Students’ animated ad campaign becoming the ‘big cheese’ on social media

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A lumberjack is one character who admits affection for cottage cheese in a popular animated ad campaign on social media created by RIT students.

A team of RIT students has created a popular animated ad campaign on social media that espouses the virtues of cottage cheese, a product usually associated with health food and dieting.

The short videos feature cartoon characters such as an unassuming lumberjack and friendly dinosaur explaining their affection for cottage cheese.

Under the campaign hashtag #CottageConfessions, the characters’ musings are, in fact, humorously reinterpreted recordings of “Man in the Street” interviews captured by RIT students in Peter Murphey’s Business and Careers in Animation class.

“One of my goals is to give students as much real-world exposure as I can so that they are better prepared for this crazy industry,” said Murphey, an assistant professor in the School of Film and Animation in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.

In a twist to his customary assignment, Murphey decided last spring to raise the bar and bring in a Rochester, N.Y.-headquartered ad agency—Partners + Napier.

Murphey said the ad agency was so impressed that the company convinced its Friendship Dairies account to consider ideas for an animated social media ad campaign from competing class teams. After approving the winning idea, the Allegheny County dairy company later agreed to have Partners offer the students a paid summer co-op to finish the spots under a tight deadline.

Brian Martone, an animation major who graduated in May, came up with the engaging idea together with Siddhant Shah, a fourth-year animation major from Bombay, India, and Sierra Dorschutz, a fourth-year animation major from Coplay, Pa.

“We were aiming for something clean, concise and quirky, and we kept that in mind for both the visual style and how we communicated our message,” said Martone, currently an automation engineer at ESPN in his hometown of Bristol, Conn. “We opted to use real interviews, and putting their voices to larger-than-life characters was fun and speaks to the exciting, active lifestyle a health food can facilitate.”

Cindy Rogers, creative director at Partners + Napier, said the campaign has hit the mark.

“We see tremendous potential and have faith in the team’s ability to execute it,” Rogers said. “It’s smart, simple, funny, inherently true to the brand, born from a human truth and infinitely extendable.”

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To see more of the campaign, go to and