Karhu (Finish for 'Bear') is Finland's most popular beer brand. The portrait of the bear in Karhu’s logo is a familiar face in Finland, and cruicial to Karhu’s brand recognition. I was asked to bring the iconic Karhu bear to life as part of a campaign to give Karhu a lighter and more realatable tone. I made 3 animations in total, each one imbued with a different side of Karhu’s personality.

I created a custom rig for Karhu with Joysticks and Sliders. This gave me the freedom to control Karhu’s head in 6 directions as well as automate the effect of wind in Karhu’s fur. Creating a rig helped with much of the heavy lifting, freeing me up to spend time on the acting, timing and smaller details like blinks and ear twitches. All of which contribute to giving Karhu a unique and tangible personality.
Generic Karhu
The first concept is simply to introduce this new animated Karhu to audiences. Nothing was more fitting for this than to have the bear wake from a slumber. I added a small ear twitch and a majectic breeze through the fur to keep a little of the bear-like qualities at the forefront.

Softer Karhu
Another aim of this campaign was to reframe Karhu as a more approachable figure. The logo has long been read by its audience as masculine, tough and one-dimensional. To appeal to a new generation of beer-loving Finns, I was tasked to make an animation that shows a softer side of Karhu. I decided to show Karhu sniffing the air - a distictly bear-like behaviour, mixed with more human-like mannerisms, such as the head shake. To create something appealing that skirts the line of anthropomorphism.
Festival Karhu
The final concept was to give Karhu a way to interact with audiences at live events. Karhu is regularly a sponsor of music festivals in Finland, so I was to show the bear grooving to music. Later that summer this animation was shown on the stage-side screens at Ruisrock, one of the biggest festivals in Finland.

Client Reaktor
Thanks for watching,
lets connect!

©2024 by Pip Williamson | 1051 VR Amsterdam
BTW: NL003116563B11 | KVK: 76811948