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On Brief: Yukai Du’s colourful creative for Flare Audio

Still from Yukai Du’s creative for Flare Audio
Flare Audio was founded by Davies Roberts in 2010 and makes loudspeakers, earphones and ear protectors. (Its Pro earphones are apparently a favourite with producers, and musicians and products are designed to minimise sound distortion while protecting wearers’ ears.)
The brand’s latest product is the JET earphones – an affordable alternative to more expensive models aimed at audiophiles. For On Brief, Flare Audio asked creatives to come up with an idea for a set of visuals that would capture the feeling of listening to music “as the artist intended” through a pair of JETs.
Visuals had to have some kind of moving element and be aimed at a young audience (most of Flare Audio’s customers are between 35 and 55, but the brand was keen to entice a younger audience to its website to discover more about its products). They also had to reflect Flare Audio’s ‘Long Live Ears’ strap line.
Some of Yukai Du’s initial sketches for Flare Audio
Yukai Du was selected to work on the project after proposing a set of GIFs that showed people being transported to “an abstract world” of colours and shapes after putting in JETs. “I imagined the earphones [as] a key to take [listeners] to a new world,” she explains.
Flare Audio’s core colours are black-and-white but Du suggested using a brighter palette to capture people’s attention on Facebook and Instagram. After an initial call to discuss the project, she put together a rough storyboard and added colour to key frames to show what the finished creative would like. “After the colour palette was signed off, I moved on to the animation,” she says.
Early visuals showing colour palettes
Du created two animations, one showing a man and another showing a woman. Each one features a rich colour palette and a range of patterns and shapes, and characters become younger as visuals progress – a detail inspired by the ‘Long Live Ears’ strap line.
Flare Audio then suggested some small additions and tweaks to ensure each piece of content delivered a clear message. Firework-style graphics were added around earphones: “This made the product more visible and emphasised the listening action,” explains Head of Design Tom Cass. “Finally, we added the company logo and tag line which seemed to bring the visual and message together,” he explains.

The final animations (above and below)
The creative will be used at events and to promote the JET earphones on Facebook and Instagram. Cass and Flare Audio Director Naomi Roberts were looking for “eye-catching and exciting” work and chose Yukai’s idea because they liked her “playful and abstract” style. The brand has previously commissioned lifestyle videos for social media to promote existing products but this is the first time it has commissioned animations.
Du has created some beautiful GIFs for her own Instagram Feed as well as animated content for Estrella (her self-initiated series An Anthology is a collection of colourful GIFs inspired by poems and dreams). Reflecting on what makes a good GIF, she says: “Unlike traditional filmmaking, we don’t have time to build up and tell a full story in GIFs. That’s why I always need to remind myself – keep it short and sweet.”

On Brief is part of Inspire, a partnership between Creative Review, Facebook and Instagram to showcase outstanding creative work on both platforms. Facebook and Instagram’s Creative Hub was launched to help the creative communities understand mobile marketing. The online tool allows creatives to experiment with content formats – from Instagram video to Facebook Canvas – and produce mock-ups to share with clients and stakeholders. It also showcases successful campaigns created for mobile. Try out the mock up tool at facebook.com/ads/creativehub and see the inspiration gallery at facebook.com/ads/creativehub/gallery.
Creatives are paid for their involvement in On Brief and are not asked to produce speculative work – only a rough outline of their ideas – at pitch stage.

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