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Calabash Animates Online Campaign For Next-Gen Nutrition Company Runtime

"Big corporate clients usually tend to play things safe, but Runtime is all about pushing the envelope. We had a blast seeing just how far we could push the humor," Sean Henry, Calabash Executive Producer.

Lord Thunderloin, one of several characters created by Calabash for an online/social ad campaign for Runtime.

CHICAGO, IL — Making the best food choices is a lot harder than you might think. Enter Runtime, the next-gen nutrition provider designed to optimize performance for everyone. Looking to reach customers in the USA, Runtime tapped Calabash to create a series of animated shorts for the company’s social media feeds worldwide.


“Marketing for me is always about trying to entertain people, if I can make you laugh then I have your attention, that’s 90 percent of the battle,” Batton says. “Animation is a great medium for getting the attention of certain demographics.”


Batton and Runtime took the unusual step of commissioning Calabash to create some 30 pieces of content ranging from short animations of less than 10 seconds to numerous still images. Runtime then began populating them all in their social media feeds, and like a market focus group, closely monitoring which garnered the most engagement. The ones that resonated most with their audience were expanded.


One of the winners is a character dubbed Lord Thunderloin — a jacked-up body-builder who opens a bottle of Runtime energy drink by crushing it between his huge pecs. Another popular animated short features a nerdy gamer who after a gulp of Runtime instantly transforms into a muscular Viking confidently hitting his PC.


“We know every time we hear from Tobias we’re in for something wild and imaginative,” Sean Henry, Calabash Executive Producer, says. “Big corporate clients usually tend to play things safe, but Runtime is all about pushing the envelope. We had a blast seeing just how far we could push the humor, and as usual Tobias was willing to take it even further. It’s always great working with people who challenge us creatively and who truly believe in the power of animation to connect with consumers.”


Batton adds, “When you cast a wide net with a lot of diverse creative it provides you with the data that shows what is actually resonating with people. We knew going in, we were probably going to only use half of what Calabash created, but that was okay. I’m a repeat Calabash customer across several companies and if they weren’t great to work with I wouldn’t go back to them. People really love Lord Thunderloin, which is a testament to Calabash’s work.”


About Calabash Animation: 

Led by Creative Director Wayne Brejcha and Executive Producer Sean Henry, Calabash Animation is the Chicago, IL-based animation production studio known for its award-winning animation for the advertising and entertainment industries. Calabash Animation is perhaps best known for its creative character animation and development of some of America’s most beloved brand icons. In addition to their advertising working, the company has also produced several acclaimed short films, including the Oscar-nominated ‘’Stubble Trouble.’’



Founded in Germany in 2017, Runtime was inspired by the rapid growth of Esports and set out to build a nutrition company for gamers around the world. The company decided to create the perfect formula, which led the team to its collaboration with Dr. Lutz Graumann, a decorated physician and military veteran with a focus on performance enhancement.  As a result, all Runtime products include Isomaltulose, a smart carb that has a variety of benefits including a slower digestion time, low glycemic index, cognitive enhancements and plenty more.  The formula is popular with casual and pro gamers, but has also become a favored product by developers, students, preppers and some athletes.


Web Resources:
Click here to view the new Runtime creative:
Click here for more info about Calabash:
Creative Credits
Client: Runtime
Project: Social media content campaign
Client: Runtime, Berlin, Ger.
Executive: Tobias Batton
Animation: Calabash, Chicago, IL
Creative Director: Wayne Brejcha
Executive Producer: Sean Henry