The alphabet and 26 animals. These were the ingredients Atlanta, Georgia-based animation studio 7ate9 had to work with to create a series of 6 30-second promotional spots for Playhouse Disney's A-Z campaign. The campaign features Stanley, the star of the eponymous animated series about an imaginative boy who is wild about animals. "It's really a great show," said David Glasgal, coordinating producer at 7ate9. "It speaks to the imagination of young children and I really enjoy it myself.
Visual effects and design company A52 got a little slimy in their recent work for Gorgeous Enterprises and director Frank Budgen for 180/TBWA's new Adidas spot entitled "Slugs." The spot begins with a busy street scene somewhere in Mexico. To the tune of an upbeat mambo score, a pair of new Adidas a3 cushion running shoes jogs along, seemingly under their own power. The shoes continue their trek along the city streets, until they pass a little too close to a shopkeeper's broom, and one shoe gets swept into the street.
Curious Pictures director Noble Jones combined live-action and special digital effects to produce MATRIX-inspired acrobatics and effects in a 45-second spot for Nickelodeon. "Remote-Trix" features a brother-sister duel over the remote control. As they each fight for control of the TV, the siblings tumble through the air, glide over furniture and walk across walls until they finally halt in mid-air, both gripping the remote in a CG-created freeze-time effect. The spot echoes both THE MATRIX and CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON with its stylish, martial-arts inspired effects.
Pringles and Procter & Gamble wanted to liven up its advertising, so agency Grey/Worldwide commissioned visual effects company The Syndicate to bring the mustachioed brand icon, Mr. P., to life in two spots, one employing a mixture of 2D and 3D animation, the other an all-CG production. In "Where's Your Head At," the titular Basement Jaxx song is the score for three roaming teens who munch on Pringles while Mr. P. sings along to the chorus from his home on the Pringle's package.
Framestore CFC, best known for their dino-myte creations for the BBC mini-series WALKING WITH DINOSAURS, was recently called upon to complete another prehistoric project, although this time not on such a large scale. In "Jog," the latest spot for Volvic water, conceived by agency WCRS and directed by Who? for Great Guns, a bored caveman chucks a rock at a sleeping Tyrannosaurus Rex, and a chase begins. The dinosaur pursues the caveman, who artfully dodges the jaws of the enraged beast until the T-Rex finally collapses face first in a river, exhausted.
In the new commercial forCingular, a throng of fully animated, amazingly real taxis move to ajazzy, horn-honking track with plenty of New York City attitude, withhelp from digital production house Charlex. The spot, titled "TaxiDance," was conceived by agency BBDO New York/Atlanta for CingularWireless New York. According to Charlex executive creative directorAlex Weil, "Taxi Dance" is Charlex's most technically involved 3D jobto date. "The Busby Berkeley-like choreography of taxicabs raises the
Italy's Ubik VFX Studio recently completed animation and visual effects for the new Maxibon Motta commercial, directed by Dario Piana and produced by FilmMaster and the Red Cell Agency. The spot opens with a live-action scene on a sunny and crowded beach on a hot summer's day. A space ship appears and a friendly alien with two mouths appears, which he uses to eat a Maxibon ice cream sandwich, before returning to outer space. The model artists and animators at Ubik VFX developed the concept, design and model of the alien and spaceship.
Indian animation company 2nz recently created a "Jungle Safari" for Cheetos. Produced by Raj Kaushal of Fuel Productions through Hindustan Thomson Associates (the Indian affiliate of J. Walter Thomson worldwide), this 20-second live-action/animation spot opens on two kids sitting in the jungle enjoying a pack of Cheetos. They begin assembling 3D animals using the promotional "buildables" that are given free as part of Cheetos' latest promo offer. The plastic koala the boy is building comes to life via animation, and the kids are soon surrounded by the animals they have created.
Scooby-Doo scares up some spooks on the small screen in a new 15-second television spot produced by Blur Studio. Conceived by advertising agency G&M Plumbing, the spot promotes the release of the new PlayStation 2 video game SCOOBY-DOO: NIGHT OF 100 FRIGHTS. Like the game, the commercial is modeled after the SCOOBY-DOO television series rather than the recent feature film adaptation, although both transform the cel animated pooch into the world of 3D. The spot opens on a gabled mansion, shrouded in fog, its windows glowing with an eerie amber light.
London-based visual effectsfacility The Mill recently completed visual effects work for thelatest Guinness commercial "Lava" by way of agency AMV. DirectorRupert Sanders shot the spot on location in Poland. In thecommercial, a small village is hit by an exploding volcano and lavaflows through the streets. People are fleeing their homes but thelocal bar is in jeopardy, so the townsmen head off to save it. Theymanage to stop the flow of hot lava but must walk across it to get
Celluloid Studios recentlycompleted three different animated spots for the card game UNO, byway of agency FCB/Chicago and client Mattel Games. The threecommercials (30-, 20- and 15-seconds), titled "Everybody UNO," willair worldwide. New York illustrator Kirsten Ulve provided the retrocharacter design for the spots, which was animated in a minimaliststyle to complement the design. "You can do just about anything withanimation, but sometimes there's a tendency to do too much,"
NewYork-based production company Dogmatic has created a 60-secondanimated and live-action commercial for Pepsi, now airing in morethan 3,000 movie theaters nationwide. Featuring live-action footageof Britney Spears behind-the-scenes in production of the Pepsicommercial "Now and Then," the new spot, titled "Can Caper," framesthe live-action footage with an animated story where a basictelevision turns into a curvaceous femme fatale and a mysteriousmasked man is revealed to be a can of Pepsi. The animation was done
This spotwill make you want to reach for the floss. New York-based RhinocerosVisual Effects & Design recently created a 15-second spot titled"Evolution" for client Colgate via agency Young & Rubicam. The spotpresents a CG portrayal of the new Active Angle toothbrush in action.Although the concept was straightforward, CG director David Barosinexplained that he and his team had to negotiate some pretty complexdetails. Because the toothbrush has a translucent quality, the light
R!OT artists have teamed with creatives from the design boutique Brand New School to create two spots for a new line of Heinz EZ Squirt flavored ketchup. Conceived by Leo Burnett, Chicago, each of the spots is chock full of sight gags, nonsequiturs and silliness. "Squirrel" opens with a man in a Viking outfit carrying a princess across a cheesy set as a leprechaun tosses gold dust in the air. What follows are quick cuts of a pork chop, a squirrel, a flock of geese and a man covered in mustard.
Guru animation studio just completed four 3D animated commercials for the Nabisco Planet Snak campaign. While the original spots in the three-year campaign had been hand drawn by guru sister studio Chuck Gamage Animation, agency FCB Toronto and their client Nabisco were looking to enrich the visuals, so they turned to guru's animators and rendering artists. To capture the look pioneered in the pilot commercial, guru used more cinematic camera work, atmospheric lighting and "animated" performances to help distinguish the campaign.
For a new campaign for submarine sandwich company Cousins, agency BVK/McDonald went to Hollywood-based production company Super 78 to create animated characters that could dance around Cousins' submarine sandwiches. "We had seven commercials to produce and, of course, limited resources," explained BVK/McDonald art director Scott Krahn. "Super 78 proposed the idea of using Flash animation for broadcast instead of 3D to stay consistent with the retro feel of the characters and to minimize costs.
Blur Studio has created computer animation showing Spider-Man pursuing his nemesis the Green Goblin in a wild chase through New York City for a new commercial for Toy Biz. Conceived by New York agency Berenter Greenhouse & Webster, the commercial promotes a new Spider-Man Web Shooter toy and mixes live action sequences with computer animation. The opening shot reveals Spider-Man swinging by a strand of web between the high-rises of a cityscape.
Animation production house Acme Filmworks and director Bill Plympton have hit a grand slam with three spots for Wilson Sporting Goods by way of ad agency Euro RSCG McConnaughty Tatham of Chicago. The three spots revolve around tennis players mistreated by opponents using a Wilson Triad tennis racket. Their experience on the court becomes so traumatizing that the athletes seek psychological help. "The agency had these psychological Freudian subconscious drawings," said director Bill Plympton. "The concept was to not make the drawings realistic.
Do bats and toucans get along in the wild? Apparently so in a new spot SimEx Digital Studios created for Kelloggs Froot Loops cereal. SimEx provided live-action production, 2D and 3D animation, compositing and editing for the 30-second spot "Batty," which features FruitLoops spokesbird Toucan Sam encountering a cave full of hungry Froot Loops loving bats. Under the direction of SimEx director Jean Perramon, John Howley, Jae Kim and Tom Sito were responsible for creating cel animation with assistant animator Brett Newton and assistant director Ingin Kim.
Toronto-based animation and effects company Topix has recently completed the 3D animation for "Pump You Up" a new commercial for Scott Paper by way of agency Enterprise Creative Selling. In the spot, a procession of animated pillows enter a bathroom to get "pumped up" and transformed into softer and thicker versions of themselves to introduce a new line of Purex Ultra toilet tissue. Once they are soft and fluffy, the pillows enter the Purex packaging, only to be surprised by Mom as she enters the bathroom.
Santa Monica-based creative studio house R!OT provided digital visual effects and post-production services for a new national advertising spot for Mint Skittles from Mars. Conceived by DArcy, St. Louis, the commercial employs a fantasy scenario aimed at promoting the new product to adults. R!OTs involvement included pre-production visual effects design, on-set visual effects supervision, film transfer, color correction, visual effects production and compositing. "Sirens" opens on a man hiking through a forest.
Vinton Studios recently completed an animated spot for Kraft Foods' new Jell-O Gel Sticks via agency FCB/NY, combining stop-motion, cel animation and CG. The spot opens with a green Jell-O gel stick in the background while a 2D stick figure character looks at it and scratches his head. He moves in to investigate the massive gel stick, pokes it and whistles for his friends to join him. Two acrobatic stick figures jump up and down on the gel stick, then catapult off to form a wobbly stick figure pyramid.
MTV alum's Nick Litwinko and Peter Reichert have formed Rogue Creative, a commercial production company with interests in creative content development and documentaries. Rogue maintains offices in New York, Los Angeles and Seattle with a roster that includes many former MTV Animation creatives. Executive producer Nick Litwinko, based in New York, helped launch MTV Commercials in 1999, after almost a decade of work on various MTV series including BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD, AEON FLUX and CARTOON SUSHI.
Santa Monica, California-based Threshold Digital Research Labs (TDRL) has produced and animated "Hershey's Really Big 3D Show," a feature-length original production showcasing 3D animation and presented in wide-screen 3D High Definition format with glasses and digital projection. The 40-minute show runs daily at Hershey's Chocolate World, located in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The show begins with a glimpse into the history of Hershey's chocolate and its advertising, with a lecture on the history of chocolate by the animated D. P. Quigley.
Animation and digital effects company SimEx Digital Studios has again teamed with ad agency Leo Burnett/Chicago to create a new spot for Kelloggs Frosted Flakes Cereal. SimEx was responsible for completing 2D and 3D animation, compositing and editing for the 30-second spot titled "One Giant Kick," which features Tony the Tiger performing some moves on a soccer field. The spot shows how Tony goes from a tired tiger to a feline full of energy after eating a bowl of Kellogg's Frosted Flakes.