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(February 15, 2012)
DMN Newswire--2012-2-15--To view the spot go to:



Who amongst us hasn’t fantasized about a big Powerball win? Xenon, the New York-based commercial production company, has created a trio of spots – the :30 “Game Changer” and two :15s, “Cash Cow” and “Eye Popping,” developed through Brushfire, Inc. (Cedar Knolls, NJ and New York, NY), designed to introduce the new $2 Powerball to New Jersey. The three spots debuted January 16th on all cable systems across New Jersey as well as CBS stations in the New York and Philadelphia markets.


“The new Powerball can change your entire world” the spots intone. Created primarily of computer-generated images, the commercials focus on a red Powerball which transforms into a  variety of objects including a spinning globe, a sparkling jewel, couples frolicking in a hot tub, and a revving tachometer. Your wildest dreams – yachts, cars, jewels - could come true if you “play the new $2 dollar Powerball from the N.J. Lottery and give your dreams a chance.”


Director/Creative Director Michael Wiehart, who has extensive experience in live-action and all forms of animation, explained: “We did not want to be tied to one technique or one execution but to find the best, most effective approach to tell our story. We initially thought we would use more live-action but, as it turned out, the best solution was CG.  Ultimately we had the objects, the scenes and the transitions tell the story.”


Wiehart initially created all the images for the storyboards and style boards in CGI and then did motion tests and style frames to determine what would be live-action and what would be CG before planning the shoot and beginning production. “I tried to synchronize the lighting of the CGI and the live-action to create one coherent look. The CG blends nicely with the live-action and doesn’t scream CGI,” he continued.


Brushfire Senior Vice President/Creative Director Ken Musto says of his collaboration with Xenon:  What we wanted to do creatively was produce a lottery commercial that was different.  Most all lottery spots are situational comedies – all humor. We bid this project to a number of production companies and looking at Michael’s reel we were sure he could make this into something great, something magical.  He had the imagination, the genius and ‘got it’ right away. It was like he was reading our minds. He and Executive Producer Doug Robbins were awesome to work with.”


Doug Robbins added: ”It was a perfect partnership of creative energy and trust on every level. The Lottery had worked with Brushfire and trusted them absolutely. Brushfire, who I have worked with for many years, trusted Xenon. From the moment the project was presented as a bidding opportunity Michael felt it was his. He understood it, and embraced it, and put forward a presentation and interpretation that sparked the energy and excitement of the agency. Right from the beginning we were a team that was in sync. Every step of the way there was an unquestioned trust that gave us the freedom to work within the parameters that we had all discussed and identified at the outset and the final delivery was a home run.”


To execute his vision, Wiehart worked closely with the artists at The Napoleon Group (New York, NY) who built the animation. “We had a short turnaround after the shoot and Napoleon created a smart production pipeline to create an infinite number of jackpot amounts to be inserted into future ads, and to get the offline, online, transfer, music and sound design and audio mix done in a timely fashion.”


In addition to Michael Wiehart and Doug Robbins, the Xenon creative team included Postproduction Producer Angela Gianforcaro, Live-Action Producer Jennifer Pearlman, and 3D Supervisors Perry Morton and Ken Kresge.


Representing Brushfire, Inc. were Senior Vice President/Creative Director/Copywriter Ken Musto, Senior Art Director Izzy Franco and Producer Liz Pollard.


For The Napoleon Group (New York, NY) Derrick Yuen was responsible for the compositing, online and offline editing and color correction and Ron DiCesare provided the sound design, audio recording and final mix. The spots are underscored with stock music.


Brushfire also created radio, billboards, bus advertising, rich media banners, newspaper ads and in-store materials which support the television campaign and carry out the campaign theme.

About Xenon:


Xenon is a hybrid - a commercial production team designed to address the ever changing landscape of today’s ad community. The company marries live-action, visual effects, postproduction and interactive work in one seamless environment.


Xenon is headquartered at 420 Lexington Avenue, Suite 3020, New York, NY 10170.  For further information about the advertising production company contact Doug Robbins at [email protected] or call (212) 212 564-4545; Please visit Xenon at  



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