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Tool's Tom Routson Directs Bud Light/ESPN Spot

(June 17, 2004)

Tool of North America today announced details of award-winning director Tom Routson’s latest project work, a series of spots for Bud Light and ESPN celebrating the top sports fans of all time.  The campaign was conceived by DDB Chicago and debuted on both ESPN and ESPN2 yesterday. 

The campaign’s three mockumentary-style commercials are entitled “Smolak,” “Sorenson” and “Whipple,” and each spot features interviews with sports figures and personal acquaintances, as well as archival footage showing highlights of the subject’s life.  ESPN on-air talent Trey Wingo introduces each spot.

“The idea of the campaign was for Bud Light to honor ESPN’s 25th anniversary by saluting sports fans around the country,” said Sean Bryan, DDB’s campaign creative director/copywriter.  “We wanted to celebrate their insane behavior, questionable priorities and maniacal determination."

Director Tom Routson captured his footage on 16mm and Super 8 film, at times pushing the f-stop on the 16mm to get an archival feel.

“The challenge for Tom was to make these over-the-top moments seem believable, like we were really there with 8mm cameras capturing milestones of fan craziness over the years,” explained DDB’s Tom Murphy, who together with Mark Gross served as creative director/art director for the campaign.  “And he had to make Giants Stadium seem packed with a couple dozen extras.  He accomplished both brilliantly.”

In relating the agency and the clients’ positive responses to the finished spots, Tom Murphy added, “It’s a rare thing when you can look at a spot fifty or a hundred times in the edit suite and still laugh at it.  We do with these, every time.” 

“Working with Tool was terrific,” Sean Bryan agreed.  “Working with Routson was terrific. It was one of those productions where everybody had the same vision from day one, and all we had to do was get it on film."

In addition to Sean Bryan, Tom Murphy and Mark Gross, DDB’s project team included chief creative officer Bob Scarpelli, group creative director John Immesoete, executive producer Marianne Newton and account supervisor Jason Weinstein.

For Tool of North America, production was overseen by executive producer Jennifer Siegel.  Adam Beckman served as director of photography and the production was designed by Kevin McCarthy.

Project telecine was handled by colorist Luanna Ayres at Company 3 in New York.  At editorial company Panic & Bob, Matthew Kett edited “Whipple,” and David Baxter joined Kett in editing “Smolak” and “Sorenson.”  Samantha McLaren is the company’s executive producer.

Original music and sound design were handled by HUM, whose campaign credits include Tim Wynn as composer, Dan Hart as mixer and Debbi Landon as executive producer.

Tom Routson’s spots for Pohjola Insurance and Milkybar Munchies were honored as part of the 2003 AICP Show.  In addition to this campaign, his newest work also includes a recent spot for Pennzoil incorporating visual effects from Digital Domain.

About Tool of North America
Established in Santa Monica in 1995, leading commercial production company Tool of North America represents an inspiring group of world-class directors via representatives in LA, Chicago, New York, Toronto and Paris.  Owner and award-winning director Erich Joiner continues drawing international acclaim for his high-profile commercials, and an endless array of new projects continues to spotlight the unique talents of directors Sam Cadman, Clint Clemens, Sean Ehringer, Poiraud, Robert Richardson, Tom Routson, Johan Tappert and François Vogel.  For more information, please visit or call 310.453.9244.

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Related Keywords:Tool North America , Tom Routson, Bud Light Spot

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