ESPN X Games “The Spark”

The Martin Agency aims high in its “Blueprints” campaign for ESPN’s X Games. Too high, perhaps.

According to the shop, the goal is “to communicate the idea of how athletes turn a visionary idea into a trick … stop-motion animations of ‘ideas’ are scrawled in the snow and morph in and out of 3-D sculpture,” which emerge from the ground as an athlete giving his or her particular high-energy X Games’ performance. That’s a lofty creative mission.

And asking a 30-second commercial to explain an athlete/artist’s creative process is asking a lot. I watched this clip a couple of times and still had to go back to the press materials to make sure I knew what it was about. The stuff looks cool, but I fear it will fly past casual viewers like an airborne stunt snowmobiler, leaving a vague impression of speed and power, but little of substance in its wake. –David Gianatasio