Ogilvy & Mather Chicago and MassMarket collaborated on a compelling cause-marketing spot from director Paul Dektor and production company Cartel for APES, a branch of The Conservation Trust. Aiming to raise awareness for wildlife conservation, the project stresses the importance of protecting all primates and giving every endangered animal equal attention.
Shot from the perspective of a secluded observer, the camera follows a lumbering gorilla through the wild when it happens upon a deserted paint can and brush. Covering its face and torso in white, the ape is transformed as the screen cuts to the words, “If I were a panda, would you save me?”
“By exposing the contrast certain animals receive in conservation efforts, we hope to give other primates — like the gorilla — a stronger shot at survival,” said Lee Theisen-Watt, founder of APES.
MassMarket helped create a realistic approach to the spot by seamlessly tying all the elements together from modeling and painting to composing and editing.
“We had to make it feel like the gorilla really painted himself,” commented MassMarket Head of CG, Dean Robinson. “We hand painted over a lot of the shots and then projected it in Mari to touch up the finer details.”
The team utilized BBC Motion Gallery to study native gorillas’ subtle facial movements and conducted hours of photo research to ensure color grading precision. Sewing together digital matte paintings, 3D geometry projections and fur layers created in Maya maintained the softness of real fur and added to the animal’s realistic appearance.