SHERA the sheep, magically shorn without a shearer, is the latest educational tool from Australian Wool Innovation to be aimed at a new generation of wool lovers.
Shera features in The Innovator — a light-hearted animated video that takes the viewer through the ages, offering a new perspective on how wool has played a crucial role in mankind’s evolution from the cave to the gym.
The Woolmark Company’s parent company Australian Wool Innovation said the new short film has been created to sell wool’s many messages of timelessness and versatility for a new generation.
With no spoken word, the educational clip will be used across the world in many different markets, to educate children and consumers alike about how wool naturally keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter, can be worn for active and leisurewear and has endless opportunities for the creative mind.
The film’s namesake character, The Innovator, travels through the Stone Ages, Bedouin era and 17th century with Shera the sheep, before arriving in present day. Along the way he is challenged with different dilemmas and wardrobe problems but resolves them all by using wool.
AWI chief executive officer Stuart McCullough said the quirky, effective and highly visual film warms the heart and aims to remind the audience of wool’s versatility and educate on the benefits of the natural fibre.
AWI has an increasing focus on education and The Innovator will be used within existing programs such as Wool4School. More than 12,000 Australian secondary students have registered for the program this year and will be looking for inspiration for their designs, AWI said.
“With more than a dozen Woolmark offices around the world, all working with retailers, brands and designers, The Innovator is sure to be well watched and enjoyed for years to come.
“A week after it’s posting, the short video has generated over half a million views across various social media channels,” the company said.
AWI said the film begs the question: who is the real innovator: is it man who has found a use for wool, or is wool the hero as it gets better over time with its natural properties?
AWI/The Woolmark Company worked with the newly formed Buck Sydney studio to develop and produce The Innovator.
“The film was crafted over a period of 6 months and evolved during this time,” Buck Sydney creative director Gareth O’Brien said.
“A satisfying final step was adding the soundtrack crafted by our New York-based friends at Antfood.
“Overall we couldn’t be prouder of the final film.”
AWI said the film features 13 characters and 30 outfits to help highlight the natural benefits of wool, including next-to-skin softness and comfort, odour resistance, warmth without weight and moisture management are
“Each of the 13 characters was personalised with their own features, with costumes created from textural fabrics and accessories to make them unique and fitting to their time-period.
“In addition to the family of characters, our other priority was to ensure that Shera’s fleece and the Innovator’s woollen garments always looks tactile, soft and inviting.
“From a storytelling point of view, animation provides limitless options; how else could you get a sheep dance like that?” Mr O’Brien said.
Sources: AWI, The Woolmark Company.