hey!, a New York multi-disciplinary design and production studio, has wrapped on "Nick Arithmetic," a 40-second global network image spot for Nick's international markets. hey! took still photographs of kids in various poses. The images were composited, along with graphic elements built in Illustrator and Photoshop, with animated backgrounds that string together the entire spot. "Our intention in developing and producing the image spot was to illustrate the claim that 'Nick = Kids.' Nickelodeon becomes the solution to a complex mathematical equation that progresses, through additive and subtractive components, over the course of the 40-seconds. Using two-dimensional, stop-motion inspired animation, simple elements (including images of kids, a pair of sneakers and a handful of Brussels sprouts) build and slide into frame in brief subsections, eventually combining to form a full piece of the overall equation," explained hey! creative director Josh Pelzek. "The spot is designed to feel like a hand assembled, kid-created construction -- low-tech, but with a weird, slick edge. We wanted to describe a Nickelodeon universe by illustrating what the network is all about - kids from every part of the world interacting in a realm of freedom, individuality, creativity and pizza." Nickelodeon Global Network Ventures creative director Andrew Struse said, "Portraying Nick purely through music and graphics, without benefit of copy or a voice over, was a very difficult assignment. We wanted a universal theme, one to which all kids could relate, which would brand Nick in a way that would transcend cultural boundaries. It occurred to us that mathematics might be just what we were looking for. Everyone uses + and - signs, it is pretty universal and there are no translation issues. By devising a series of math equations based on Nickelodeon icons, characters and logos for example, kids + kids + hey Arnold - artichoke hearts with goo on them + Nickelodeon = a place to play around where kids can be kids. Josh did a multi-ethnic kids photo shoot and then animated the stills with After Effects. He and his hey! team did an extraordinary job." The hey! creative team included creative director Josh Pelzek, executive producer Stephen Villante and still photographer Jonathan Beck. Josh Pelzek utilizing Adobe Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator handled all post-production and animation. The commercial is scheduled to premiere worldwide in January 2001.