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Impactful TV Commercial for the Green Book Exhibition

VisualFizz wrote, storyboarded, designed, animated & sourced VO talent for a 15-second commercial that aired on live TV in Chicagoland.

When the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center asked VisualFizz to complete a quick-turn project, the agency jumped at the chance to partner with this important mission-based organization.

Read on to learn how VisualFizz successfully delivered a 15-second animated ad spot for the Illinois Holocaust Museum’s exhibition The Negro Motorist Green Book. VisualFizz wrote the script, storyboarded, provided creative direction, designed, animated, sourced voiceover talent and music, and managed the project from inception to completion.

About the Illinois Holocaust Museum

Located just outside of Chicago in Skokie, Illinois, the Illinois Holocaust Museum has a mission to “Remember the Past; Transform the Future.” The Museum honors the stories of both Survivors and victims of the Holocaust through educational programs and exhibitions.

The Illinois Holocaust Museum’s combats hatred, prejudice and indifference by teaching universal lessons that promote human rights for all. The Museum also hosts exhibitions outside the scope of the Holocaust if the subject matter aligns with its mission.

The Negro Motorist Green Book is one such exhibition. It was developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with award-winning documentarian Candacy Taylor. The “Green Book” helped Black Americans safely travel the American South during a time of Crow laws and “sundown towns” that prohibited Black travelers from staying overnight. It offered life-saving information and sanctuary.

The Green Book exhibition at the Illinois Holocaust Museum features film, photographs, interactive displays, and oral accounts from travelers and business owners of “Green Book” sites.

The Project: TV Commercial Production

To generate awareness about this powerful upcoming exhibition and encourage local museum-goers to attend, Illinois Holocaust Museum asked VisualFizz to create a 15-second commercial to air on live TV in the Chicagoland area.

The Challenge

With strict brand identity rules from the Smithsonian, a very tight turnaround time, a hard media deadline, a multi-layered external review process, existing creative, and direction to showcase the role that Chicago played in the “Green Book,” VisualFizz determined the best creative path forward.

Execution of a Deeply Effective Ad Spot

VisualFizz conceptualized and executed a 15-second video ad spot within these constraints. The team struck a balance between illustrating the hardships of Black Americans and shining a positive light on the effect of the “Green Book.”

Here’s a breakdown of the services VisualFizz provided for this project:

Script Production

VisualFizz delivered multiple versions of a script. The team adhered to very tight word-count limits and incorporated the existing brand voice. It’s difficult to tell a story in just 15 seconds, but VisualFizz delivered a script that illustrates the ethos of the Green Book.

Storyboard & Creative Direction

Once a script was approved, the VisualFizz team created storyboards that illustrated the agency’s proposed creative approach to the ad. It was here that VisualFizz honed in on the client’s ask to incorporate the role that Chicago played in the “Green Book” through imagery references.

Voiceover Talent Selection

VisualFizz sourced and selected the voiceover talent. It was important for VisualFizz to select a Black voice actor to ensure proper representation for this significant and illuminating exhibition.

Design & Animation

Now, the real test began. VisualFizz sourced existing images, created new elements and animated it all to develop dynamic, attention-grabbing visuals. VisualFizz iterated through multiple rounds of creative revisions to ensure the final product illustrated the crux of the exhibition.

Finishing Touches: Music Selection and Partner Approval

The VisualFizz team chose music options that were appropriate for the spot. The team also tweaked the informational end card until it was perfect to ensure the content met not only the client’s needs, but also the needs of its partner, the Smithsonian.

Project Management

VisualFizz’s project manager kept things on-deadline and running smoothly throughout the process. The PM made sure the Illinois Holocaust Museum had what it needed to deliver the final files to media outlets.

The Results

The Illinois Holocaust Museum and the Smithsonian were extremely pleased with the final commercial. VisualFizz has additional media projects in the works currently with the Illinois Holocaust Museum due to the success of the Green Book exhibition commercial.


The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Holocaust by honoring the memories of those who were lost and by teaching universal lessons that combat hatred, prejudice, and indifference. The Museum fulfills its mission through the exhibition, preservation, and interpretation of its collections; and through education programs and initiatives that foster the promotion of human rights and the elimination of genocide.
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