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How America and Europe became best friends.

Transatlantic Tales — Bertelsmann Foundation

Skills involved:

Concepting, Narrative Design, Visual Design, Motion Design, Audio Production


The Bertelsmann Foundation North America (BFNA), established in 2008, was created to promote and strengthen the transatlantic relationship. Through its research, debate forums and multimedia tools, it provides analysis and solutions to the most pressing economic, political and social challenges impacting the United States and Europe.

Yet all too often, transatlantic policy debates are too academic and technical to capture a large audience. That’s why, in March 2020, BFNA approached AWE_Studio with an exciting challenge: to tell the story of the EU-US relationship through a series of highly entertaining and informative animation videos.

Crafting a

We immediately jumped at the opportunity to do what we do best: combining cross-media formats (in this case: audio, illustration and animation) to make the story come alive. After BFNA provided the data and preliminary research, our Brussels-based editors set to work on the video script.

Meanwhile, our Paris-based motion designers and illustrators spent four weeks tirelessly sifting through hundreds of archival photos and dozens of hours of video footage, animating every second of every frame. At the end of the process, our copywriters went through multiple iterations of the script before sending it to our audio team for the final voice recording.

The final product offers an immersive and visually scintillating experience. The first video in the series, called “Cowboys in Krakow,” reached 20.000 viewers in the first week—an all-time high for the client, BFNA. It takes viewers on a visual journey, stopping at the major milestones that mark the transatlantic alliance—from the steamships of the 1920s, to jazz and bop bands in Paris during World War II, to contemporary art galleries. BFNA has commissioned at least five more videos of this kind for 2021. We’re looking forward to many more immersive transatlantic stories in the future!

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Transatlantic Tales — Bertelsmann Foundation
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