V&A Museum of Childhood

Imaginary Friends

AMV BBDO bought together some of the world’s best creative talent for a new exhibition, which opened at the V&A Museum of Childhood. The press and poster campaign broke on 1st February. Model makers such as Aardman and Psyop both contributed to the show, titled ‘The Imaginary Friends Collection’. The world famous photographer, Rankin was then brought in to photograph the children with their imaginary friends.

The project began way back in September when more than 60 children were invited to a workshop, where they were asked to describe their imaginary friend in as much detail as possible. The most interesting characters were then brought to life by the likes of Tsuneo Goda, the creator of the Japanese pop icon Domo Kun. Aardman, famous for their creation of Wallace & Gromit and Becky & Joe the two creators of the viral hit ‘Don’t Hug me I Am Scared’. The results are as varied as they are intriguing and range from an 8ft dinosaur to a three-eyed girl with a pet cloud.

Arvid Harnqvist & Amar Marwaha, the creative team who devised the idea, said: “Children create many amazing things. Take their imaginary friends for instance. They are talked about all the time and often become part of the family. But when the child gets older, these marvellous creations fade away. This project aims to immortalise them.”

Rhian Harris, Director, V&A Museum of Childhood, comments: “This new campaign has brought together children’s imaginations with some of the UK’s most exciting designers and artists, in an exciting project to bring their ‘imaginary friends’ to life for all to see. The Museum of Childhood is part of the V&A family of museums and committed to inspiring creativity in all.”

Aardman, creator of Monster, add: “An imaginary friend with 3 eyes, 4 arms and 4 legs. What’s not to love! We’ll play that game any day. Thanks AMV BBDO and V&A Museum of Childhood for letting us join in.”

Péter Vácz at Picasso Pictures, creator of Swerl, comments: “As an artist it's one of the most exciting things to bring an imaginary creature to life, especially when it comes from a child's mind. Eva Wood's ‘Swerl' is one that I was very happy to bring into our world.”

Becky and Joe at BlinkInk, creators of Chloe, add: “This was a really fun project to be involved in and it’s such a great idea. Hopefully bringing the imaginary friends to life won't give the children nightmares… we’re not sure we would want to hang out with Chloe ourselves!”

Work in this campaign