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.
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.