Illinois Cares for Kids
2D Animation
Motion Design
Character Design
Character Modeling and Animation
Kinetic Type

Illinois Cares “I Got Love”

The I Got Love inaugural statewide advertising campaign for Illinois Cares for Kids is set in motion with our charming animated spot. The campaign lets residents know that affordable early childhood education and care is available to Illinois families.

I Got L💛ve

The I Got Love inaugural statewide advertising campaign for Illinois Cares for Kids is set in motion with our charming animated spot. The campaign lets residents know that affordable early childhood education and care is available to Illinois families. Illinois Cares for Kids is a place parents, grandparents, caretakers, teachers, and childcare providers can access all things related to early childhood in Illinois.

The spot introduces a fresh, modern rendition of the Nat King Cole classic song, ‘I Got Love’, sung by super songstresses Meagan McNeal and Arla Vox. 1o8’s media plan includes online video, CTV, local broadcast, streaming audio, digital, digital OOH, social and search. So soon Illinoisans will be singing I Got Love on every street corner.

Watch the spot and you will immediately be drawn in by the visuals, the music, and the message. ‘I Got Love’ was a natural vehicle to musically convey the message that Illinois is full of people who care. The song expresses the core tenet of the Illinois Cares for Kids program, while the whimsical, colorful illustrations, characters and animations bring the message to life in a charming, welcoming way.

Reel Chicago has already made this their Reel Ad of the Week!

”Affordable childcare and learning early opportunities are essential to setting children on the path of success. We want every family in Illinois to feel empowered to find safe, affordable options for the children in their care, and the I Got Love campaign will help give them the resources to do so.”

Play this adorable spot
Play video
Proud ♥

“Erin and her team make you realize they can make just about anything happen. They take creative collaboration to another level as they build the collective vision—then deliver it on time and within budget. And they never stop mining for opportunities to make it even better. Again, please! I’d like to go again.”

The Illustrations & Animation

We started by leveraging a common visual language when it comes to early childhood books and imagery, using basic shapes and bold colors. We took those principles and built a series of simple characters. All the kiddos were circles. Adults, were larger but were rectangles, triangles, cylinders and squares.  While the shapes were simple we did add a touch of perspective here and there.

After we anthropomorphized basic shapes we decided we would add a little personalization by showing accessories from hats and backpacks to elements that show how inclusion is and accessibility is in the ethos of what INCCRRA is providing.

Shawn Smith was clearly the best artist for us to collaborate with on this job because his personal style was already in line with the direction. He’s an institution here in Illinois, and odds are you’ve already taken a selfie in front of one of his amazing murals.

We decided it was important to occasionally set the characters in a space, so we created minimal set pieces to tell more of the story. Minimalizm was key to the success of the visual style. The goal was to reduce the elements until every stroke was essential to its legibility and adorableness.

Animation-wise, we didn’t have to do much. The characters and illustrations were already telling the story without mucking it up with the equivalent of animation jazz hands.

Now that said, it takes a lot of expertise to create something that is playful and moves along without it being too over the top. To start, we rigged up the characters and gave them these sweet little movements. Simple eyes blinking, facial expressions changing and hairs bouncing add just enough character to these already minimal characters.

We did ramp up our animation on the opening scene when we bring you into the world and with our clever type moments. It was really important to us that our typography has as much character as the characters. So we leaned into our hand-drawn look and accentuated it with playful transitions… All the while being super legible!

Out of Home
The Spanish Version
Play video

We knew that a Spanish version was also in the mix so we were thoughtful about making that be just as considered and wonderful as the English version.

Partnerships 🤝

This project is an example of true partnership. We had a client that believed in our vision, had amazing insights and was incredibly supportive. And we also had a talented artist collaboration with Shawn Smith. Sometimes the best solutions are the unexpected ones!

From Animatic to Final… Voilà!




You all know the drill, when you make anything these days you have to deliver it in all the aspect ratios, at all the lengths and for all the different platforms. How you finish a job is just as important as how creative you are and how great your communication is throughout the process.

What we love about this direction is that even the end logo was able to tell a story about a family and the positive impact that additional child care can bring into their lives. Nestled in the logo we watch the aftercare scene unfold and our cute, kinetic typography takes us through the messaging in a playful way.

The piece to your right is a 1×1, :08 second deliverable. Isn’t it cute!!

The campaign expands to include “Real Life Influencers”
Real Life Influencers
Play video

The new “Real-Life Influencers” campaign continues to leverage our original look, feel, and characters created for “I Got Love” but celebrates the hardworking, “influential” individuals that work in early childhood education and care all over Illinois.

 We are so excited to collaborate with Tessa Films director Carrie Stett and Andrew Wehde (“The Bear,” “Eighth Grade”) as director of photography. With the beautiful imagery they captured we edited, designed, animated, and finished, with color courtesy of Nolo who is inhouse with us. Let us not forget Squeak E. Clean Studios who did a great job with music and sound design.

Tom Pastorelle, our senior editor, led this campaign masterfully. To combine footage with design elements and animation can often overpower a cut. But Tom balanced the elements wonderfully and made sure the overall concept stayed clear and present through the spots.


Do good. Be good. Create good. ♥

“By spotlighting and featuring real providers working in child care, early intervention, and home visiting programs across Illinois, we hope to inspire others to join the workforce, ultimately contributing to the well-being and development of Illinois children.”

Heck yeh, Illinois talent in the House 🤜🤛

It was an honor to work alongside fellow Illinoisans on this campaign. From our agency partners at 1o8, the musicians, the vocals of super songstresses Meagan McNeal and Arla Vox, the music production skills of Squeak E. Clean, all helped develop and execute a fresh new rendition of the Nat King Cole classic ‘I Got Love’ in a charming, multi-generation-appealing video and, of course, our illustrator, artist, designer and street muralist Shawn Smith!

Project Credits 
  • Executive Creative Director
    Erin Sarofsky
  • Executive Producer
    Steven Anderson
  • Producer
    Andrew Rosenstein
  • Illustrator
  • Storyboard
    Tricia Kleinot
  • Artists
    James Wignall
  • Mollie Davis
  • Lirio Ramirez
  • Dave Kiehl
  • Ivan Miguel
  • Finish
    Tom Pastorelle
  • Finish Assistant
    Henry Smaltig
  • Music Production
  • Vocals
Client Credits 
  • Client
  • Agency
  • Executive Creative Director
    Jen Bills
  • Producers
    Jenny Napier
  • Krisi Olivero
  • Account Supervisor
    Gabi Nonneman

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