Creative Briefs

Close-up AnimationGo With the Flow

A new technique that fuses animation and photorealism is used to conjure a literally mind-boggling effect in a PSA for the Partnership for a Drug Free America.

Design/digital-effects house Psy ops, New York, spent more than two months creating what look like pools of ink that seem to flow to gether into an image of a boy sniffing inha lants. The intent for the 30-second spot, from Sawyer Riley Compton, Atlanta, was to “visually communicate a feeling of drug-induced paranoia, agitation and ultimately the shattered mental landscape,” says Todd Mueller, Psyops creative director. The work is based on a print campaign illustrated by Paul Dallas.

The goal was to create “the liquidy, swirly quality you see when milk mixes with coffee,” says Muel ler. The first step was to take live-action shots of water and ink. Several key images, including the boy’s profile, were carved into 12 fiberglass plates. The reservoir in each plate was filled with ink, then water was flowed in while the plate was filmed from below. The animation team, which included lead animator Todd Akita and Flame artist Eben Mears, linked the images to form one fluid progression.

Mueller began experimenting with this hybrid technique two years ago, but the Partnership’s PSA is the first project he used it for.

Stupid Human Tricks

NEW YORK—A woman plays the cello while her sidekick carefully places a plastic glass of water on the floor, climbs a ladder, then bellyflops onto it. “This kid’s talent was falling off high places,” says executive creative director Chuck McBride from TBWA\Chiat\Day in San Francisco.

Oddball acts take center stage in the latest work in Levi’s ongoing “Make them your own” campaign, breaking today. The offbeat talent show is a “natural extension” of the effort to portray Levi’s as an expression of individuality, says McBride, who also directed the campaign. “You wear them, they don’t wear you,” he says. Previous incarnations took place in karaoke bars and dressing rooms. The talent show idea was conceived by copywriter Susan Treacy and art director Jeff Labbe.

For the shoot in New York, self-employed casting director Jen nifer Venditti helped to ferret out the quirky performers. When McBride saw the belly flop act, his reaction was, “Perfect! Check him to see what size pants he wears.” In another spot, a woman manipulates two hula hoops at once. She was simply passing by the audition with her hoops—which she said she exercised with—and was asked to try out. “That was a happy accident,” says McBride.

Stupid Human Tricks Shooting From the Hip Wet and Wild

Shooting From the Hip

It’s a case of walking the talk for the founders of YoungGuns, a new international creative awards show for 18- to 30-year-olds only. To drum up entries for the first show, the organizers created a viral MPEG campaign showing ad veterans going to great lengths to look young enough to enter the contest. “We figured, if we want creative, cutting-edge entries, then we should be doing the same thing: [coming up with] ideas,” says YoungGuns director Michael Kean, a mere 21. “We wanted to be the first awards show to develop and use a viral campaign as an awareness mechanism.” In one of five spots, jury chairman David Droga, executive creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi in London, demolishes a birthday cake that reveals he is past the age limit. In another, John Webster, creative director of BMP DDB, London, busts out with some phat dance moves, which ultimately throw out his back. Cut to text, which explains, “Sorry John—18 to 30 only.” The campaign also features Garry Horner, national creative director of DDB, Australia; Warren Brown, creative director of Brown Melhuish Fish lock, Sydney, Australia; and Steve Henry, creative director of HHCL & Partners, London. YoungGuns has received only a few hundred entries, but Kean is optimistic. The entry deadline is Sept. 7; the show is scheduled for Oct. 19 in YoungGuns’ hometown of Sydney. Kean and his fellow YoungGuns founders—Jason Williams, 30, a senior art director for Pure D’Arcy, and Kristian Barnes, 31, media manager at Mitchell Media—promise an informal ceremony followed by a more traditional “raucous party.”

Wet and Wild

The good old double entendre is put to use in Henderson Advertising’s campaign for Costa Del Mar sunglasses, in an effort to extend the core market of the polarized sunglasses beyond just fishermen. A print ad reads, “It’s hard to be passionate with all the lights on,” and shows a fisherman standing in knee-deep water. The client is attempting to appeal to water-sports enthusiasts of all stripes, touting Costa Del Mar’s lens technology, which reduces glare. As part of a total image campaign, the Green ville, S.C., agency updated the brand’s logo, packaging, bro chures and displays, giving it a more contemporary look and playing up an element of fashion, says creative director Andy Mendelsohn. Print ads show a closeup of the frames and an amber reflection in the sunglasses’ lens. Mendelsohn admits he is not immune to the basic human tendency to lose his shades, but adds that from a professional point of view, “That’s the beauty of sunglasses.”