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.
Independent animation studio Wild Brain, Inc., has completed an animated commercial campaign for The Wall Street Journal promoting the redesign of the paper and the introduction of their new consumer-oriented "Personal Journal" section. San Francisco agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners conceived a combination live-action and animated spot and teamed with Wild Brain for the animation. The goal was to bring to life the proprietary stippled illustration style that has long been associated with the publication.
Visual effects and design company A52 has recently completed visual effects work for the latest Gatorade Ice spot via agency Element 79 Partners and director Phil Joanou. "Defining Mia," a 30-second spot that began airing on April 1, 2002, shows U.S. soccer star Mia Hamm on the field with Gatorade Ice in her veins. While she shoots for the winning goal, a sequence of X-ray shots shows the Ice at work inside her.
German director Raimund Krumme has just completed work on two 30-second spots for the Oklahoma-based Integris Heart Center by way of Dallas advertising agency latitude and producers Acme Filmworks. Krumme is well known for his sophisticated line art and "Pushing the Edge" and "Multi-Speciality Resources" were created in Krumme's signature character animation style. The animation was hand drawn and animated on paper by Krumme, who also directed the spots. "Pushing the Edge" (top two images right) finds a physician standing on the edge of an undefined lined surface.
The Animation House in Toronto recently completed animation on Colgate Palmolive's latest 30-second spot titled "After Dinner Debate," by way of Canadian agency Young & Rubicam, Toronto. Styled after a 50's sitcom, "After Dinner Debate" features The Cuticles, a typical family sitting around the dinner table arguing about who is going to do the dishes. But instead of arguing about who has to do them, the argument is who gets to do them, because of course, the Cuticle family is a family of talking hands, and they all want their "hands" in the Palmolive.
Toronto-based animation company Red Rover Studios has completed a new animated spot for AOL/Moviefone via agency Mad Dogs and Englishmen. Airing in theaters and on TV, "Lil Red" is a twisted take on the Little Red Riding Hood fable, featuring "Grandma" wolf with curlers in her hair and large balloons standing in for her bosoms. Mad Dogs creative team and Red Rovers Andy Knight, who directed the spot, wanted to define the characters in a whole new way, giving them a more modern and up-to-date approach.
London-based stop-motion animation production company Loose Moose was responsible for one of the coolest ads that debuted during the Super Bowl - the BRISK iced tea spot featuring a puppet uprising. The companys latest commercial in the six year Pepsi-Lipton BRISK campaign for J. Walter Thompson, New York is a 60-second spot called "DeVito," starring a puppet Danny DeVito and featuring the actor as his own voice talent. Co-stars were the regular cast of BRISK characters including Burgess Meredith, Phil Morris (the "Jackie Chiles" character from SEINFELD) and James Brown.
With a brief from client B Sky B to create a composite of classic British rock icons, London-based Uli Meyer Studios has delivered Li'l Red Button Man, a rockin' 3D character who embodies the new interactive features of the network's digital broadcasting. The commercial begins with a track into a remote control on a coffee table in front of a wide screen television. The red button on the remote becomes the hair of the character Li'l Red, as he levitates out of the remote while the coffee table and wide-screen television become a rock stage. The music kicks in and Li'l Red comes to life.
A four-minute animated short film about the dangers of drinking and driving has been created to teach elementary school children about the importance of making the right choices when it comes to drinking. Stone Soup produced the film for the Texas-based Gulf Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Animated in a limited but colorful style, the character "Dudeasaurus," a half teen/half dinosaur, morphs into a super hero called MADDasaurus after saving a mans life.
For General Mills new 30-second spot, "Skateboarding," ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi, New York commissioned the artists at SimEx Digital Studios to complete 2D and 3D animation, compositing and editing. "Skateboarding" features the classic animated character Sonny the Cuckoo Bird and Cocoa Puffs cereal. As two young children watch Sonny skillfully control his skateboard up and down a half pipe he lets them know that Cocoa Puffs cereal will provide them with the energy they need for an action-packed skateboard run.
Berkeley-based Tippett Studios is the visual effects company behind Blockbusters newest advertising campaign "Carl & Ray," which premiered on Super Bowl Sunday, February 3, 2002. In partnership with agency Doner Advertising and director Steve "Spaz" Williams of Complete Pandemonium, Tippet completed six 30-second spots featuring the lifelike animated denizens of a pet shop across the street from a Blockbuster Video Store. Guinea pig Ray, voiced by Jim Belushi, and Carl the rabbit, voiced by James Woods, are the stars of the spot titled "Gotta Dance," which aired during the Super Bowl.
TV-Loonland subsidiary Loonland Animation in Budapest has created and donated a short film in support of UNICEF. "Cartoons for Children's Rights" is a UNICEF broadcast initiative that aims to inform people around the world about child rights. So far, the effort has forged partnerships with nearly 70 animation studios in 32 countries that have developed 30-second non-verbal public service announcements (PSAs). UNICEF distributes the PSAs to broadcasters for the cost of the tape.
J.J. Sedelmaier has taken the wacky sensibility of the SNL TV Funhouse spots (AMBIGUOUSLY GAY DUO and X-PRESIDENTS among others) and hit the links. In a cross-media marketing campaign for golf footwear and accessories company Footjoy, J.J. Sedelmaier Productions, via agency Arnold Worldwide in Boston, has created the "Golf Gods," who will be featured in four 30-second animated commercials as well as print ads, posters and on the Footjoy Website.
New York-based production company Dogmatic has created six Webisodes based on the new 90-second Pepsi campaign "Now and Then" that premieres during the Super Bowl on February 3, 2002. For the new campaign, singer Britney Spears travels back through stylized musical time inspired by Pepsi jingles from the last five decades. In the original Webisodes, Dogmatic used Flash animation to frame live-action behind-the-scenes and rehearsal footage and carry Britney from one era to the next via a Pepsi time-travel machine.
Film Roman Commercials has created a youth-targeted animated television public service announcement for the Partnership for a Drug-Free America (PDFA). The 30-second spot was produced in-house by Film Roman Digital who utilized a combination of Adobe software, including Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects. The spot, titled "The Works" creatively illustrates how drugs can break down ones body. Targeting 6 to 8 year-olds, it will begin running in pro-bono media in January 2002.
Los Angeles-based Hornet Animation along with New York production company SCTV has created some innovative pre-game intros for the New York Rangers hockey team that pay special tribute to the city of New York. Rangers game operations manager Ryan Halkett explained, "The goal for the Rangers opening video was to celebrate our great country and city, the fact that we play in Madison Square Garden, the Rangers organization and its players.
Playground, the recently launched digital design and production studio, has produced a fully computer animated television spot for information services company EMC that compares data management to a golf ball. Designed by Playground creative director Craig Price for Boston agency Arnold Worldwide, "Golf" debuted during the November World Golf Championship-EMC World Cup telecast. The spot begins like a sports promo as a golf ball arcs over the fairway. A closer look reveals that this is no ordinary ball, as its dimples are shaped like monitors and in a moment it has shot into space.
For Saatchi & Saatchis "Unleash the Power of the Sun" campaign for Sunny Delight, Charlex produced two 15-second spots integrating 3D animation with filmed action by director Michael Schrom. The fast-moving 15-second spots, called "Choker" and "Escape Artist," get right to the point, showing a chained beverage breaking loose from its bonds, and a straight-jacketed bottle escaping from its constraints. The spots, aimed at a "tween" audience, began airing nationally on December 3.
R!OT provided visual effects and post-production services for a new 30-second spot for Honda that delivers a message about the new Accord in two languages. Conceived by Los Angeles ad agency Muse Cordero Chen, the spot shows a red Accord gliding back and forth across a white background. As it rolls along, the car leaves a black trail. It's only when the camera pulls back at the end of the spot that it becomes apparent that the car's path had a purpose, as the black lines form an elegant calligraphy character.
NY-based design studio Pitch has created four :30 animated spots for the New York Metro. The spots use a 50s retro art direction with minimalist animation to illustrate the whimsical situations devised by agency DeVito/Verdi. For example, in one spot two men walk into a bar and marvel at all the women - then realize the nightspot caters to lesbians. The spots all have a comedic element and wind up with the same message: Use New York Metro to guide you to the best bets in entertainment, shopping, food and recreation.
The first commercial project from the newly-opened London branch of Wild Brain, Inc. has been completed. Created for Parfum du Coeur's Body Fantasies fragrance line, the "Just For Me" :15 and :30 ads began airing on November 30 in major markets across the United States. Produced out of Wild Brain UK, LLC conceptualized by WSAA, Inc. and directed by Mike Smith, the "Just For Me" campaign is animated using traditional 2D animation techniques, painted and rendered by hand. The images were then re-worked with digital effects and composited in AfterEffects, Flame and Edit Box.
Uli Meyer Animation created a 30-second computer animated title sequence for the German television station WDR show entitled MADE IN EUROPE. To illustrate the wacky nature of the show, which features guests from six European countries who talk about and perform country-specific oddities and customs, Uli Meyer Animation chose to use stereotypical images of European countries presented in a comical way. Some of the title sequence elements include dancing Can-Can girls on top of a London bus driven by Picasso that crosses in front of the Eiffel Tower while a Scotsman does a sword dance.