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Guru Takes Teletoon On a Promo Detour

guru animation studio just completed a six-spot broadcast promo campaign for Canadas TELETOON network. Produced in collaboration with branding outfit Fishdog, Toronto, with DJ/turntablist Kid Koala providing sound design and music, guru handled the spots from concept through animation, to promote the networks primetime young adult-oriented programming block, The Detour.

Renée Glück, director of creative services, TELETOON, said, We were looking for a fresh approach to marketing our brand to this challenging demographic. I had absolute confidence that gurus creative team would be able to capture the imagination of this target audience. Despite having some arguably far-out ideas, guru knew the work had to remain relevant to the core viewership. Were thrilled with the results.

Fishdog and TELETOON Canada provided guru with an established color palette of warm reds and yellows and a clear mandate to create a fantasy urban psychospace. guru decided to play on the The Detours transportation-themed name, and built a story around the campaigns toon mascot, the geek-chic scooter-bound D, who, with his robotic pooch sidekick B (a pet that does triple duty as an all-in-one companion/GPS/PDA), inhabit a hectic city environment plagued by traffic and overly aggressive commuters.

The environment and modern consumption are major preoccupations in this day and age, explains Frank Falcone, gurus creative director and co-director of the campaign. It was natural that the subtext running through these promos should include the pressures the hustle and bustle can put on a downtown dwellers daily life. I guess you could say we had a bit of an agenda here, but its very hidden!

The animation, inspired by the frenetic energy of cartoons and cartoon culture, is modern yet 1960s mod at the same time, with kitschy typefaces and pop-art influenced characters. In each spot, D is always getting into a tight jam. Whether weaving his Lambretta precariously in and out of traffic and causing fender benders in his wake, chasing after a cutie zipping by on a pistachio-hued Vespa or running into his own doppelganger, D does it with panache and style, his loyal companion B perpetually in tow.

guru took the initiative for the music by personally reaching out to Montréal-based DJ Kid Koala, who mixed and scratched the ID packages soundtrack. Mark Cutler, who co-directed the campaign with Frank Falcone, said, We have always been fans of his music, and I had read his illustrated book NUFONIA MUST FALL, so we knew he was also preoccupied and compelled by the urban experience. This collaboration resulted in a richly layered soundtrack influenced as much by hip-hop as improvisational jazz. Kid Koalas unconventional music melds perfectly with the animation.

guru used a software/hardware package consisting of Alias Maya for character modeling and rendering, Adobe After Effects for compositing, and Photoshop for paint work.

Credits include:

Client: TELETOON Vp, marketing & promotions: Hillary Firestone Director of creative services: Renée GlückProducer: Genna Duplessis

Agency: Fishdog, Toronto, CanadaCreative director: Gervais Vignola

Production company: guru animation studioCreative director: Frank FalconeExec producer: Anne DeslauriersDirectors: Mark Cutler, Frank FalconeJunior producer: Holly NicholsAnimators: Dave Calder, Bryan Huo, Taras Primak, Allison RutlandLighting: Dave Calder, Tim Dormady, Bryan Huo,Timmy Kan, Taras PrimakStoryboard: Mark Cutler, Frank Falcone

Sound Design: Kid Koala Productions Inc.Composer: Kid Koala (Eric San)

guru is an award-winning animation studio specializing in 3D character animation and design for television and film. The companys credits include work for Leo Burnett, FCB, Ogilvy & Mather, YTV, Warner Bros. and Hallmark Ent. For further information, visit www.gurustudio.com/.

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Rick DeMott
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