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Framestore Creates CG Dragon for Qualcomm

Ogilvy launches new commercial starring dragon character for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor; new campaign with global reach shows consumers why they should care about what’s inside their mobile devices.


Ogilvy & Mather and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon have announced a new marketing push with global reach that aims to show consumers what’s at the heart of the devices they love: a Snapdragon processor. The campaign, which launched in late 2012, unveiled its newest addition at the International Consumer Electronics Show: a video featuring a cute—but not too cute—CGI dragon. This dragon mascot helps position Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor as the high-performance antidote to common mobile woes such as overheating, inadequate battery life, the inability to multitask, slow data transmission, and poor graphics quality.

The concept was developed by Ogilvy’s Los Angeles office, creatively headed by Bill Wright and James Dawson-Hollis who then partnered with Framestore’s directing team Murray Butler and David Mellor. Recognizing that consumers rarely consider the internal workings of a smartphone or tablet when making a purchase, Wright and Dawson-Hollis sought to raise awareness that many much-loved devices already rely on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon to deliver an exceptional user experience. Therefore, the initial phase of the new marketing push serves to educate consumers on the correlation between processor quality and device performance, and the creative campaign utilizes a layered phone image and a CGI dragon, created by award winning VFX agency, Framestore, to illustrate the impact of the powerful Snapdragon processor.

“So many people love their phones and wouldn’t give them up for anything, but what they don’t realize is that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor is one of the main reasons why,” Dawson-Hollis said. “Our challenge was to create an engaging campaign with the power to educate people about why they should care about what’s inside their devices. With this marketing push, we’re shifting consumers’ attention to what matters most in a smartphone or tablet—a powerful processor that makes your device run faster, longer, and smarter. By showing consumers how Qualcomm’s Snapdragon makes mobile worthwhile, we’ll redefine what people look for in a device.”

Ogilvy enlisted Framestore in New York to bring the :60 video script to life—and to create a dragon from scratch. Framestore worked with Ogilvy from concept development to execution, directing the project, creating the dragon character and building and enhancing the environments presented throughout the spot. The directing team, Butler and Mellor, shot all the live action at several locations around Vancouver, ensuring that the ad would feel like an epic movie trailer.  

“Working with the actors and having an opportunity to push the intensity of the performance was amazing” says Butler. “To collaborate with the team at Ogilvy on the script and the development of a brand character was also great. I'm very proud of how it turned out—it’s not every day we get to play with castles, crossbows and shrinking dragons. I thought, 'If I don't enjoy this one, I should go home now.’”

In order to create the dragon character, a VFX team explored various textures, scales, color and patterning, in addition to facial and physical expressions. The animation team worked on various iterations of how he would hold himself and move. Framestore also enhanced all the environments—Matte paintings were created to bring all the elements together in a dynamic way. Smoke trails, fire, water interaction and general atmospherics were all created in VFX. Compositing in Nuke allowed flexibility in the pipeline, maintaining a fluid collaboration between the team of artists. Senior Producer Satoko Iinuma oversaw the entire production. Original music was composed by Finger with sound design by HenryBoy.

Source: Ogilvy West

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.