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Coming Soon To Your Bathroom Wall: The Studio Upstairs’ Kool Campaign

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. DVD quality audio and video flat-screen monitors are positioned in nightclub washrooms over urinals and hand dryers. Resembling a standard poster display, the "Nbox" unit senses when a patron has approached and begins to play the spot. "Talk about a captive audience," explained Ken Stuart of EK3 Technologies, makers of the Nbox displays. "This is a good example of how many advertisers who traditionally depend on static-paper media can now take their message to consumers digitally. And it is a logical choice for animation and motion graphics." The Studio Upstairs animator Collin Cunningham used Lightwave and Houdini to create the 3D environment featured in the spot, which brings KOOL's print campaign to life. "The 30-second spot literally animates KOOL's print ad," said Michael Churchill, executive producer for The Studio Upstairs. "It takes the viewer through a high-energy, high-flying, pulsating trip complete with product, dry ice and pyrotechnic effects in a large, abstract nightclub environment." The commercial was created entirely using animated CGI and was designed to reflect the current print campaign that is targeted to male nightclub and rave patrons. The elements were later composited using Flame and Inferno, adding the atmospheric and pyrotechnic effects. The Studio Upstairs is a design, animation and visual effects company based in Toronto, Canada. Catering to the film, television and high definition industries, recent clients include Showtime, CTV, Discovery Channel, MGM, Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks SKG.

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