Design/Animation Studio Leftchannel Adds ‘Character’ To University Of Colorado Health and Welfare Plan Initiative ‘Brussels + Muscles’

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Working With Agency Karsh Hagan, Award-Winning Studio Animates Campaign To Encourage Healthy Eating And Active Lifestyles For Kids

“When we first saw the storyboards it was clear just how well thought out and developed the characters were—we instantly had a clear sense of how we would make them come alive,” Alberto Scirocco, Creative Director, leftchannel says.

How do you get kids to be healthier? That was the challenge facing agency Karsh Hagan, Denver, CO, when they came to design/animation studio leftchannel for help developing a series of online spots supporting Brussels + Muscles, a new Colorado Health wellness initiative that engages kids and parents by encouraging less screen time and more sunshine.

Leftchannel responded by bringing artist Shaw Nielsen’s illustrated series of whimsical, slightly surreal, yet thoroughly engaging characters to 2D animated life -- characters that communicated the campaign’s message in a fun and entertaining way.

Becky Ferguson, VP/Director of Broadcast at Karsh Hagan, said, “right away we knew leftchannel was exactly who we wanted to bring our vision to life. Their national work, character development and style was the perfect fit—you can’t help but smile watching the world they brought to life on screen.”

“When we first saw the storyboards it was clear just how well thought out and developed the characters were—we instantly had a clear sense of how we would make them come alive,” Alberto Scirocco, Creative Director, leftchannel adds. “The design style felt like it had been developed specifically for us.”

At the center of the campaign are a series of animated hero characters named Avin, Finley and Nolan who, in the first two spots entitled “Welcome” and “Heroes,” show how making the right eating choices makes getting fit easy and how “jumping rope is more fun than any TV show.”

The program is part of the CU Health Plan’s wellness program Be Colorado, and is available at no cost to all CU Health Plan member kids between the ages of 5 and 11. The program partners with leading kids’ fitness and nutrition programs, to use gaming, tracking and rewards to help kids turn more of their time into playtime. Brussels + Muscles also includes a custom educational curriculum that gives parents and kids the tools to track progress and help their families become healthier.

In addition to enrolling a large number of eligible families already, the campaign recently garnered a District Gold Addy for the Southwest region, a Denver Fifty award and an honorable mention at the Art Directors Club Denver awards, in both Broadcast Design and Identity Development categories.

About leftchannel:
Established in 2003 and headed by Alberto Scirocco, leftchannel is a motion design studio comprised of multidisciplinary graphic design artists specializing in motion graphics, TV spots, music videos, broadcast identities, program titles and opens, animation and graphic design, advertising and broadcast graphics. Scirocco began his career in design and art in Italy before moving to the U.S., where he helped establish leftchannel in Columbus. An adjunct professor and head of the CCAD Motion Design program, Scirocco’s passion for computer animation and motion graphics is a driving force behind the firm’s decisively individualistic and pioneering capabilities adaptable in a multitude of fields including film, advertising, broadcast graphics, architecture, retail planning, digital installation, projection mapping and environmental design.

About Karsh Hagan:
In 1977, Phil Karsh and Tom Hagan founded Karsh Hagan on the love of a great idea. After 38 years, that’s what keeps us hungry today. A full service-advertising, branding and digital agency. Key clients include: American Crew, Arrow Electronics, Colorado Tourism Office, InnovAge, Colorado Mountain College, Pinnacle Bank, University of Colorado Denver, VISIT DENVER, Southern Land and others. Projected agency billings for 2014 are $54 million. Karsh Hagan was recognized as one of the top small businesses in The Denver Post’s 2013 Top Workplaces and one of the Top 100 Woman-Owned Companies in 2013 from ColoradoBiz Magazine. For more information, visit, check out our blog, “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @karshhagan. Karsh Hagan recently relocated to 685 South Broadway, Denver, CO 80209.

About the CU Health Plan:
In 2010, in an effort to create a more cost-effective way of providing healthcare to their employees, the University of Colorado, University of Colorado Hospital Authority, and University Physicians, Inc., established The CU Health Plan under the University of Colorado Health and Welfare Trust.

About Be Colorado:
Be Colorado, the integrated wellness program of the CU Health Plan, was established in 2011. Be Colorado serves as the comprehensive wellness component of the Plan, aiming to provide participants the tools, resources, environment, and motivation needed to enhance wellness.

Web Resources:
For more info about Leftchannel:

For more info, images and video about Brussels + Muscles campaign:

Click here to watch Brussels + Muscles spot “Welcome”:

Click here to Brussels + Muscles spot “Heroes”:

Creative Credits:
Client: University of Colorado
Project: “Welcome,” “Heroes” (both :30s)

Agency: Karsh Hagan, Denver, CO

Illustration: Shaw Nielsen, Denver, CO

Animation: leftchannel, Columbus, OH
Creative Director: Alberto Scirocco

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