Stephen Colbert’s Election 2020

Promo Package

Context

Create an eye-catching promo package for Stephen Colbert’s Election 2020 Special, capping off one of the most nail-biting nights (and eventually, weeks) on American television, ever.

Strategy

Play up the satire of bombastic cable TV punditry with patriotic campaign graphics and over-the-top animation to perfectly embody the host’s brand of smart, ironic American kitsch. 

Solution

The show, which debuted live on Showtime and reached millions of viewers across platforms, won a Primetime Emmy for ‘Outstanding Live Variety Special’ at the 73rd annual Emmy Awards.

Services

+ Animation + Graphic Design + Title Design + Toolkits

Creative Context

Introducing Democracy’s Last Stand: Building Back America Great Again Better 2020 

In the midst of a global pandemic, political infighting, and one of the most chaotic fall election seasons ever, we had two weeks to design and animate a promo package for Stephen Colbert’s live election night special on Showtime — a patriotic duty we took in stride as both fans and designers. To drum up interest for the live, one-hour special, we immediately looked to Colbert’s savvy, satirical sense of humor as a starting point. This is American kitsch, amplified.

Promo Design

Over-hyped, over-designed cable TV election night specials were our main inspiration. 

Our red, white, black, and blue promo package draws visual motifs from old-school campaign stickers, Constitution-style typography, and gaudy, patriotic graphics packages used by the likes of cable news giants like CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News. We then added in treated stock photography of face masks, coronaviruses, and rogue statues of liberty to further play up the pandemic hyper-reality of the special — ultimately conveying Colbert’s sense of humor, anxiety, and morbid realism about the state of the nation.

Package Animation

Pop-up pandemic imagery, title cards, and hyper-patriotic animations added to the uncanny effect.

In motion, we imbued a bouncy, cartoon-y animation style to all promo graphics to drive home the comedy of the special. Logo animations and social swipe up CTAs spring and unfold like unhinged pop-ups. Transitions shoot across the screen in dizzying wipes of patriotism. Flashing, red white and blue mortises snake around show footage in over-stimulating marquees. The result? A flexible, customizable, all-out promo package leading fans across platforms into Colbert’s world.