Süperfad helps Nike deliver the many soles of Kobe Bryant with Nike “Kobe VII.”
Press Release from Süperfad:
SEATTLE, WA – Basketball star Kobe Bryant is many things to many people. To admirers of his overall athletic prowess, the Los Angeles Lakers’ franchise player is “The Black Mamba,” a muscularly lithe and versatile performer. His offensive game is often said to have the strength and ferocity of a great white shark, while his defense has the speed and dexterity of a leopard. Now, the “Kobe VII System” from Nike brings all these elements into one shoe or, as a new spot created for Nike by Süperfad puts it, “Different Animal. Same Beast.”
“This is an explosive spot in every way,” says Izik Roitman, creative director at Süperfad. “It was a big creative challenge, frankly, to take something like shoe in-soles and make them seem aggressive and sexy. Although they may seem and look kind of dull, however, there’s no denying that the in-soles are the heart of the shoe and, in this case, they are what help enable the speed and power of Kobe’s moves.”
The new spot succeeds in its mission to make shoe in-soles both practical and downright sexy. The spot opens with a dark and moody look that quickly reveals a snarling computer-generated leopard on a basketball court. The leopard responds to a printed command to “Attack Fast” by lunging at the camera, splintering the court floorboards as it does so. As the leopard leaps to the attack, however, it is quickly transformed into a bright yellow, low-cut in-sole entering a Nike sneaker, clearly built for speed.
As the leopard-turned-sportshoes traverses and batters the court, it is just as quickly transformed into a menacing shark now below the surface of the boards, complete with appropriately muted music. The sharks moves to strike, shattering still more floorboards as it moves in for the kill, and transforming as well, this time into a high-top in-sole inhabiting the same shoe. The effect is as flexible and descriptive as it is dramatic and evocative.
“The idea of having the basketball court both above and underwater gives the spot its big dramatic punch,” says Roitman. “It is an other-worldly and unique connection to make to a basketball court, but it really ties things to the strength and elegance of the CG creatures. When the leopard and shark transform into the shoe, we used the aggressive image of the smashed floorboards to create a really emotional transition. That was a big creative solve for us. There is also an x-ray energy around the in-soles themselves that manages to include the attractive outer shell of the shoe. We’re really proud of it.”
Süperfad is a brand-driven design and live action production company. It is a collective of designers, directors, animators, and artists. Süperfad's work runs counter to the trend of design studios that present a singular house style. With offices in Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle, the company's work is informed by a wide array of cultural and intellectual influences. Fine art, science, math, and literature are fused with illustration, photography, and technology to produce stunningly original imagery. Süperfad was founded in 2001 and has produced award-winning work for many of the most respected brands worldwide. Honda, Sony, Target, Adidas, and AT&T are just a few of the companies who have turned to Süperfad for inspired branding. www.superfad.com
NIKE "KOBE VII" Production Company: Süperfad
Executive Creative Director: Will Hyde Creative Director: Izik Roitman Lead 3D Artist: Matt Guzzardo Technical Director: Robin Scher Lead Modeler/Texture Artist: Adam Rosenzweig Modeling: Alek Vacura, Lucy Choi Rigging: Patrick Clarke Animation: Patrick Clarke, Greg Bekken, Andrew Butterworth Texturing: Raphael Protti, Cody Smith, Alek Vacura, Lucy Choi Lighting: Raphael Protti, Cody Smith Simulations/FX: Phipat Pinyosophon Lead Compositor: Joel Voelker Compositors: Paul Cantor, Paulo Dias, Claudia Yi Leon, Lucas Bell, Lu Liu, Paul Barkshire
Editor: Ryan Haug
Colorist: Joel Voelker
Producer: Jen Schmithorst
Head of Production: Nannette Buroker
Executive Producer: Chris Volckmann
Sound Design: John Buroker / HEARby Sound
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.