Brand New School recently completed work on a whimsical and eclectic spot via Saatchi & Saatchi for the Toyota Rav4 sport utility vehicle. Co-directed by Brand New School’s Jonathan Notaro and Eric Adolfson, the 30-second spot uses vibrant locations, an attractive cast, and some (literally) mind-bending visual effects to transform the urban landscape with elegant efficiency.
“The initial treatment for the spot called for a simplified 2d folding approach, which we then expanded on, incorporating other fold- related influences including Mad Magazine s famous fold, and more recently Beck’s music video ‘girl’,” says Notaro. “We brought a more complex feel to this idea by incorporating different perspectives and moving cameras while the folds were happening, and the scenes transforming. We wanted to use this fun expanding and collapsing canvas to emphasize the RAV4’s features, and also as a transitional device. We had to be careful in our design of the folds, and choreography of the talent wand the camera, knowing that whatever we conceived, needed to be achieved in 1 ambitious shoot day”.
Opening with a bright red Rav4 driving down a typical-looking street, we see the vehicle approaching a gas station. As the car rolls past, the accordion-style canopy hovering over the pumps literally folds into itself, dropping it and the rest of the gas station into the earth. Just as quickly as the station sank into the earth, a multi-tiered fountain springs up. The reference to the Rav4’s admirable fuel efficiency is quickly and elegantly achieved.
To highlight the car’s interior room, a group of young people emerge from an urban caf?¬¨¬©, unfolding like paper dolls as they do so. As they approach the Rav4, the airbags included in the vehicles Star safety system fold into themselves like delicate pieces of origami-style paper.
As the car prepares to drive away, the street itself folds in on itself, swallowing a long line of competing SUVs. Finally, the urban architecture collapses together, accordion-style, revealing a verdant landscape bathed in golden-hour sunshine.
“We were determined to use realistic folding techniques in the spot, to give it that elegant, honest and inventive feel,” says Adolfson. “The scene with the airbags gave us a great opportunity to employ this radial, origami-style folding in a clever way. In order to get a sense of how these structures would, or should, fold in on themselves, we actually took to folding little maquettes out of drawings and location photos, just to see what would look best. We tried to be very true to actual folding patterns, and even scouted out locations on architecture that seemed like it could be folded. It was a lot of fun in the end.”