Bicoastal U.S. creative production company Stardust Studios has teamed-up with Helsinki-based advertising agency SEK & GREY Oy to create a new :40 theatrical/broadcast brand spot for Paulig Presidentti, the prestigious coffee brand launched nearly 80 years ago by Finland leading coffee roaster, Gustav Paulig Ltd. The 3D animated spot entitled ‘Fantasia,’ created exclusively for distribution in Finland, debuted on broadcast media outlets on April 30, and in theaters throughout the country on May 4, and is set to continue running over the weeks ahead.
Finns are widely acknowledged as some of the biggest coffee drinkers in the world. Paulig’s premium coffee brand Presidentti is one of two flagship Paulig brands introduced in 1929, and its signature colors of green and gold have long been used in both packaging and advertising. The company long history of innovate advertising, promotional and customer service initiatives have made the Paulig brand family synonymous with uncompromising quality, professional pride and warm, enjoyable moments. According to Stardust creative director Alan Bibby, this year, SEK & GREY creatives wanted to create something that took the revered brand to a new level of interest – without sacrificing any of its elegance or other important qualities.
To begin, SEK & GREY creative director Mikko Pet, copywriter Jusa Valtonen and executive producer Olli Korpiala (of production company Front Desk) presented Stardust creative team in New York with initial storyboards, as well as selected Presidentti advertising elements from the recent past, each of which featured the brand color palette and golden cup, and conveyed the idea of coffee enjoyment that lifts people above their everyday lives.
‘They had certain things that they wanted in the spot,’ Bibby explained, ‘which ultimately had to be all about transformation, a moment of solitude where one mind wanders, going on a journey, where one thing leads to another and another, until it all comes back to the coffee.’
After reviewing the agency boards and getting briefed, Bibby said, he and his colleagues were psyched. ‘Their concept was really intriguing and inventive,’ he said, ‘and they conveyed a sense of excitement while keeping it elegant and subtle. What also excited us what the level of creative that they’sd already sold through to the client.’ Stardust storyboards were designed by Jon Saunders, Kim Dulaney, Chi Chi Bello and Bibby, earning Stardust the project.
With the job awarded, work began quickly, involving a great deal of interaction between New York and Helsinki. To develop the project, create and master their final animation, Stardust artists used Maya, Real Flow and Adobe After Effects, as well as a 2D equivalent to traditional cel animation. As the work progressed, motion tests and other materials were posted for review every couple of days. ‘There was constant feedback,’ Bibby said, ‘and as everything came together, they were really happy. It became a total labor of love for everyone involved, and the artists kept working on it until it was the level that everyone wanted to see.’
In the finished spot, on a field of dark green, a golden droplet appears and splashes down into dark liquid, forming a golden wave that instantly transforms into a lion head. The golden liquid pours down over dark mountains to a waterfall, where particles stream into a lake before soaring comet-like into a dark green sky above a forest, and exploding like fireworks. One of the fireballs takes the form of a glowing golden bird, which soars past, leaving a wake of floating feathers which become butterflies, and then, a field of golden flowers. An elk runs through the field, and golden particles mix with the northern lights, before the brand golden cup appears, with the campaign tagline, ‘Maailman parhaista kahvilaaduista,” (which translates into, ‘from the best coffees in the world’). The spot features a rich orchestral score throughout, which was composed by Tuomas Kantelinen, and mixed at Helsinki Soundtrack Studios by Mikko Oinonen.
‘Making the animation stay true to and articulate the beautifully designed frames was a huge effort that paid off immensely,’ Bibby concluded. ‘Finishing the entire spot in full HD was a huge endeavor, as was working with a remote client. In the end, it a beautiful piece which grew and changed over the length of the project while staying true to the initial vision. Every one of our designers and animators put a huge amount of effort, time and artistry into it under intense pressure, and we feel the results speak for themselves.’
Along with Bibby, Stardust project team also included executive creative director Jake Banks, senior producer Michael Neithardt, line producer Mark Mutschler, lead designer Jon Saunders, designers Kim Dulaney and Chi Chi Bello, CG director Carl Mok and many 3D, 2D and effects artists. The company additional credits are as follows.
3D ARTISTS: Carl Mok, Cary Janks, Cavin Thuring, Emili Kahr Nilsson, Elliot Blanchard, Tom Cushwa
2D ANIMATORS: Carl Mok, Cary Janks, Doug Purver, Emili Kahr Nilsson, Elliot Blanchard, Michele Higa, Chris Smith, Jesse Casey
COMPOSITING: Carl Mok, Cary Janks, Emili Kahr Nilsson
About Stardust Studios
Stardust is an award-winning creative production company, specializing in motion design, animation, visual effects and live-action production. Led by founder and executive creative director Jake Banks, Stardust Santa Monica and New York offices continually redefine creativity for commercial, on-air, music video and in-store presentations. Their recent work ?‚àö√ë‚àö¬® including projects for the world top ad agencies, brands and recording artists ?‚àö√ë‚àö¬® has earned numerous awards and worldwide editorial exposure. For more information, please visit www.stardust.tv