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Toddlers become rappers in #YOTO campaign for Toddlebox platform

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Toddlers transform into gangsta rappers in the new #YOTO (You Only Toddle Once) campaign from Danone's educational platform Toddlebox.ie, as they welcome viewers to the Toddlerhood. On a mission to teach parents the little-known facts about what to feed very young children, Danone teamed up with creative agency Chemistry and hybrid production company Piranha Bar to create an attitude-packed film fronted by a rapping baby.

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In order to deliver the message in a way that represents the unique attitude of toddlers, Chemistry devised #YOTO, a rap by toddlers all about their unique developmental and nutritional needs. Aiming to establish Toddlerhood as an important developmental stage, the campaign will drive viewers to the new online resource and help parents make the most of this important stage of life. Hailed as Ireland’s only website dedicated to toddlers, Toddlebox.ie is Danone’s practical online information hub dedicated to educating new parents about the essentials of what to feed toddlers and how to address their unique nutritional needs.

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Sinead Cosgrove, Planning Director at Chemistry, said: “Toddlers are very misunderstood. There’s a lot of confusion about when toddlerhood starts or ends, how long it goes on for and what exactly is going on with your child who may have swiftly morphed from little baby into little tearaway. Toddlerhood is a uniquely important development stage and nutrition has a pivotal role to play in supporting this. Toddlerhood officially starts when baby has its first birthday and ends on their third birthday. Yet, this is not widely known or understood. If people, parents or even health care givers don’t know this, the risk is that they fail to fully meet the Toddler’s nutritional needs to support their development.”

Emmet Wright, Creative Director at Chemistry, added: “Toddlerhood is a distinct and unique stage in life. Toddlers grow and develop at an incredible rate, and they need the right nutrition to make sure they make the most of it. What’s also developing are their little personalities, which as any parent will know, they love to express! So, when it came to this campaign and its aim of establishing toddlerhood, we thought ‘who better to tell grown-ups what it’s like to be between 1 and 3?’ than toddlers themselves. They are full of life, full of energy and full of attitude, so we thought music was the way they’d choose to express themselves. Move over YOLO – it’s time for YOTO.”

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Set to a bespoke song, the colourful campaign shows a crew of adorable toddlers with plenty of attitude, throwing shapes and demonstrating the unique needs and behaviours of one to three year olds, in what is a critical nutritional window in their lives. The team at Piranha Bar had the complex task of choreographing the highly energetic cast of ‘gangsta nappers’ who were all under the age of three. Post-shoot, Piranha Bar also employed a masterful face replacement and lip-sync animation in CGI to make the toddler really sing. The biggest challenge for the Piranha Bar team was gathering the solid base of footage from the 11-month-old ‘hero’ baby – in fact two identical twins.

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Richard Chaney, Director at Piranha Bar, explained: “Herding cats has nothing on shooting a dozen lively toddlers under three. The term ‘Choreography’ could be very loosely used to describe the fun we had playing out scenes that brought the song’s lyrics and chorus to life. Getting an 11-month-old to maintain eye contact with camera in the style of MCs and rappers we all know and love, was only possible using an old favourite of documentary makers, the ‘Interrotron’ that allows the baby to see the director’s face through the camera lens. In post we then made the baby appear to sing by animating all but the hero baby's eyes. Various combinations of 3D and 2D animation was used depending on the requirement of each shot. Achieving a convincing natural look to the singer was all down to our meticulous lighting and compositing artists.”

#YOTO launched on Monday 1st May online and on TV broadcast in Ireland.

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