The Ebeling Group announces that directorial collective Nakd has completed a three-spot PSA campaign for Canada’s Heart & Stroke Foundation, a non-profit group dedicated to furthering research and education on preventing heart disease and stroke. Via ad agency Publicis, Toronto, the :30 CG ads Vending Machine, Ultrasound and Flower aired throughout the region to promote Canada’s Heart Month, which took place in February 2007.
The campaign was entirely conceived in CG-a medium Nakd felt best allowed it to generate an entirely authentic world while still conveying the subtle emotions of each vignette. Striking a balance between abstraction and reality, all three spots feature a similar visual premise, with a photorealistic center piece, simple camera moves, stark background palettes and minimal sound design.
“For the designers and staff at Nakd, preserving the very emotional and personal tone of the spots and their arresting photographic simplicity was largely an exercise in restraint, comments Nakd. While the motions and details are subtle throughout, the spots still elicit a visceral reaction. It was a great privilege to lend our skills to the communication of a strong message of health. We all put our hearts into it, and beautiful things happened.
The spot Vending Machine opens on an abstract visual of a coil slowly rotating against a black background. The v/o intones, To some, the thought of having a device burrowing through their arteries to remove a blockage is terrifying. The camera pulls out to reveal a packaged cupcake being dispensed from the machine as the v/o explains that trans-fats foods available virtually everywhere can cause these blockages. In Flower, a wilted stargazer lily in an empty vase acts as a visual metaphor for a sufferer of stroke. The v/o explains that Heart & Stroke has pioneered a clot-busting drug that can reverse the adverse effects, just as water is poured into the glass, bringing the flower back to life. The spot
Ultrasound opens on a pull-in shot of an ultrasound machine, its monitor displaying a 3D image of an unborn baby. Against a rhythmic heartbeat, the v/o describes the organization’s efforts in in-utero heart treatments. All three spots end with the title card and v/o of the tagline: This is what happens when you put your heart into it.
Nakd was very meticulous about making sure the imagery in the campaign remained as true to real life as possible. In Flower, the stargazer lily was modeled to be botanically accurate, including the intricate details, colorings and textures of the flower. In Ultrasound, Nakd obtained special permission from Siemens to base the CGI ultrasound machine on a model they currently manufacture. The biggest challenge Nakd faced was in creating the entire CGI environment for the Vending Machine spot. Nakd did not use a multipass technique, but instead used global illumination, so the trick was to find parameters that did not flicker or produce artifacts while in motion.
Nakd’s primary 3D software package was Autodesk 3ds Max, with everything rendered using V-Ray. Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator were used for concepting and texture work, with the compositing and finishing done in Adobe After Effects and Autodesk Flame. eyeon Digital Fusion was employed on Ultrasound to achieve the grainy ultrasound look, and Body Paint was used for digital clean-up. All modeling was done in Autodesk Maya.
Formerly out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Nakd is now based in Toronto, Canada, where it is continuing the expansive vision of a company whose inspiration ranges from extreme color to wool sweaters. Nakd has produced live-action and animated TV and print work for clients including Nike, Japan Railways, TBS, Adidas, MTV, Bruce Mau Design, and AMC. Its music videos and innovative internal projects, including the 2005 short Box, have screened at Resfest, Siggraph and onedotzero. The tenet held by Nakd designers and animators is simply: Be innovative. Always. For more information, visit www.nakd.tv .
About The Ebeling Group
The Ebeling Group (TEG) is an international production company with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Sao Paulo, London and Toronto. The TEG roster includes world-renowned designers and directors MK12, Nakd, Lobo, Convert, Tennant, Bitstate and Caskey. These companies have been awarded with distinctions from Cannes, The Art Director’s Club, BDA, The Clios, The One Show and most recently the Slamdance Film Festival. TEG projects-and directors-are anything but ordinary. Internationally recognized short films, commercials, promos and music videos for clients including Adidas, Coca-Cola, Diesel, Levi’s, TNT, MTV, Nike and Ford have garnered accolades from the global design, production and advertising industry. TEG directors’ work has been showcased at Resfest, OFFF, FITC, onedotzero, Sundance Film Festival and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. www.theebelinggroup.com
Client: Heart & Stroke Foundation
Airdates: Flower – October 10, 2006, Ultrasound – November 27, 2006,
Vending Machine – January 8, 2007
Ad Agency: Publicis / Toronto, Canada
Creative Director: Duncan Bruce
Art Director: Mark Spalding
Copywriter: Jim Borwick
Producer: Dale Harrison
Production Company: The Ebeling Group / New York, NY
Director: Nakd / Toronto, Canada
Executive Producer: Mick Ebeling
Producer: Larry Ewing
Sound & Music: Pirate Radio & TV / Toronto, Canada
Track Director: Tom Eymundson
Audio Mix: Lonesome Pine / Toronto, Canada