Motion Graphics

UnTypical Whiskey Needs an Untypical Ad.

Most adult beverage ads follow typical themes that are designed to appeal to a broad demographic with an occasional break out amongst them. For the most part, though, they are predictable, whether it’s beer, wine, whiskey, vodka, or the ubiquitous hard seltzer that is everywhere these days. As we ramp up to the height of the holiday season, be prepared to see more of them if you still watch live TV or use a streaming service that won’t let you skip ads.

To break free of the current trend of whiskey ads that feature some sort of woodsy man theme with barns full of barrels, and a money shot of brown liquid in a glass surrounded by an exuberant amount of atmosphere 1792 and Ariel Costa of Hornet tried a different approach. Working with BUNTIN, Costa decided to embrace the difference that sets 1792 apart focusing on a more urban, stylish, and sophisticated look. The thirty-second spot produced by Hornet features atmospheric and intriguing content as well as highly crafted animation and sound design – all designed to dramatize the premise that “An UNtypical night calls for an UNtypical whiskey”.

BUNTIN working with Hornet and Costa decided to embody that difference 1792 brings to the tables and put it at the heart of a new campaign called “UNtypical”. Launching with ‘The UNtypical Stories”, a digital and social initiative that includes paid and organic social media, online videos, retargeting, and website content.

“1792 bourbon is distinctly different,” notes BUNTIN Co-President and COO Dave Damman. “It doesn’t act like other bourbons, doesn’t taste like other bourbons, and certainly doesn’t look like other bourbons. Its unique position and packaging clearly stand out in the ever-growing bourbon category.”

For 1792, Damman says BUNTIN is developing a campaign focused on 1792’s “untypical” and differentiating factors. “1792 has more sophistication and style than other bourbons, and the bottle design and tasting notes back that up,” he says, adding that the creative will focus on the brand’s product essence through stylish visuals showing 1792 as the “key” that unlocks unexpected cosmopolitan experiences. “We want to inspire people to express their own unique style and be anything but typical.”

The new creative, which will rely heavily on video across digital media, will begin appearing in the U.S. prior to Thanksgiving, with plans to extend the campaign to markets in South Korea and China in early 2022.

This is such a nice approach for an adult beverage ad. They could have gone down a tried and true path producing a forgettable 30-second spot. This however stands out. It’s got a great look and feel and definitely appeals to an audience that is looking for a sophisticated urban vibe. It’s very much on brand point for 1792.

Chuck Norris (and Aker) Are Saving the Planet

Oslo based agency ANTI has put together a web video for the Norwegian energy company Aker that take Chuck Norris to a whole new level. The two minute spot plays off all the Chuck Norris meme’s from the early 2000s and blends some really nice CGI with live action shots. Great writing and concept help take this to the next level.

Directed by Espen Sandberg (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) this high production value spot does a fantastic job of communicating what Aker does, and how they are benefiting the environment while keeping the viewer engaged.

I love the fact that Chuck Norris plays along and hams up the spot, and I especially like the fact that Aker was willing to go all in on the concept. Not bad for a company that operates in a sector that tends to be conservative when promoting what they do. When Chuck says “I eat Krill for breakfast”, I laughed out loud. Way to go ANTI

Motion graphics and CGI: prodco Motion Blur Agency ANTI

Creativity Explained – Color

I’m really loving the “Creativity Explained” series from Adobe these days. In their latest installment they teamed up with Portland based OddFellows and Pentagram partner, Eddie Opara to talk about color. The impact color has on design, and Opara’s view on how color influences graphic design outcomes. OddFelllows work is once again spot on and does a wonderful job of bringing Opara’s voice over to life.

“Multifaceted design-mind and Pentagram partner, Eddie Opara sheds light on color and helps demystify the rainbow.

Creativity, Explained is an animated series from Adobe that explores the fundamental principles of art and design. Part education, part inspiration, each segment is voiced by a luminary in the field and provides highly relevant advice for hobbyists and working creatives alike.

Our challenge was to create a consistent storytelling approach and wrap it in an aesthetic unique to each topic while feeling like part of a cohesive series. In this second segment “On Color,” we explored the emotional side of color along with its theory and application in design.” Chris Kelly – Oddfellows

Deep Fake This – Fashion

The whole “Deep Fake” thing is something I have been interested in for some time. Each year it gets better and better, and as AI / Machine learning and technology advances being able to discern what is real, and what isn’t is getting harder. Where will this be in 10 years is hard to say, but the implications are pretty obvious. What does a person do when they can no longer tell if a video of someone is the real thing or not?

OK, enough of what could lead down a long and disheartening rabbit hole of despair about the future and how technology wreaks havoc on humanity.

To showcase the 2022 Spring Balenciaga fashion collection, creative director Marcus Dryden and the talented crew at MDC combined AI/machine learning, a real-time game engine, and hands-on VFX work to create a deepfake of American artist Eliza Douglas wrapped in every look from Balenciaga’s Spring ’22 collection. There is some live-action footage blended with CG and some solid post-work. They don’t say what the game engine is that they used, but I bet it was probably something like “Unreal”, or “Unity”. Below the video is a statement from Dryden breaking down the production.

“In Pre-production, we were able to plan the whole show. We used a games engine to previsualize which looks could be body doubles vs. which one needed to be the real Eliza. Also, the pre-viz defined the scale of the set for the art department and allowed production to choose the best lens, angles, and positions needed to run the multiple cameras in sync whilst on location.

During the shoot, MPC on-set supervisors Carsten Keller and Damien Canameras captured photogrammetry of Eliza’s face and oversaw a variety of in-situ plates to extract her face and transpose it onto the body doubles shot on the catwalk.

We also used a CG scan of Eliza’s head and an on-set photo reference to build a proxy Eliza head to help visualize the face replacements. This allowed our compositing team to study and analyze each shot, each face to define the best process to achieve the highest-quality clone.

The team then applied the best technique to create the face replacements: Planar tracking, roto animation, Keen Tools (a 3D tracking and modeling tool inside Nuke), and Machine Learning (AI/deep fake).

Once we began attaching Eliza’s faces, we matched light, textures, and motion artifacts using compositing. Using the references and the scan of the head, we made sure each clone’s face was as pixel-accurate to Eliza’s face as possible while still retaining the nuance of the specific Balenciaga design aesthetic.

The final film shows all the clones with Eliza’s photogrammetry-captured and CG-scanned face as they march down a minimalist runway to a sci-fi-inspired soundtrack composed by BFRND, which includes an AI voice narrating the lyrics of La Vie En Rose.”