Santa Monica, California's R!OT, a creative digital studio, recently provided design, animation and visual effects services for a new campaign for Walgreens and Chicago agency Euro RSCG Tatham. Co-directed by R!OT's Carl Seibert and Plum Productions' Dana Christiaansen, the commercials promote Walgreens' Website, www.walgreens.com. In "Signs," the camera pulls from a tight shot of a woman working at a computer into an exterior of her home with a Walgreens sign hanging above her window. The visual is repeated with an apartment building and a suburban estate, with the commercial climaxing with an aerial view depicting scores of homes each topped by a neon sign reading "Walgreens." The spot "Corners" makes a similar point with a series of small town and big city street scenes connected by split second camera pans that make them appear to be adjoining locales. A final pan shifts from an urban environment to a computer screen as the voiceover concludes, "America's favorite corner drugstore is now located on...the corner of your desk." Seibert began working with the agency's creative team during pre-production and helped them to develop an approach toward executing the complex visuals. He also worked closely with Christiaansen during the production. "We agreed on the overall feel of the spot prior to the shoot and discussed creative ways to shoot the images to enhance that feel," Seibert explained. "In Corners, for example, we decided to shoot the street scenes in time-lapse because it contributed to the hip, bouncy pacing." The other two spots in the campaign take a somewhat different approach. "Ragweed" and "Forecast" open on Web pages with an animated arrow clicking between sites. In "Forecast," the arrow is investigating a storm front on a 3D weather map when it develops a "cold." Naturally, it clicks through to www.walgreens.com. In "Ragweed," the arrow develops an allergic reaction to a Web image of wildflowers prompting a trip to the Walgreens Website. R!OT's 3D animation department played a key role in both spots, creating the animated weather map, field of flowers and the other Web page graphics. The digital studio's visual effects team also contributed to the project. They warped the Web page graphics and layered them with reflections and highlights to make it appear as through the Web pages were being viewed through the glass of a computer monitor. For more information, contact Richard Cormier at (310) 656-7663.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.