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If there’s anything that can both dazzle my senses and make me crave Oreos, it’s this 90-second animation for Oreo’s new “Wonderfilled” campaign, directed by Martin Allais and his production company Studio Animal. Animated to a jaunty tune performed by Owl City, the spot is filled with wonderfully stylized animation, a fantastic sense of design, fun transitions, and eye-popping colors from beginning to end. And much like the classic commercials of yesteryear, it makes me WANT to buy the product it’s selling.
Global Marketing Communication: Jill Baskin
Brand Marketing Director: Janda Lukin
Chief Creative Officer: Joe Alexander
Group Creative Director: Jorge Calleja
Creative Director: David Muhlenfeld
Creative Director: Magnus Hierta
Senior Art Director: Brig White
Planning Director: John Gibson
Managing Director: Steve Humble
Senior Broadcast Producer: Kathy Lippincott
Broadcast Producer: Heather Tanton
Broadcast Junior Producer: Caroline Helms
Production Company: Studio Animal
Director: Martin Allais
Producer: Maria Soler Chopo
Illustration: Martin Allais
Storyboards: Martin Allais
Animatic: Pere Hernández, Javi Vaquero, Matt Deans
Animator: Pere Hernández, Javi Vaquero, Pablo Navarro, Dani Alcaraz
Tracing and color:Ezequiel Cruz, Macarena Ortega, Eva Puyuelo, Joel Morales
Compositing: Santi Justribó Martin Allais
Music (performed by): Owl City (Adam Young)
Voiceover talent: Owl City (Adam Young)
Original Music and Lyrics: David Muhlenfeld (English Major, LLC)
Andy Rementer is an illustrator and animator who studied at The University of the Arts and produces illustrations, prints, zines and animation.
An ad, “Gator Behavior,” animated by Andy, is simple, fun, and smile-inducing, just like Andy’s illustration work:
Compare the commercial below, which features some of Andy’s characters modeled in 3D, animated by a team that was probably put together by an ad agency. I can’t help but think that this spot’s characters could have had much more life in them in the hands of one 2D animator (such as Andy), as demonstrated in the above “Gator” video. Drawn animation seems to be the logical choice for animating designs like these:
You can see more videos from Andy here, paintings and sketchbook work here, and check out his portfolio here.
By: Gaia Bordicchia
Blog: I Piccolini
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At the beginning of this year I was called for a very fun project!
Pandistelle, one of Italy's most famous cookies turned 30 years old. To celebrate, Barilla alonside the nice people of creative agency "I Mille", called 12 artists to illustrate every month of the new year for their online magazine and Facebook page. Mine was for the month of April.
Reel FX and Relativity Media are sparing no expense when it comes to promoting Free Birds, Reel FX’s first animated feature which will be released theatrically in November. At CinemaCon, the Las Vegas convention for theater owners, they unveiled a 3D-printed display of the film’s main characters, who are voiced by Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson. It certainly puts your average cardboard-based theater display to shame, and gives one optimism that they’re putting a high level of effort and care into the actual film itself. These photos of the display appeared on Collider.com.
(h/t, Sarah Marino)
These two pieces of animation from Iran caught me by surprise because they are so different from the rest of the animation I’ve seen from that country. The first is a commercial for Lina Luke snack food directed by Moin Samadi. It has been accepted into this year’s Annecy Animation Festival:
The next is an energetic and funny hand-drawn piece called Evolution by Mehdi Alibeygi.
Director, Writer, Animator: Mehdi Alibeygi
Executive Producer: Moin Samadi
Sound and Music: Armin Bahari
Composite: Sare Shafipour
Logo Designer: Amin Maftoon
Produced by Raiavin Studio
By: Jerry Beck,
Blog: Cartoon Brew
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Millions of people are likely to be familiar with the colorful cartoon bears that savor wiping their butts with softer than average toilet paper. Joanna Quinn is the character designer and animator behind the original commercials that feature the hand drawn versions of these characters. The Charmin bears have recently been transitioned to CGI, arguably resulting in less charm. There’s nothing wrong with the new ads, but they just can’t supply the human element that the graphite smeared drawings of the originals carried with them directly from Joanna’s pencil to the television screen. The production company responsible for the new approach is not Joanna’s, although she is credited as a creative consultant.
I’m curious about the progression that the designs took from Joanna’s pencil animation to Joanna’s animation cleaned up and colored in a slicker fashion (see the “new look” commercials on her website), to CG characters, and what the driving forces behind the decisions to change the art over time could have been.
If the original designs had been created with a slick commercial sheen from the beginning, like your average cereal mascot ad, then there would be nothing to discuss here. But because they started with the distinctive pencil work of Joanna Quinn, it seems strange to buff out the roughness and individuality over time until eventually removing her unique stamp from the work entirely. Is it simply an inevitable progression? An example of typical corporate decision making? Does slicker work sell more rolls?
Fortunately, besides creating commercials, Joanna’s larger interest is undoubtedly creating her personal, funny, and expressively drawn films. Above are stills from her short film Dreams and Desires: Family Ties which she directed and animated with additional animation by Andy McPherson.
On her Beryl Productions website you can see a selection of production art from some of her films such as the above layout drawings from Famous Fred, which is also available there to watch in full.
Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang have been spokestoons for the insurance giant MetLife for nearly 30 years. The ads are rarely anything beyond the ordinary, but this latest one has an inventive conceptual approach that I liked.
Ogilvy & Mather-owned Redworks produced the spot, and Polish studio Platige Image provided visual effects/post work.
Director: Sam Tootal
Agency: Ogilvy + Mather
Production house: Redworks
Postproduction house: Platige Image
Producer: Kasia Chodak
(Thanks, Michael Blake)
Fans of Aleksandr Petrov (The Cow, The Old Man and the Sea) will appreciate this ad he created for Russian Railways using his trademark paint-on-glass technique. The spot celebrates the 175th anniversary of railways in Russia.
Brew reader Leo Santos introduced me to the fantastic work of Brazilian animator Daniel Og, who animated this series of eight 30-second spots for Canal Futura—one for each of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals:
- Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger,
- Achieving universal primary education,
- Promoting gender equality and empowering women,
- Reducing child mortality rates,
- Improving maternal health,
- Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases,
- Ensuring environmental sustainability, and
- Developing a global partnership for development.
Og’s eccentric animation style tweaks the conventional patterns of movement. His characters jolt around the screen with an aggressive staccato edge, and everything’s just a little wobbly, but make no mistake, it’s skillful artistry done for effect.
After seeing these spots, I checked out Og’s reel, and while there are hints of the individualistic quirks that make these commercials special, it’s clear that Og’s creativity flourishes most when he works within his personal funky contour-line drawing style. Here’s hoping we get to see a lot more of that because it’s quite unique.
There’s something profoundly delightful about this early-Seventies Burger King ad featuring a mustachioed octopus selling Whoppers. It’s absent the high-concept pretensions of modern advertising filled with cooler-than-thou irony and sarcasm. I’d say it’s as genuine, fun and pleasant as a fast food commercial can be. Now someone please find the color version and post it online.
(Thanks, Dann Pryce, via Cartoon Brew’s Facebook page)
How does a traditional animation studio promote itself in a CG-obsessed world? Austin, Texas-based Powerhouse Animation Studios, which produced the 2D cut-scenes in the Epic Mickey games, does it with a heaping side of humor. They made this tongue-in-cheek studio promo, cheekily titled “Against the Z-Axis,” that advertises their “pure, organic, traditional, AMERICAN animation.”
For a short period of time during the mid-1950s, the Disney company allowed corporations to use its characters to sell products. There’s some interesting history behind this, and if you’re interested in learning more, I’d recommend this two-part series by historian Jim Korkis (part one, part two).
Among the companies that took advantage of this opportunity was American Motors, maker of Nash and Hudson cars. (Interesting sidenote: the company’s president at the time was Mitt Romney’s father, George W. Romney.) Yesterday, YouTube user ZarakPhoto uploaded a fine collection of the American Motors spots featuring Jiminy Cricket and Mickey Mouse. I’ve seen other prints of these spots, but these are easily the crispest versions I’ve encountered and worth a look even if you’ve seen them before:
Here’s an upload from another YouTuber with a lower-quality version of one of the other spots featuring Song of the South characters:
The commercials were designed by Tom Oreb, who in my humble opinion, was the most versatile and skilled designer during the Golden Age of Hollywood animation. Oreb’s assistant art director and layout artist on these spots was Vic Haboush, who was a dear friend and mentor to me.
This is Oreb’s model sheet of the “commercial” Mickey Mouse, which Vic and I discovered in his personal collection many years ago. Click for a larger version:
Viewers of Beyoncé’s half-time Super Bowl performance—all 111 million of you—might have noticed that it started with this animated intro promoting Pepsi’s sponsorship:
No credits have been released, but Cartoon Brew has learned that the sequence was directed by animation filmmaker Michael Langan. We featured his RISD graduation short Doxology as the very first-ever episode of Cartoon Brew TV.
(Thanks, Karl Cohen)
I heard the oddest story about the Nike Just Do It campaign the other day.
Apparently 'Just Do It' was inspired by the final words of killer Gary Gilmore, 'Let's do it' - before he was shot by firing squad in 1970s Utah.
Adman Dan Wieden of Wieden+Kennedy changed the 'Let's' to 'Just' to give it better emphasis.
"I'm sure they didn't want anyone to know that that was the genesis of the
Here’s all the nutritional information about Good & Plenty candies you’ll ever need, spelled out by the candy itself. Animated by New York-based David Amichai with 4 boxes of candy, 3 lights, 2 poster boards, 1 animator, and about 100 hours of work. Shot with the Canon 7D using Dragonframe.
In the six years since the publication of my book Cartoon Modern: Style and Design in 1950s Animation, a lot of new artwork and films from the mid-century era have surfaced. The flow of material isn’t slowing down either. Animation director Michael Sporn recently came into possession of a trove of layouts and model sheets from 1950s United Productions of America (UPA) commercials. He’s generously shared them HERE and HERE.
Among the stash are a few drawings from an Aqua Velva Ice Blue aftershave lotion spot, which can be seen in this newly uncovered collection of UPA commercials:
These commercials are rarer than they might appear. Of the hundreds of commercials that UPA produced during the 1950s, I’ve managed to see just a few dozen over the years. UPA’s advertising work has proven more difficult to track down than some of the other major animated commercial producers of the era like Playhouse Pictures and Ray Patin Productions.
The same user on YouTube also posted this UPA commercial for Tang, which I believe was designed by Roy Morita.
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By: Jerry Beck,
Blog: Cartoon Brew
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These striking illustrated posters promoting Laika’s latest film ParaNorman are being displayed around various US cities. I saw them in Manhattan yesterday. According to some of the artists who drew the posters for Mondo, passerby are free to grab them off the walls if they wish. Click on the images below for hi-res versions.
Little Friends of Printmaking
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Even if you don’t care about football shoes, this Nike commercial provides good entertainment value. Montreal-based filmmaker Patrick Boivin (of Iron Man vs. Bruce Lee fame) directed the stop motion spot starring a marionette version of footballer Andrés Iniesta. Aardman produced the animation, South Korea’s Coolrain created the figures, and Wieden+Kennedy (London) was the agency.
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In 1968, film maker and pop art legend Andy Warhol memorably stated: ‘In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes’.
I can clearly remember him saying these words. I was only twenty-four at the time, fresh out of the British Army’s Royal Corp of Signals, and steeped in the pop music culture of the era. And whilst not totally buying into the everyone part of Andy’s statement, there was still enough naïve hope burning inside of me to imagine that I might even yet fulfil my long held ambition of playing cricket or football for England. After all, the only missing ingredient as far as I could see was finding the right coach. Somewhere, there had to be a life-changing guru who was capable of bringing out the deeply hidden, international-standard sporting talent I’d surely been born with.
Where’s a Mystic Guru When You Need One?
Sadly, unlike the Beatles, whose association with a certain Maharishi Yogi the year before is alleged to have inspired several of the songs on the group’s White Album, no magical guru was destined to appear for me at this stage. It transpired that my turn for fleeting fame didn’t eventually come around until 1999, by which time you can’t blame me for having cooled somewhat in my belief of Mr Warhol’s theory. I mean, thirty-one years had passed by. Exactly how long was the queue at the ‘Make Me Famous’ desk in my little neck of the woods for crying out loud? The truth is, I’d spent nearly three miserable years amongst the ranks of the unemployed during the recession of the early 1990s. With absolutely no educational or professional qualifications to my name and my fiftieth birthday party looming large on the horizon, any future employment of worth (let alone fame and fortune) appeared to be about as likely as wind-up gramophones and 78rpm records making a comeback. In fact, the only thing that kept me going through this dark period was writing a minimum of one thousand words a day on my latest novel. To heck with gurus, maybe it was to be some smart publisher who would eventually come riding to my rescue.
Yea, in my dreams!
The Oldest Schoolboy in Town
But then came a remarkable turnaround. In a last-ditch effort to get somewhere I applied to return to full-time education. And that’s when those early novels I’d written really did pay off. With nothing else to back up my suitability for this scholastic adventure, it was these manuscripts that turned out to be the keys to the college. As my only references, they certainly seemed to impress the right people, and in 1995 I began a two-year Higher National Diploma course in advertising copywriting. If I remember correctly, the average age of my class was just under twenty. Welcome to the World’s Most Famous Advertising Agency Right at the start of my college days I was told that: “Major league advertising is a young person’s business George, and however well you may do on this course, no big London agency will ever employ you.” This wasn’t meant as a put-down, just a realistic assessment of my post-graduation possibilities. I didn’t care. I’d started out not daring to hope for anything more than a job at a small provincial agency anyway. Even so, when a two-week work experience placement at the world’s most famous advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, was offered, I grabbed it with both hands. OK, it might not lead to that desperately needed job, but I was going to make darn sure they noticed me. I remember writing nineteen radio ads in one day for a pharmaceutical product. None of these were ever used. But then the impossible happened. After my two-week stay there had been extended to three, out of the blue, I found myself more shook up than Elvis had ever been when the Creative Director offered me a full-time job as a copywriter. That is, if I wanted it. Were they joking? If I wanted it? You could bet your house, your car, and even your favourite Disney character’s life that I did. It’s Better Late Than Never, Andy Six months or so after starting at Saatchi, the British media managed to get a handle on my story. And how, because I’d spent the last of my money on the train fare to London at the start of my work experience, I’d been forced to spend a few nights sleeping rough on the streets of London. Of course, the agency knew nothing about this at the time. To the TV, radio and press people however, this was a Cinderella type story that ran for several weeks. Following the publication of my first novel, and with a good bit of help from my employers, I even managed a second bite of the fame cherry in 2000. But far more than anything I did myself, the magic of Saatchi’s name was what really created the headlines. I benefited enormously from the association. No wonder I love the fabulous TV series Mad Men. I’d finally experienced my fifteen minutes of fame – twice over in fact. So Mister Warhol was right all along. Thanks for keeping me going Andy. George Stratford’s latest novel, Buried Pasts, has recently been released by GMTA Publishing as both a paperback and electronically. The kindle version of this book has already been downloaded well over seven thousand times in the USA alone. In an official review, the much-respected publication, Publishers Weekly, described the story as: “A page-turner that blends suspense with a cast of characters who genuinely care for each other. It’s an engaging and satisfying novel for fans of adventure stories with a heart.” Want to dig a little deeper? You can see other reader’s reviews, and get to read the opening three chapters of Buried Pasts for free on Amazon.com. Here is the link to use: http://goo.gl/czR3T About the book: Personal demons can be a killer Even after eighteen years, Canadian pilot Mike Stafford still carries a powerful sense of guilt over the death of his best friend during a huge RAF bombing raid to Berlin in 1944. He eventually returns to England for an inaugural squadron reunion full of apprehension over what the visit may produce.
Siggi Hoffman, then a young German girl of twenty, also has terrible memories of a personal loss from that same wartime night. She too is unable to forget. Nor has she ever been able to forgive. When fate throws these two together in a small north Yorkshire town during the summer of 1962, the past collides devastatingly into the present. And all the time, lurking ominously in the background, is an unknown enemy intent on extracting violent revenge. Personal demons are only one of the many problems that must now be overcome when Stafford and Siggi find themselves fighting to survive. As long buried secrets are finally revealed, events reach a literally explosive conclusion.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY REVIEW:'This page-turner blends suspense with a cast of characters who genuinely care for each other. It’s an engaging and satisfying novel for fans of adventure stories with a heart.' If you enjoyed this article, you may like to know that George has also written a full novel length account of his time spent at Saatchi & Saatchi and in the media spotlight. What’s more, for a limited period, GMTA Publishing is offering a free kindle download of this light-hearted memoir to every reader who purchases a copy of Buried Pasts.
I absolutely love this little promo for the forthcoming children’s book Let’s Make Some Great Fingerprint Art. It was animated by the cool London-based Animade studio; based on the book’s artwork by author Marion Deuchars.
An excellent piece of motion picture promotion, created by animator Noah Fisher and artist Zachary Johnson, for the upcoming Bruce Willis/Joseph Gordon-Levitt sci-fi action adventurer Looper:
Here’s a gem I saw in Ottawa a couple weeks ago: “100% Renewable Energy” by Amica Kubo and Tori is a colorful kawaii intro to clean, renewable energy resources. The film was sponsored by WWF Japan as part of a campaign to encourage renewable energy over fossil fuels and nuclear power.
This morning my husband and I were watching Good Morning America, as we do every morning, when I suddenly decided to check out one of my pet peeves. Between 7:45AM and 7:55AM PST I counted 11 commercials, a segment of the show that was less than one minute long, and then 12 more commercials. Yes people, less than one minute of programming and 24 commercials in a ten minute period!!! It may have been even more, since they run together it is hard to count them. The greed is unbelievable. We are already paying for this programming because we receive it on satellite so why should we be subjected to this?
This is not an attack on Good Morning America, it is all of television broadcasting. Over time they have added more and more commercials to each program until we are now spending more time viewing commercials than we are viewing the program we tuned in to see. I wonder how many people agree that this is excessive? I am so angry that I am thinking of giving up television viewing entirely. It seems to me we are giving up a lot of time and money to be brainwashed by the advertisers who want us to give up even more of our money..
If we adults are being brainwashed by advertisers what about our children? How many ads are they seeing as they watch children's programming? Are they influencing your children or are you? Unfortunately I think the answer is obvious.
How do we combat this? I am open to suggestions. Do we quit watching television? Do we mute all commercials and leave the room? Do we sign a petition to put an end to this? Do we bombard the stations with letters and emails of complaint? Do we contact the FCC with our complaints? What do you think??? Your opinion is requested.
I just caught up with these cool-looking new Cheeerios Kids animated commercials, which began appearing on Aol this past September. I love the retro look. I’m particularly grateful “Big G” didn’t abandon these advertising icons – who were created in 1953, first designed by Disney animator Tom Oreb. New York-based Mike Luzzi was animator and designer on these new spots for General Mills. Says Luzzi:
“I got to re-design the Cheerios Kid, a character popular in the sixties. I also did all background design, some character animation and After Effects animation for the projector shots. This spot was produced by Pat-Man Studios. We did all animation in Flash and final compositing in After Effects.”
(Thanks, Frank Forte)
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Making the rounds today is this incredible TV spot for French music website Deezer from art collective CRCR (we posted several of their pieces within the past year). This time they are working with illustrator/director McBess. The result is 30-seconds of joy:
(Thanks, Wicker Biscuit)