Independent animation studio Wild Brain, Inc., has completed three new animated TV spots for the new Ford Focus ZX3, ZX5 and ZTS vehicles. Part of the "Focus on Animation" campaign, all three 15-second spots are currently airing nationwide. Conceived by J. Walter Thompson Agency in Detroit, this three-spot animated campaign features direction by Wild Brain's Mike Smith, Nicholas Weigel, Denis Morella and Gordon Clark.
Sweden's Studio FilmTecknarna has just completed two 20-second spots for Triss Instant Ticket Lottery in Sweden. Over the holiday period, Triss will be running their Gold Rush/Guldrushen competition with a top prize of 10 million kronor (approximately US$944,000), an unusually high amount for a Swedish scratch card. FilmTecknarna director Nick Hewitt developed the commercials using Bengt Lindberg's illustrations that are currently featured on the lottery tickets.
Award-winning director Alexander Petrov and Pascal Blais Productions (PPB) have brought the Coca-Cola Santa Claus character to life in a 30-second spot for Coca-Cola and agency McCann Erickson titled "Classic-Sundblom." The well-known Haddon Sundblom illustration of Santa has been an icon of the Coca-Cola company for 70 years, but this is the first time the character has been animated.
Collaborating closely with long-time creative partner, ad agency Leo Burnett / Chicago, SimEx Digital Studios recently completed a new commercial featuring Kelloggs Froot Loops cereal and Toucan Sam. SimEx provided 2D and 3D animation, compositing and editing for the spot. The :30 commercial "Storm" commences with Toucan Sam caught in the midst of a brewing thunderstorm. Fierce gusts of wind tow the lovable character into the rainforest as he helplessly clutches onto a vine.
Rhinoceros Visual Effects & Design animated Hasbros Talk N Pop Mr. Potato Head in "Dont Push" (:30/:15). Talk 'N Pop is Hasbro's new Mr. Potato Head toy. Rhinoceros created a five-second fantasy opening that brings Mr. Potato Head to life. In the short sequence, Mr. Potato Head's curiosity compels him to push a mysterious button which, to his surprise, makes his features fly off. The sequence leads into live-action, showing kids having fun with their new friend. The spot was produced using Softimage|XSI and rendered in Mental Ray.
Quiet Man completed the visual effects on a new spot for Walt Disney World via Yellow Shoes Creative Group featuring Mickey Mouse using some visual magic to create theme park adventures. As "Hat Trick" (:30), directed by Richard Sabean of Access Films opens, Mickey appears in his famous sorcerer's apprentice costume standing in front of four wooden buckets containing different colored substances.
To raise young peoples awareness to the dangers of smoking, students at Antonio Arroio High School in Lisbon, Portugal participated in an animation workshop conducted by AnimAction Inc., where they produced their own media campaign warning their community about secondhand smoke. AnimActions Tobacco Use Prevention Education Program has run successfully in the greater Los Angeles area for 12 years and for the first time the program was presented to high school students in Portugal.
Creative Bubble has completed a four spot campaign for Wow Wee, a divison of Hasbro, Inc. by way of ad agency Posnick & Kolcker (NY). The spots all feature B.I.O.-(Bio-mechanical Integrated Organism) Bugs, Wow Wees new "artificial-intelligence" toy. "When Posnick & Kolcker called, they knew what they wanted," says Doug Dimon, senior effects artist at Creative Bubble. "First, they wanted a truly threatening sky. Second, they wanted two product shots to emphasize the dual mechanical-organic nature of these bugs.
Ring of Fire provided visual effects for Sony Walkman Personal Audio Products new three-spot campaign via Young & Rubicam/New York. The spots all feature Sonys mascot Plato - a blue-furred extraterrestrial -- interacting with his live-action co-stars. One of the new spots titled "Wrestler" shows athletes in a college locker room weighing in for their upcoming event. Plato is informed that he still needs to lose several pounds. He goes to the sauna with his five-hour Sony Mini Disc Walkman Recorder to sweat off some weight.
Renegade Animation has produced a new 30-second spot for Target and agency The Design Guys, Minneapolis to promote the store's Halloween items. Directed by Darrell Van Citters, He's Not a Freak, features an assortment of ghosts, ghouls, monsters and demons preparing for Halloween. A skeleton swallows a piece of candy (which drops straight through his rib cage) and a witch decorates her spooky mansion using the wrappings from a friendly mummy in place of crepe paper. The Design Guys based the commercial on characters created by Sarah Nelson of Werner Design Werks.
J.J. Sedelmaier Productions has created three new spots for DDB New York client Georgia-Pacific Corp. In the latest installment of the Quilted Northern bathroom tissue television campaign, Sedelmaier revisited the Quilted Northern quilters, created by artist Bonnie Timmons. These animated craftswomen have been featured in numerous Northern commercials over the past four years. In one of the spots entitled "Squeak" (:30), the trio is revealed at work with needle and thread. Each time the quilters make a stitch, a small audible squeak resonates.
To present the 2002 Kinder Surprise collection Canadas TOPIX, a commercial computer animation studio, has created 3D character animation for the 30-second spot Action Convention, for Ferrero Canada Ltd. and agency Garneau Würstlin Philip Brand. For those not in the know about this candy treat, Kinder Surprise, launched in Italy in 1972, is a hollow chocolate egg which contains a collectable prize. In Action Convention an animated Kinder Surprise is seen underwater, decked out in a diving bell, as he introduces his collection of toys for 2002.
PDI/DreamWorks created a CGI fairy tale for the Latin American market with the new Life Takes Visa spot for New York agency BBDO. The spot will be aired in Latin America in English, Spanish and Portuguese. In this modern take on the Three Little Pigs, the pigs get wiser and wiser as they successively build houses out straw, sticks and finally, after the wolf has huffed and puffed and blown the houses down, brick, bought with a Visa card at the local hardware store. The end shot shows the wolf using his Visa to buy a bulldozer at the same store.
As part of a growing package for Showtime Network's recently launched ShoNext Channel, design boutique EyeballNYC created three new interstitial series of "Disc Jockey," a mixed-media exploration of emerging American DJs. Each two-minute segment combines a documentary style with a tongue-in-cheek animated superhero sequence to create a light-hearted, satirical look at the world of the disc jockey. The animated, comic book styled section, merging video and stills, is framed around an interview segment, while the animation transforms each DJ into a superhero alter ego.
Renegade Animation has produced a fully-animated 30-second television spot for Target, Nickelodeon and The Martin Agency, Richmond, Virginia, featuring the popular Nickelodeon cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants. The commercial, titled New Home, casts SpongeBob as the newest employee of an underwater Target store as a means of promoting kids merchandise related to the character. The assignment required Renegade Animation to recreate the look and attitude of an existing cartoon series with a very distinct style.
Sydney, Australia-based visual effects and animation company GMD (Garner MacLennan Design) has completed its latest character animation project with the launch of a series of commercials for telecommunications company Telstra. Produced for the Singleton Ogilvy & Mather (SOM Sydney) agency and the Flying Fish production company, the 30-second spots show people in various situations interacting with animated numbers, the message being that Telstra can make numbers work for people, not against them.
Design, visual effects and animation studio Spontaneous Combustion has created the visual effects and completed the conform for a trio of witty 15-second spots for Staples, Inc. (Framingham, MA), an official sponsor of the NFL for the last six years. The Statistics campaign was developed by Cliff Freeman and Partners (New York, NY) and pays homage to the NFL's on-air graphic displays, over-the-top analysis and cult following.
Director Harry Karidis of Tropix and Karidis Productions called on creative digital effects company Ring of Fire to create a new anti-smoking PSA entitled "Living Mural." The PSA was created for the Arizona Department of Health Services and TEPP (Tobacco Education and Prevention Program) and showcases the work of muralist Judith Baca of SPARC (Social and Public Arts Resource Center). "Living Mural" begins with a young man walking past a mural on a busy neighborhood street. He carelessly throws down his cigarette and the mural is set ablaze.
Digital production company noisemedia has been contracted to produce an animated version of a broadcast commercial for Canada's largest beer maker, Molson. The "I Am Canadian" campaign will be syndicated across noisemedia's affiliated Web networks and will coincide with Molson's current broadcast advertising campaign. The company will produce a 30-second and a 10-second spot featuring an original cast of animated characters created by noisemedia's animation division.
Western Images created an animated fashion show to present Cingular Wireless fall collection of wireless telephone packages. In Catwalk, the bright orange figure of the Cingular logo appears sashaying down the catwalk to the accompaniment of flashbulbs and applause, and is then joined by several look-alikes, each mimicking the moves of runway models.
Wood specialists Richard Burbidge called upon FrameStore to come up with animated figures that appear to be made of real wood to feature in four spots for their sponsorship of the television program, OUR HOUSE. The concept required caterpillars that transform into butterflies to illustrate the decorative nature of the Burbidge product - decorated timber. Directed by Markus Manninen and produced by Helen MacKenzie at FrameStore, a small team of animators set out to make the spots visually interesting and appealing.
Click 3x, New York has designed and produced two new graphics only television spots for AT&T and Young & Rubicam. One spot, cut to the Roy Orbison classic You Got It, features lines of type traveling in graceful arcs across the frame. As the camera pulls back it becomes apparent that the viewer's perspective is from the inside of a transparent sphere and that the type is moving along its surface. Periodically, lines come into focus and announce AT&T long distance options. Ultimately the camera pulls out of the sphere to reveal it as part of the AT&T logo.
Curious Pictures' director David Kelley, in collaboration with photographer Butch Belair, has wrapped on a new mixed media spot for shoe designer Steve Madden. Based on a long running print and poster campaign, the spot was commissioned by New York ad agency Hampel Stefanides. The spot combines original photos, digital composting, pixilated photography animation and 2D animation. The commercial opens on a hip girl, wearing Steve Madden brown leather platform cowboy boots, at JFK airport.
Spontaneous Combustion has created computer-generated environments for a pair of 15-second spots for Johnson & Johnson's battery operated REACH Powerbrush. In "Braces," the camera flows down a roller coaster, which spells out "braces." Once the word is revealed, a cartoonish balloon pops up with a live-action close-up of white teeth in braces. In "Professional Clean," a dental mirror probes a CG mouth as portions of the word, "professional" are laid out like a curved row of teeth.
San Francisco-based Western Images has created a completely CGI spot entitled "Balloon Art" for Cingular Wireless and ad agency BBDO South. The commercial opens with the sound of stretching rubber and an expanding blue toy balloon. The following scene reveals the orange Cingular "X" logo named Jack blowing air into the balloon. At the end, Jack whips out a remarkable likeness of George Washington crossing the Delaware. The spot was directed by Mark Dippé, of Pandemonium, SF.