Corona Pays Homage to Mexican Roots in Meticulously Crafted Stop-Motion Animation Film

It took 128 people to complete the 2-month-long project

Corona's stop-motion film from Observatory includes eight miniature sets made by 30 artists. Corona
Headshot of Lindsay Rittenhouse

Corona honors its Mexican heritage through a meticulous stop-motion animation film that enlisted the help of Andy Gent, the former head of the puppets department on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs.

“The History of ‘La Cerveza Más Fina,'” a 60-second ad for the Mexican market narrated by Gael García Bernal and created by Los Angeles agency Observatory, takes audiences through four chapters of the rise of Corona and how it correlates to Mexico’s own trials and tribulations since the brand’s beginnings in 1925, five years after the end of the decade-long Mexican Revolution.

From the Corona Caravan bringing beer and culture to the country during the golden age of Mexican cinema to the 1980s when the company initiated an ambitious global export plan to combat the country’s economic crisis, the effort beautifully details how the brand and Mexico have progressed hand-in-hand.

The campaign was inspired by the “La Cerveza Mas Fina” label found on every Corona bottle. The sets and imagery were created by renowned Mexican surrealist artist Pedro Friedeberg, whose iconic Hand Chair is the seat where García Bernal is perched to start the narration of the ad. Friedeberg’s distinct patterns and vanishing points are incorporated throughout the film in recognition of Mexico’s vibrant art history.

“La Mas Fina means quality and craft,” said Clarissa Pantoja, director of Corona, “so everything we did in our campaign had to have the same craft as our beer.”

The film, directed by Nicolas Ménard and produced and animated by London and L.A.-based Nexus studios, took 24 images per second to give it the life and movement viewers see in the completed version.

It is comprised of eight miniature sets, 421 handmade figures (of which 71 were used in the completed ad) and 350 replicas of Corona’s signature glass bottle that were produced, painted and filled with agave syrup to mirror the golden-colored beer. The characters were all modeled in 3D, printed and then hand-painted by Gent’s team at Arch Model Studios, which was also behind the stop-motion animation in Isle of Dogs as well as Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, The Grand Budapest Hotel and other acclaimed films.

The creation of the ad took 128 people nearly two months to complete. Production, filming and post-production required an international collaboration of 83 people. There were 30 people in the art department who built the physical models and 17 people worked on the design in-house at Nexus.

The music is an original score by Bridget Samuels and played by a London orchestra comprised of more than 50 musicians.

“Corona’s story is a tale that reflects the spirit of the Mexican people,” said Todd Hunter, Observatory co-chief creative officer. “To tell it, we were inspired by a medium that has captured Mexican history for centuries—its art—and brought it to life through a beautiful stop-motion film.”

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the ad:

Credits

The History of ‘La Cerveza Mas Fina’
Client: Corona, Mexico

Chief Executive Officer: Carlos Lisboa
BU Chief of Marketing: Carlos Ranero
Brand Marketing Director: Clarissa Pantoja
Communications Manager: Alejandro Gershberg
Connections Director: Javier Garcia
Experiential Marketing Director: Rodolfo Vargas
Content Marketing Manager: Cesar Alcantara
Project Lead: Susana Medina

Agency: Observatory Marketing
Co-Chief Creative Officer: Todd Hunter
Creative Directors: Jessica Hundley and Nicole McDonald
Head of Production: Chris Totushek
Producer: Lula Fotis
Senior Brand Director: Erin Heyns
Brand Executive: Mack Montague

Production Company: Nexus Studios
ECD/Co-Founder: Chris O’Reilly
Director: Nicolas Ménard
Executive Producer: Luisa Murray
Producer: Jo Bierton
Production Manager: Rebecca Archer
Lead/Supervisor: Nico Domerego
Art Director: Jack Cunningham
Character Design: James Graham
Graphic Design: Cecilia Serafini
Design: Jamie Jones and Sarah Deane
Environment Design: Callum Strachan and Antoine Perez
Character Modellers: Andy Hickinbottom and Matt Clark
3D Generalists: Heloise Courtois, Victori Jalabert, Maxime Dartois, Zach Pindolia, Jerémie Cottard and Chloe Plat
2D Animation: Isaac Holland and Duncan Gist
Director of Photography: Malcolm Hadley
Camera Assistant: Mark Swaffield
Gaffer: Tim O’Connell
Moco: Stuart Galloway
Rigging: Justin Pentecost
Spark: Max Milner
Strike Spark: Daniel Ansell
Puppet and Set Fabrication: Andy Gent
Art Department: Marina Ralph, Mick Chippington, Josie Corben, Magda Madra, Sofia Serrano, Mark Fisher, Vaida Klimaviciute, Claudia Brignalezi, Angela Pang, Louise Pratt, Andrew Saunders, Tom James, Gavin Richards, Claire Middleton, Claudia Brugnaletti, Jade Gerrard, Clea Raguideau, Angela Chorlton, Roy Bell, Annick Bosson, Beth Quinton, Fiona Stewart, Grant Humberstone, Ola Kucharska, Michael Nowacki, Mitch Barnes, Colin Armitage and Duncan Mude
Practical Lighting: Gary Welch
Runner: Chiara De Propis
Stop Frame Lead Animator: Tobias Fouracre
Stop Frame Animators: Matthew Cooper and Max Martin
BTS Cameramen: Thomas Heleta and Mark Van Heusden
BTS Photographer: Jacob Robinson
First Aid: Darren Boyling
Post Production: Freefolk
Lead Flame Artist: Steve Murgatroyd
Flame Artists: Brandon Danowski and Andy Copping
Nuke Artist: Rob Sheridan
Colourist: Duncan Russell
Post Producer: Laura Ricketts
Shooting Studio: Black Island
Lighting Equipment: Panalux
Camera Equipment: Clapham Road Studios
Editor: David Slade
BTS Editors: Thomas Heleta and Michael Rohrbaugh
Assistant Editor: Bruno Collins
Music: Bridget Samuels

Sound Design and Mix: Barking Owl
Creative Director: Kelly Bayett
Producer: Ashley Benton
Sound Designer: Morgan Johnson
Mixer: Matt Keith


@kitten_mouse lindsay.rittenhouse@adweek.com Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.
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