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.
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.