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TOPIX Creates Animation for Mennen

(August 03, 2001)
Looking for a clever and memorable introduction for Colgate-Palmolive’s new Mennen roll-on deodorant, Young & Rubicam/Mexico (Mexico City) turned to TOPIX to create a computer animated :10 stand alone tag, Futbol, which will begin airing August 1 throughout Central and South America. Futbol will tag all future Mennen antiperspirant and deodorant spots in these markets.

When Young & Rubicam gave the storyboard to the TOPIX creative team, they also gave them the freedom to expand on the concept. In the resulting vignette, a ball is thrown into play and is expertly juggled by an animated Mennen Speed Stick, which embodies all of the energy and moves of an accomplished soccer player. Demonstrating remarkable dexterity and inspired footwork, the ball bounces off the soccer player’s chest to his foot, up to his head, rolls off his neck and is tossed into the air, before it is captured by the bowl, transforming the Speed Stick into a roll-on. Noticing a shadow looming large beside him, the roll-on looks up and jumps as the cap falls neatly into place revealing the new product as it appears on store shelves.

“After viewing a video of a soccer player bouncing a ball around, I thought it would be interesting to utilize the feeling of a handheld camera,” explained TOPIX Animation Director Chris Johnson. “We were able to make the visuals feel like an actual sporting event by using Softimage XSI and Final Gathering, a type of rendering, to achieve real world lighting effects.”

“We had to make the size of the bowl, which acts as the product’s head, a bit smaller, but large enough to retain its human qualities. Our biggest challenge was to make the deodorant look like it was actually playing soccer without distorting or over-manipulating the animation,” added TOPIX Senior Producer Diana D’Amelio. “Because this is for a new product, the clients’ main concern was that we not divulge the surprise, the metamorphosis of the roll-on, too early.”

Young & Rubicam Executive Producer Maria Claudia Alarcon stated, “Working with TOPIX is always a pleasant experience. They are extremely creative and proactive, always proposing several solutions to our client’s comments.”

The TOPIX creative team included Animation Director Chris Johnson; Animators Livio Passera and Matt Crookshank; inferno Artist Patrick Coffey; Assistant Producer Laurie Kerr; and Senior Producer Diana D’Amelio. The TOPIX crew utilized Softmage XSI, Final Gathering, After Effects and inferno.

Representing Young & Rubicam/Mexico were Creative Director/Writer Estuardo Lopez, Creative Director/Art Director Javier Parra, and Executive Producer Maria Claudia Alarcon.

The musical underscore, sound design and audio postproduction were supplied by Ricardo Barragan of RicAudio (Mexico City).

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