(NEW YORK, NY) In "Advance," one of four new 30-second spots for ESPNU created for ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, New York by Loyalkaspar, a sand-colored screen gives way to an emerging white line and the east coast of the United States completely rendered in 3D.
A voiceover backed by a cheering crowd describes the chalk-like marking as a "battleline, redrawn every Saturday in the Fall." The camera pans left to reveal the rest of the country with multiple colors delineating territories occupied by the countries universities. "Moving yard-by-yard, cheer-by-cheer," as the voiceover puts it, the scene succinctly summarizes the nation as one large football field, consistently occupied by "us" and "them." Luckily for "us," there is ESPNU (www.espnu.com), a network specializing in college sports.
"This was a deceptively simple spot to create," says Loyalkaspar co-founder/director Beat Baudenbacher. "The client initially suggested a 2D approach, but we wanted to add some dimensionality to make them more exciting. The spots pushed our workflow to the limit. There were a great many passes required to get the matches right, representing every state and every university territory. It was all in HD and therefore very render-intensive, but we pulled it off. I love that the final result is so simple, but that it was anything but in execution."
Equally ambitious, the three other spots in the campaign seek to traverse the nation in subtly different ways. "Bleed" begins with an undulating mountainscape in the middle of the country from which the university colors bleed out to claim their territories. The militaristic feel of the spot leaves no doubt that "this is more than a game." "Roads" begins on the west coast, using 3D rendered highways and byways to traverse the country, and celebrate the "snipped nets and skipped heartbeats" of college basketball. Finally, "Rivers" first fills the nation's fresh waterway with golden color before delineating the colors of college division. In each spot there is an epic tone that can only be fully captured on ESPNU.
"It was pretty intense to create these four spots," says David Herbruck, Loyalkaspar co-founder/director. "The 3D renders alone were very time-consuming, but we were also faced with the task of lining up some truly enormous Adobe Illustrator files and HD resolution animated texture maps. Due to the sheer scope of the project, we were only able to work at 25 percent resolution, so a lot of the subtleties were hard to discern until we rendered them out overnight at full resolution. When there were issues, we were faced with going back to square one the next day. But thanks to the trust and collaboration of the Wieden+Kennedy team, we were able to come up with something special."
Wieden+Kennedy producer Alison Hill echoed that sentiment. "Working with Loyalkaspar on this project was such a pleasure," says Hill. "The entire team is so talented and creative, they brought in great ideas that took this campaign to the next level. And as with most projects, it became more and more complex as we went on but the outcome was fantastic."
Recognizing that the process is often more rewarding than the end result is just one of the ways design house Loyalkaspar (www.loyalkaspar.com) distinguishes itself from the creative herd. Founded by directors David Herbruck and Beat Baudenbacher, Loyalkaspar has quickly earned a reputation among advertising creatives and network producers as a creative hub where daring creative and innovative execution intersect.
Project: ESPNU (4 spot promo campaign)
Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, New York, NY
Producer: Alison Hill
Design/Post: Loyalkaspar, New York, NY
Directors: David Herbruck and Beat Baudenbacher
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