British Gas ‘FreeTime’

Wilbur, the loveable penguin from British Gas, is up to his usual antics in the latest film to air this week.

We worked closely with the director Michael Arnold of Fresh Film and the Ogilvy creative team to reunite with Wilbur and advertise British Gas’s new customer offer.

The new spot opens with the intrepid penguin and Lee the engineer in a kitchen. Wilbur suddenly leaps from his stool and lands rather precariously on a robot vacuum below. Once balanced he’s soon whizzing around the house introducing the viewer to ways they may use their free electricity time. Wilbur’s cheeky character is even more evident as the teams have gone further in developing his personality. This latest commercial also promotes the interaction between Wilbur and Lee, adding to the viewer’s experience.

Alongside Wilbur the robot vacuum also needed to be built in CG. To ensure that that the cleaner looked realistic, subtle rocking motions were added in reaction to Wilbur’s movement. As Wilbur travels onboard it spins and turns in perfect synchronicity with his movements.

In developing Wilbur’s character the Filament team was able to present a couple of options of how he could leap onto the kitchen counter from the cleaner, before handing over his tablet. The final choice sees Wilbur sliding on his belly across the counter. This funny scene epitomises his more developed and cheeky personality.

Filament Post is delighted to be involved with developing Wilbur’s character and each new film brings a new challenge.

Of this latest commercial Hani AlYousif says:

“The animation team jumped at the chance to work with Wilbur again. They all cheered when they found out the brief: Wilbur surfing a robot vacuum! This would add a lot to Wilbur’s personality. He could be more curious about his environment and willing to explore anything. We’re really proud of the final result and hope everyone enjoys the film”

  • Client: Ogilvy
  • Date: 07 / 2016
  • Client: British Gas
  • Agency: Ogilvy One
  • Creative Director: Rod Broomfield
  • Senior Art Director: Neal Williamson
  • Copywriter: Rick Sear
  • Agency Producers: Anna Howard & Chloe Goodman
  • Production Company: Fresh Film
  • Director: Michael Arnold
  • Producer: Richard Carter-Hounslow
  • Post Production: Filament Post
  • VFX Team: Filament Post
  • VFX Supervisor: Hani AlYousif
  • CG Team: Jean-Louis Billard & Thibault Pierre
  • Flame: Hani AlYousif & Jamie Crofts
  • Post Producer: Pippa Halfnight