Animation and production studio BlindPig has created a film for Unicef of animated tattoos coming to life on David Beckham’s body – amongst his own tattoos - calling for an end to violence against children.

The tattoos on Unicef Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham are animated to depict forms of violence endured by children in their homes, schools, online and in communities. 

Violence against children marks them forever - this is the main narrative of the campaign according to director Jonas McQuiggin.

“It’s different from most campaigns in the fact that it lets the stories come to the forefront, instead of the celebrity,” he says. 

“In the film, David’s body becomes a canvas to highlight the issue of violence against children.” 

The team at BlindPig started from scratch with the illustrations – sketching designs and developing the narrative in a simplified manner so the message could be conveyed in four images in the 60-second film.

Senior producer at BlindPig’s sister company Absolute Post, Kirsty Murray, says four of the team worked on developing the script, making sure the designs could tell the story before they were animated. 

“We primarily filled the blank patches on David’s skin, but with interlocking shot we felt we needed to add a little bit of subtle animation with the teardrop and the bird,” she says.

The shoot of David Beckham took place at Duke Island Studios, with sound design by BlindPig and editing at Absolute Post. BlindPig were approached by Unicef and commissioned to write a script based on four case studies before the campaign.

“Throughout the process we just kept pushing the idea, watching it back and thinking it was quite harsh – but each time realising we had to tell these stories in this way, because shockingly, this is the reality for many children,” says BlindPig’s Tom Cardo-Moreno. 

This follows their work on Kenco’s Coffee vs Gangs film, featuring children with animated tattoos to reflect Kenco’s work in bringing children out of gangs and into coffee production in Honduras.

BlindPig has also completed work for Adidas, Carlsberg and Italian Vogue.

The campaign begins today, including a 60-degree film and a number of cut-downs.