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Playground Drives Golf Spot For EMC

Playground, the recently launched digital design and production studio, has produced a fully computer animated television spot for information services company EMC that compares data management to a golf ball. Designed by Playground creative director Craig Price for Boston agency Arnold Worldwide, "Golf" debuted during the November World Golf Championship-EMC World Cup telecast. The spot begins like a sports promo as a golf ball arcs over the fairway. A closer look reveals that this is no ordinary ball, as its dimples are shaped like monitors and in a moment it has shot into space. As it orbits the earth, the ball becomes the hub of a network of satellites beaming data back and forth. "Put EMC at the heart of your business," says the voice-over, "and you can see your information from every place." The commercial was created initially to air during the golf tournament, but EMC also wanted something strong enough for more general use. "Although the idea of the spot began with the golf ball metaphor, it has broader significance," explained Arnold Worldwide creative director Kevin Shale. "The golf ball provided a way to show that information is the center of business." Inspired by the golf ball concept, Price prepared a storyboard involving an animation-only execution centering on the golf ball metaphor. "They hit me at the right moment," recalled Price. "I sat down that night and wrote the treatment for a spoof golf ball spot. It uses a series of graphics that seem to highlight features of a new ball, but the copy is actually describing the qualities of EMC: 'distance potential,' '360-degree access' and so forth. At the end, the golf ball peels open and you see the EMC globe." The golf ball was produced as 3D animation, while the environments, graphics and typography were executed in 2D. Compositing was accomplished on a Henry, with all of the work completed at Playground under Price's supervision.