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Ringside Creative Reveals GM ?Then and Now

Studio National Branding Effort for Auto Giant

Ringside Creative Editor Sarah Fisher helps to tell the story of General Motors past and present in a new national television spot that broke during the recent Grammy Awards broadcast. Then and Now, conceived by Detroit agency McCann-Erickson, mixes archival material with contemporary footage representing various GM car lines, including Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, Saturn, Hummer and Saab.

Ringsides affiliate GTN provided additional post services for the spot, including color correction, visual effects, audio mixing and final compositing in HD and standard def.

The agency initially approached Fisher about cutting a 3-minute video on the Then and Now theme for screening at a gathering of GM dealers at the recent National Automobile Dealers Association Convention. The results so pleased the agencys creative team and their clients at GM that they asked Fisher to prepare a 60-second version and booked time during the Grammys and during Winter Olympics coverage on NBC.

The spot is composed from existing GM spots dating back to the early ?60s and it juxtaposes the old with the new to show how America and GM have changed over the years. Beauty shots of the dashboard of a 1960s vintage Cadillac are contrasted with their modern day counterparts to show how radio has evolved from AM to XM Satellite. The spot is cut to Everclears AM Radio and crisp graphics are used to drive home the point. The concluding graphic notes, ?The hits just keep on coming.

?We felt it was time to put out a big, fun spot that says GM has always been a big part of the American fabric and always will be, said McCann-Erickson Chief Creative Officer David Moore, ?and to hit the exciting things it is doing as a company now.


For Fisher, the project was both fun and challenging as she had to draw material from 40 years of spots representing the various GM brands. ?The agency creatives came in with clear ideas of what they wanted to show, but we still had an incredible amount of footage to cull through to find the moments that best told the story and represented all of the GM lines, said Fisher.

?Sarah had to wrestle with thousands of feet of material from the archives of GM and its divisions, keep it all organized and produce a great 60-second cut, added Moore. ?It worked great.

Color correction was performed by GTNs Adolfo Martinelli.  The varying ages, formats and styles of the source spots made it difficult to achieve a consistent look. ?While it was important to make the footage match, we tried to preserve the characteristic qualities of each spots era, Martinelli said. ?The older scenes have a very saturated Technicolor look while the contemporary scenes are more nuanced and textured. The contrast in looks reinforces the concept of the spot.

Ringside Creative Executive Producer Dennis Moylan was thrilled by the reception the original video received from GM and by its decision to turn it into a broadcast spot. ?Everyone here at Ringside and GTN stepped up to the plate on this project, he said. ?And the results are awesome.

Ringside Creative is located at 13320 Northend, Oak Park, MI 48237. For more information call Richard Cormier (248) 548-5350 or visit .


Client: GM

Title: ?Then and Now

Agency: McCann-Erickson, Detroit. Dave Moore, chief creative officer; Dan Davis and Jeanne Ruzzin, associate creative directors;  Sherry McLenon, producer.

Editorial: Ringside Creative, Detroit. Sarah Fisher, editor; Jeff Dobrow, type design, end tag development; Dennis Moylan, executive producer.

Post: GTN, Detroit.  Ron Moser, editor; Jay Scott and Tony Del Bel, audio post; Sam Marrocco, Dave Peyton, John Douglas and Rich Bobo, visual effects; Adolfo Martinelli, colorist; Tracy Mobley, assistant colorist; Monica Platt, project management.

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