when someone gets in trouble and needs special help.
Origins of the name_Pakistan
Potentialty_Language / Literature
Super Power_Empathy / Persuasion
Flaw_Most things involving numbers
Biggest Fear_To see a bee face-to-face in a place with no flowers
Basic Physical Characteristics_Short, curvy and with a confident posture. Her wavery hair has a life of its own, and she likes it in different colours (copper and pink are firm favourites). Every so often she uses an old pair of reading glasses over her bright brown eyes, but she can’t really see through them.
Arun, the ‘big brother’
Good looking, a bit of a geek and the one everyone runs to in case of trouble. He loves numbers and anything related to maths, economics and several scientific fields. He has the power to transform any data (numbers, coordinates, passwords, clues, etc.) into information that is always needed in times of adventure - including calculating distance, weight, length and time almost at flash speed.
Origins of the name_Cambodia
Meaning_Messenger; Morning Sun
Age_11 (but everybody says he looks like 12)
Potentialty_Maths / Science
Biggest Fear_To faint if Camilla, his secret crush, ever speaks to him.
Basic Physical Characteristics_Tall and slender, well groomed with a long face and long black hair covering black almond shaped eyes. He has a scar on his left eyebrow but he is not comfortable in talking about it. In fact, he is not comfortable with talking, at all. He’s more of a numbers kind of guy.
Raana can’t speak, so she developed a 7th sense to express her self. She loves painting and music. In fact, this is how she communicates. She has the gift of Creativity and she can transform any space into a different world – handy for distraction manoeuvres and camouflage during their many adventures. She can also recreate unexpected sounds, which she often does to scare the flames out of Djin.
Origins of the name_Yemen
Age_A little more than 1, a little less than 2
Flaw_Insecure and easily discouraged
Biggest Fear_Vaccum cleaners
Basic Physical Characteristics_A golden looking child, with bright straight hair, pink lips and lavender eyes. Her round cheeks are covered in tiny freckles that come to life to create pointillist scenarios, which she colours with the crayons she carries everywhere.
Baby Raana, the walking diaper
Djin, the dwarf-dragon
He is the smallest dragon ever seen, and yet, he can eat for 10 of the real-sized ones. Luckily enough, ‘Mini-Djinny’ loves anything that gets him moving, so his belly is in a fantastic round shape. He comes from the land of Genies, but no one even knows how did a dwarf dragon get there in the first place. He got lost outside of Djinestan and found by Baby Raana sleeping under a mushroom. Unfortunately, he didn’t bring a magical lamp, but he has the gifts of Belief and he can make anyone achieve whatever they wish for.
Origins of the name_Arabic – Djinestan; mythical region where the jinn (Genies) come from
Meaning_Nickname for Gennie
Age_102 (pretty much a baby for dragons of his kind)
Flaw_Incapability to stay focused
Biggest Fear_Fruit Flies
Basic Physical Characteristics_A dragon small enough to fit in a paper bag, who can barely walk without tripping on his own tail. He should look yellow, but he is often scruffy and dusty, apart from the fact that he inadvertently changes colour in times of ‘emotional distress’.