Nice Shoes Creative Studio Beats The Clock for Timepop


Last Updated: November 4, 2014 3:00 am GMT
(November 4, 2014) Thumbspire, a mobile apps partner that works with mobile developers to increase their audiences via intensive data analysis, product optimization and marketing support, engaged the Nice Shoes Creative Studio to create a mobile campaign for the game Timepop. The objective of the campaign was to attract new gamers to Timepop, a game that challenges players to pop balloons in numerical order before the clock runs out. Nice Shoes Creative Director James Coulson devised the tagline “Pop against the clock” as well as four unique approaches to illustrate the addictive appeal of the game.

The campaign, which is running as in-app advertising, was a new and exciting challenge for the studio, with Thumbspire engaging Nice Shoes to craft the ads from concept through completion. Coulson led a team including CG Supervisor Steve Parish, VFX Supervisor Adrian Winter, Editors Cameron Kelly and Nicole Lana, with Colorist Gene Curley putting a polished look on each piece.

Parish animated “Words” and “Clock,” which featured the tagline and a clock as balloons that expanded until they popped. “Playground” and “Portrait” were efforts blending live action and visual effects, which Coulson directed. Winter supervised the visual effects for “Clock,” which featured a young lady popping after she attempts to pop a child’s balloon.

“‘Words’ and ‘Clock’ were great opportunities for doing some R&D work in the area of cloth simulation,” said Parish. “Both animations were achieved by pressurizing each object until they exploded. As the computer doesn't always get it right, there were some very interesting bloopers along the way!”

Traditionally, many ads for games and apps focus on features and gameplay, but the NS Creative Studio honed in on the experience of Timepop, with close-ups of players’ faces as they vented their aggravation at the game’s increasing difficulty.

“I think ‘Portrait’ stands out because it showcases the emotions of playing Timepop,” said Coulson. “It’s done in an over the top, humorous manner, and it creates a curiosity to click through and find out what game could be so addictive and evoke so much frustration from players.”

With calls to action at the end of each ad that bring users to Google Play or the iTunes App Store, Coulson and the Creative Studio team are granted a rare opportunity to see the direct results of their creativity. The click-through for each ad is tracked, with “Portrait” found to be the most successful of the four spots, increasing both awareness and installations of the game, to date.

“Collaborating with Thumbspire was incredibly rewarding,” added Coulson. “We’ve been able to get a real sense of who’s making purchases based on our work, and why. Having this level of information at our disposal really aids us in helping our clients make successful advertising.”

Daniel Cohen, Skipper at Thumbspire, said, “Working with Nice Shoes was great. Combining our data-driven approach with their creativity and production values resulted in some really interesting, original and effective approaches to promoting Timepop. We consider the collaboration a huge success.”


Product: Timepop
Spots Title: “Words,” “Clock,” “Playground,” “Portrait”
Client: Thumbspire

Production Company: Nice Shoes
Creative Director/Director: James Coulson
Editors: Cameron Kelly, Nicole Lana
CG Supervisor: Stephen Parish
VFX Supervisor: Adrian Winter
Animator: Chadwick Whitehead
Colorist: Gene Curley

Executive Producer: Geraint Owen
Producer: Shane Dolly

About Nice Shoes:
Nice Shoes offers end-to-end production and post-production solutions for brands, marketers, and advertising agencies alike. As a creative partner, Nice Shoes has helped our clients to perfect the marketing of nearly every household brand name in America. We are equally adept working from concept through completion or anywhere in-between, including production, design, color, finishing or visual effects. Discover what drives us, here:


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