GRIP is a striking new spot highlighting a feature available throughout the Audi range, namely the Quattro cars' road handling system. The spot was created by BBH and directed by Dom & Nic for Outsider, with the VFX and Telecine handled by Framestore.
The spot is part of a campaign which encompasses TV, digital panels, giant screens and print, and which follows on from research which showed a relatively low public understanding of the benefits of the Quattro all-wheel drive system, or of its availability across the entire Audi range. GRIP, which uses the strapline "Independent grip, intelligently applied," draws parallels between the reactive Quattro technology and the way the human hand can adjust to grip different objects.
GRIP features a human hand gripping a range of objects including a frog, a hammer, crumpling paper, a sponge, an egg, soap, a budgie, a cricket ball and a goldfish. After presenting these images in full-screen for a while, the screen splits, showing the wrists doing different activities simultaneously, as well as revolving. Finally, the spot closes with the screen splitting into four different images of spinning forearms, each gripping something different. These images are each replaced with the underside of an Audi, its wheels revolving.
VFX Supervision for Grip was handled by Inferno Artist, Ben Cronin, who attended the two day shoot at Black Island Studios in London and did all of the spot's post production work. "It's an astonishingly simple idea," he remarked, "And one that really didn't require major VFX to make it work. The elements I brought to the table were all invisible complements, really -- stabilizing the images, warping edges, adding grads to the background. In fact, Dom and Nic's approach was almost to make something retro -- that looked like it might have been done all in camera and combined optically."
Cronin's biggest single challenge during post was the creation of the spinning wheels on the underside of the Audi. A car had been winched up in the air and filmed, but for technical reasons they couldn't get the wheels all spinning together. So Cronin had to create 3D tyres in Flame -- no simple task. "The sad thing," he noteed ruefully, "Is that it's a detail that's easy to miss on a small TV screen."
With a sympathetic grade from Senior Colourist, Dave Ludlam, the spot conveys its message with elegant simplicity, proving yet again that the lightest of post production touches are often the most effective.