DoorDash’s first SuperBowl campaign featured rapper Daveed Diggs and the Sesame Street Muppets; creative studio incorporated elements including a CG train and added a bit of animation magic to make Grover fly.
Creative studio JAMM provided the CG and finishing visual elements for DoorDash’s first ever SuperBowl campaign, “The Neighborhood.” Created in partnership with The Martin Agency and directed by Academy Award-winner Michel Gondry of Partizan, the campaign includes TV, digital, and social spots starring actor and rapper Daveed Diggs and the Sesame Street Muppets.
The campaign celebrates the local neighbors who provide the many offerings available through DoorDash including items like ramen, milk, shampoo, birdseed, mango smoothies, paper towels, and, of course, cookies.
“DoorDash’s mission has always been to empower any business on Main Street to thrive online, and last year we meaningfully accelerated that mission as we extended our platform to offer more to your door–from food to convenience items, household supplies, health and wellness, and more," commented DoorDash COO Christopher Payne. "What excites me about this campaign is that it tells the story of how we deliver all the best in your neighborhood in an authentic and engaging way and supports Sesame Workshop. This marks the first time we’ve shifted our brand image from a food delivery logistics company to a multi-category marketplace in a meaningful way, while celebrating the local heroes that make up the fabric of our neighborhoods."
Watch the teasers that led up to the big spot:
DoorDash Big Game Commercial Teaser - Paper Towels
DoorDash Big Game Commercial Teaser - Bird Seed
DoorDash Big Game Commercial Teaser - Nom Nom
“As a nonprofit, we appreciate that this partnership and philanthropic support will elevate and advance our mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder,” shared Sesame Workshop chief marketing officer Samantha Maltin. “Community is at the heart of all we do, and we are grateful to DoorDash for helping us further our work when children and families need us most.”
“I have always valued the importance of community, so when DoorDash approached me to be part of a campaign showcasing neighborhood connections and celebrating local heroes, I was excited to partner with them,” noted Diggs. “Now more than ever, strengthening and supporting local businesses is critical and I’m excited to play a role in DoorDash’s efforts to build community during this time. Plus, you know... Sesame Street!!”
Shot on location in New York over the span of four days, JAMM was tasked with dissecting the printed screens and geo-CG environments to breathe life into the printed sets. The creative studio mixed the plates to ensure the Sesame Street Muppets popped off the screen with accuracy and punctuality.
“The process was very fluid,” explained VFX supervisor/lead compositor Glyn Tebbutt. “First, Michel worked closely with his production designer Maxwell Orgell to determine how he wanted it to look and feel. Since this campaign is very choreographed and performance-driven, about three weeks prior to the shoot we all began walking through the transitions to decide what was possible, then worked on setting those up.”
JAMM also incorporated elements including a CG train, and added a bit of animation magic to the sequence where Grover flies. Working on Flame for compositing; Houdini, Maya, and Redshift for the CG elements; and Nuke for roto, JAMM also completed plate work, clean-up, and animation for the accompanying social teasers.
“The Neighborhood” showcases JAMM’s newest offering: color grading. Colorist Adam Scott connected with the client via remote sessions to set the look. Then working on Baselight, he created a palette that stays true to the natural light and primary color simplicity of Sesame Street, bringing a tinge of nostalgia to each frame.
“It was a wonderful collaboration between all parties,” added Tebbutt. “The Martin Agency has been fantastic; they fully embraced Michel’s process. We all agreed it didn’t need to be overly visual effect-y to sell its charm. With Sesame Street, it’s all about the musicality and spontaneity.”