Toronto-based design and animation company Ghostmilk Studios provided the stop-motion animation used to bring a cereal father and son to life in "Snowman," a new spot for Kellogg's Canada by way of agency Leo Burnett. Bob Fortier of Axyz directed the holiday spot, which opens on a winter scene designed out of construction paper on a wooden school desk. A stick figure father and son, made from actual Rice Krispies and Frootloops cereal pieces, are brought to life and together share a seasonal moment building a snowman.
Hibbert Ralph Animation (HRA) recently completed two 30-second commercials for the Colorado Lottery by way of Denver-based agency Karsh & Hagan, each incorporating very different styles and techniques. Directed by Tom Gravestock, "Musical Machine" combines live-action stills with 2D and multi-media and follows the yellow lottery balls as they move through a giant musical machine. The music machine itself is a mixed-media sculpture of paint pots, car parts and drainpipes, which is watched over by 2D animated attendants.
Cuppa Coffee Animation recently completed two very different spots for Cartoon Network to promote two of the network's most popular shows. The studio created a 60-second promo for SAMURAI JACK, which combines eerie imagery with a predominantly red palette and an ominous soundtrack. Cuppa Coffee explained that it was an opportunity to do something a little more edgy and frightening than usual for the Cartoon Network airwaves. "Jack is one of the most original shows on the air," said Hector Herrera, creative director at Cuppa Coffee.
Santa Monica-based visual effects house R!OT recently worked the bugs into a new 30-second spot for the travel Website Expedia.com. A team of three compositors and a computer animator created the swarms of flying insects that menace a pair of vacationers in the spot, conceived by Deutsch, Los Angeles. In "Mosquito Net," a woman exploring hotel choices on Expedia.com sees the descriptive phrase "mosquito nets in every room" under a hotel listing. The woman imagines herself and her husband in a tropical hideaway, only to awaken in the middle of the night besieged by insects.
Brown & Williamsons KOOL cigarettes campaign has found a new outlet for display, thanks to a 30-second spot produced by The Studio Upstairs via agency BatesUSA. Entitled "Pulse," the spot is designed to be viewed on bathroom walls in nightclubs across the U.S. via a broadcast medium known as narrowcasting. Narrowcasting is a narrowly focused mix of media created for a specific viewer. The medium is viewed in a public place, usually at a relevant point of contact with the consumer.
Head Gear Animation recently completed some spooky stop-motion animation for Cartoon Networks October programming on-air promotions. To promote the network's "Scaretoon Scaretoon Fright Days," Courage the Cowardly Dog and his owner Eustace bury a television set in the backyard. The buried cel animation TV is transformed into a stop-motion zombie version of its formerly benign self. Courage quakes with fear as the TV rises from the grave sporting a promo for "Scaretoon Scaretoon Fright Days" programming.
Rhinoceros Visual Effects once again took up the challenge of creating feisty, photo-realistic fruit for Grey Advertising and client Robitussin. As a follow up to their previously completed spot for Robitussin Sunny Orange, Rhinoceros was asked to create a conga line of raspberries for Robitussin Sunny Raspberry. In the spot, the jazzy raspberries join a dancing line of Robitussin lozenges, all heading towards the Sunny Raspberry package. The challenge was to make the raspberries look as real as possible, while still allowing them to get their groove on.
Renegade Animation provided the animation for a new spot for Dodge RAM trucks in which the automakers RAM logo sends a mischievous decal an unambiguous message to "piss off." Conceived by BBDO Detroit, the commercial centers on the familiar decal of a boy peeing that springs to life on the back window of a Dodge RAM. Mixing live action with animation, "Dont Mess" opens on a black Dodge RAM truck pulling into a desert gas station. When the driver gets out, the outline of a boy in a baseball hat appears on the back window and makes his way across the glass.
San Francisco-based Phoenix Effects & Design, a division of Phoenix Editorial, has completed two 30-second spots for AT&T Broadband Internet service via advertising agency Hoffman/Lewis, San Francisco, and is at work on a third, which will promote AT&T Broadband Cable Television service. All three of the entirely CG spots were directed by Matt Silverman and designed by Jason Ett of Phoenix Editorial. The spots fuse clean, minimalist graphics and a computer-generated cable zipping across a white background with upbeat surf-guitar music to create a lively image for the broadband service.
In eight 15-second spots for General Mills' Pop Secret, by way of agency Campbell Mithun/Minneapolis, Moo Studios' director Shaun Sewter combined live-action and stop-frame photography of a mountain of popcorn with simple type treatments to create distinctive moods for the microwave popcorn's many flavors. All the popcorn action in the spot was stop-frame animated, as opposed to being created via CGI. In one spot, titled "Swarm," a swirling mound of popcorn diminishes in size as its pieces disperse, like bees leaving a hive.
Framestore CFC has recently completed work on a new TV commercial titled "Cow and Bear," which features two animated plastic containers (a chocolate syrup-filled cow and a honey-filled bear) fighting over the pleasure of dispensing their contents on a plate of Kellogg's Eggo waffles. The 30-second spot represents the first time that the U.K.-based Framestore, best known for their work on the Discovery Channel's WALKING WITH DINOSAURS mini-series, has created photo-real character animation for a prominent U.S. client. Another first for Framestore was handling all post-production online.
Nickelodeon recently collaborated with New York-based visual effects company Black Logic to create a 60-second promo for Nickelodeon.coms Jimmy Neutron Gotta Blast Rocket Race campaign. In "How To Play," Black Logic recreated the Jimmy Neutron character and his rocket ship, as well as countless effects sequences and CGI backgrounds in order to produce the effects packed commercial.
Portland, Oregon's Happy Hour Entertainment recently completed CG work on a campaign of regional television commercials for Indianapolis-based shopping center Simon Mall. Teamed with advertising agency Publicis Mid-America, Happy Hour produced four 15-second spots to complement Simons current print campaign. Each spot begins with a paper gift certificate which then folds and transforms itself into a shirt, purse, nutcracker and rocking horse.
Princeton Video Image, Inc. (PVI) and FOX Sports presented the first dynamic animated virtual advertisements on a live national U.S. broadcast. The ads debuted during the FOX NFL pre-game show on Sunday, September 22, 2002. Using the same technology as PVI's well-known Virtual First Down Line, which appears on NFL and college football broadcasts allowing viewers at home to see a "virtual chalk line" on the field, the three 10-second ads featured Ford F-250 Super Duty trucks rolling on to Ford Field in Detroit and interacting with the field and the stadium in different ways.
The CGI and visual effects team of Black Logic recently collaborated with agency Foote Cone and Belding to create CGI and visual effects for a new commercial introducing Nabiscos new Oreo Cookie Barz. The spot, entitled "UFO," was directed by Greg Kohs and edited by Jerry Fried. Mixing live-action with animation, the spot features documentary-style news interviews of various teenagers describing what seems to be a UFO sighting. As the last teen reveals that she is talking about a new cookie bar, a silver UFO created in CGI by Black Logic, appears behind her and flies out of frame.
Uli Meyer Studios has completed the first commercial for the international launch of Cookie Crisp cereal for client Cereal Partners and agency Saatchi & Saatchi. Studio founder Uli Meyer designed the mascot for the cereal, a wolf named Chip, as well as creating the original artwork for the packaging and directing the commercial. The 30-second spot follows the hapless and hungry Chip as he tries various ways to steal Cookie Crisp cereal from two children. The spot mixes both 2D and 3D animation.
Sway digital studio has completed work on "Flying," an energy conservation spot for California Utilities via Grey Worldwide. The 30-second spot, directed by Sway partners Michael Adamo and Mark Glaser, features colorful computer generated clothing flying through a scenic black and white, Ansel Adams-inspired, California landscape. Conceptualized by Grey senior art director Art Weeks, "Flying" was designed to promote a new series of high-efficiency washers. The spot opens with what appears to be a flock of birds flying over a California river valley.
Stockholm-based design and animation studio FilmTecknarna Animation has recently completed three spots for Cartoon Network. The studio has produced a number of spots for the Cartoon Network "Shorties" series, including WALLYGATOR, ATOM ANT and JABBERJAW. Directed by Jonas Odell (MY BEST FRIEND PLANK), Jonas Dahlbeck and Boris Nawratil (COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG) and Nick Hewitt (I´M NOT COMING IN), the 2-minute spots play out as music videos featuring Cartoon Network characters such as COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG and ED, EDD AND EDDY.
Renegade Animation has revived Wile E. Coyote and several other classic Warner Bros. characters for a clever new promo for Cartoon Network featuring the hapless coyote facing a line-up of well-known animated birds, including his nemesis, Road Runner. Mixing live-action with animation, "Line-Up" finds Wile E. Coyote in a police station with a group of cops, and he's been given the chance to pick his tormentor out of a line up. He looks through the one-way glass as the perps -- Tweety, Foghorn Leghorn, Beaky Buzzard and Road Runner -- each step forward and say, "Beep Beep." But Wile E.
The Tippett Studio has teamed with Complete Pandemonium director Steve "Spaz" Williams to create a man-eating mailbox for client Capitol One and its No-Hassle Credit Card. In "Beast," conceived by D'Arcy Advertising of New York, Tippett Studio visual effects artists created a "monster" blue mailbox that chews and spits out whole a hapless bill payer who isn't using the Capital One No-Hassle Credit Card. Under visual effects supervisors Frank Petzold and Joel Friesch, the Tippet team transformed an ordinary blue, four-legged mailbox into a monstrous, slime-dripping man-eater.
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.