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1080 helps deliver its wireless message in fully-animated Spot Campaign

Pocket Communications, the Smart Wireless company, turned to animation from 1080 San Antonio to get the word out about its attractively-priced unlimited talk and text plans in a new commercial campaign for the general and Hispanic markets in South Texas.  The pool of spots consists of six 30-second spots, two 10-second cutdowns and a 10-second holiday spot via the Cogent Group in Los Angeles direct. 

James Miller, Creative Director of the Cogent Group, also considered live-action production for the campaign but, after brainstorming with 1080 producer Anthony Hernandez, graphics producer Daniela Flores, creative director Bill Hamilton and animator Ryan Parker, opted for a fully-animated approach.

"We went back and forth debating 3D or 2D animation, but the turnaround time was short so we decided on 2D characters living in a 3D world," Flores explains. 

"Although we`re probably best known for the extensive 3D animation we`ve done for The History Channel and other longform programming, we`re at home with all styles of animation," adds Hernandez.

For Pocket, Parker crafted the two-dimensional red hero character with simple anatomy and white eyes and eyebrows.  Despite these limited anatomical features, Parker managed to make the Pocket Man amazingly expressive: The character looks frustrated, perplexed, surprised and happy in turn as he reacts to the voiceover relating his wireless problems and Pocket`s solution.

The first spot to air, "Stop Playing Games," finds the Pocket Man walking the spaces on the Vicious Cycle boardgame which represents his current wireless plan.  He lands on a space saying "Congratulations! You have unlimited minutes" and is instructed to pick a card.  It turns out that the unlimited minutes claim isn`t all it appears to be since the card tells him "Sorry! Only valid to calls in your network!"  "Are you tired of playing games with your wireless company?" the voiceover asks.

When a neon arrow with the Pocket logo drops down signaling "End Game" the Pocket Man smiles, races to it and jumps off the gameboard.  He finds himself at the foot of a giant bar chart where Pocket`s bar is climbing to over 300 million people.  A green button pops up promising $30 unlimited talk and text to any phone in the US and animated typography declares "No surprise bills -- ever!"  The Pocket Man grins.  The end tag appears with Pocket`s "Smart Wireless" logo and the Pocket Man winking and smiling in the corner.

In the second spot, "Ball & Chain," the Pocket Man is back pacing the gameboard.  This time, when he steps on "Congratulations! You get a new phone!" a ball and chain suddenly clamp on his leg with the words "2-year contract" on the ball.  A blue character, similar to the Pocket Man, stops on a space with a "Guess Your Bill" scoreboard.  He touches a button, guesses wrong and a surprise bill boings up on a spring arm.  "Tired of playing those no-win games with your wireless company?" the voiceover queries.  Pocket`s End Game sign drops down, the Pocket Man`s leg is freed from the ball and chain and he once again leaps from the board to discover Pocket`s unbeatable offer.

In the third spot, "Family Plan," the Pocket Man is off the gameboard and standing at a console in front of a huge "The Price Is High" touchscreen featuring squares with icons and numbers.  But he can`t seem to win at this game either.  When he presses the clock square the space reveals, "You only get 750 minutes -- sorry!"  And when he hits the family icon the space tells him, "Share Your Minutes -- Gotcha!"  "Ever try to find the perfect calling plan with the giant wireless companies?" the voiceover asks.  The Pocket Man`s family appears to him in a thought bubble as the touchscreen clears and lists Pocket`s attributes.  His family signals thumbs up in their thought balloon.

The 10-second "Holiday" spot customizes the end tag for the season as the Pocket Man searches for the perfect holiday gift.

Parker tapped Flash to animate the Pocket Man, Hamilton used Adobe Illustrator to build the environments and Ryan Parker and Bill Reed manned the After Effects workstation to composite the shots which feature dynamic camera moves and text animations.  All of the animation was adapted to Spanish for the Hispanic market.  The Living Room Music & Sound Design performed the voice recording and sound design.

"Ryan and Bill Hamilton really picked up the ball and ran with it; they delivered 110 percent, and the client couldn`t have been happier," Hernandez reports.

"Everyone on the team brought his talents to the table and helped guide the client through the production process in a short span of time," adds Flores.
"Pocket wants to work with us on the spring campaign, and we look forward to keeping the creative going."

"Pocket has seen positive results from the spots" notes Hernandez.  Now they want to expand the Pocket Man character to other media, including merchandising Pocket Man products in their retail stores."

"Capturing the frustrations of the wireless customer was crucial to delivering our clients` value propositions effectively - 1080 made our creative come alive literally," noted James Miller, Creative Director from the Cogent Group.  "The entire 1080 team delivered an exemplary performance on this project."

1080 is known for providing creative and practical postproduction solutions.  Their best people, ideas and tools are available for turnkey services for anything from pre-production creative  development and shoot supervision through effects execution and editorial integration.                        


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Related Keywords:3d animation, motion graphics commercials, flash animations

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