The Brief

Recently, Alpha Grid, a Financial Times company approached us with an exciting project in mind. They wanted to create a personalised 3D data driven animation for their readers. The concept was to provide insight into their audiences’ reading preferences and how they interacted with the Financial Times app throughout the previous year. Our brief was to create a year-in-review style animation titled ‘The Financial Times Reading Review’. The animation was to highlight readers’ past habits while also recommending content for them to access in the upcoming year all wrapped up in an engaging and data driven 3D animation.

Our Response

The Financial Times is a world-leading publisher renowned for its highly informative and insightful content on current affairs in business and economics. To kick off we began by brainstorming a 3D animation concept that would reflect the sophisticated and modern aesthetic that is synonymous with the Financial Times’ brand and readership.

Our aim was a highly polished and professional concept. Through our creative storytelling, and dynamically designed 3D animation, we depicted each reader’s past reading statistics. We did this using a series of interconnected square building blocks as well as other animated assets that were carefully tailored to the Financial Times data driven theme. The video begins by directly addressing the reader by name and then welcoming them to their Financial Times Reading Review.  We then present a wide variety of animated personal data insights and reading recommendations to the viewer, with a final sign-off thanking them for subscribing to the app. 

Look Development

We decided on a building block motif to be the main design theme of the animation. The 3D blocks gave us the foundation to base the narrative and ensure that the data and information was presented in both an informative and visually enchanting way. We believed this would be the ideal way to concisely present each reader’s individual statistics, from the number of articles they have read, to their most followed topics on the app. 

Our approach focused on mixing the square building blocks with other animated elements to create an engaging and personalised experience for each app user. For each piece of data we used a related animated element that helped bring the statistics and feel of the animation to life. 

As you can see in the final video we used a stack of 3D animated books to show how a users’ reading has ‘stacked up’ in terms of word count. While a gift box was chosen to reveal the number of articles a person had gifted to their friends. 


For the initial storyboard we wanted to ensure we fit around the The Financial Times brief of wanting a sleek looking animation that conveyed a variety of information in a short space of time. To create this timing was crucial as well as making sure the 3D visuals flowed seamlessly from one piece of information to the other. 

As you can see from the storyboard, we implemented a variety of assets with simple yet elegant text animations to engage viewers as each part of their data was presented. Our main aim was to connect with the audience by displaying their statistics in an exciting, informing and engaging way. To ensure the animation was as dynamic as possible we included fast camera style zooms and transitions to give it a high production feel and make the whole piece flow effortlessly together. 

We included 3D elements, such as the mouse cursor, that we used to interact with the assets and transition from each of the different data points displayed within the video. We also added uplifting classical music to complement the tone of the video and appeal to its educated target audience. 

behind the scenes


A trend we have been observing in recent months is companies increasingly looking to create more personalised experiences for their customers. By harnessing the power of a data driven animation it helps to achieve this by providing a personalised and custom insight for each user . You only need to look at Spotify’s viral Wrapped campaign to see how these types of personalised data insights really capture an audience’s imagination and attention. 

To further build on this concept we gave the video the ability to be easily customised to each reader’s individual data. As you can see from the campaign, data could be easily edited through inputting different users’ specific information in the video which would then automatically update based on their behaviour. 

Customised 3D animations, like this project, allow brands to create unique and memorable experiences for each user based on their individual preferences. By utilising data insights to create hyper personalised content, businesses can engage with their customers like never before.  

This type of personalised animation gives brands the opportunity to really demonstrate their commitment to each of their customers, and ultimately set them apart from their competitors. 

So, if you are looking to elevate your brand with a personalised, data driven animation then get in touch with our expert team of 3D animators today. 

Happy client

“We worked with TAG on a very complicated and time-sensitive project over the Christmas period. I can’t sing their praises enough. Theo, Jay, and the team are utmost professionals. They’re creative, imaginative, receptive to ideas, unceasingly positive and technically masterful.
Despite a confluence of difficult circumstances, they went above and beyond to deliver what we needed over the holiday period, doing what frankly seemed impossible to get us to meet our deadline. TAG met rounds of (at times, conflicting!) feedback with smiles and can-do attitude. They don’t just make pretty animations. They understand the complicated technical stuff. The nature of the job we’d asked them to do (multitudes of personalised videos using AI tech to enter multiple, different data points for each user) meant exporting many scenes in copious variations, and responding to our software partners during the “animation testing” phase in a prompt and timely manner, none of which fazed the TAG team at all.
The studio is top of their game and I can’t wait for our next project together. To top it all off, they’re just fantastic humans that, after working with, you’ll want to be friends with!”


– Polina Boiko, Executive Producer at Financial Times

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