Ford C-Max rolls out smoothly on hybrid market

Ads, Creativity

To launch Ford C-Max Hybrids with the goal of breaking through the Prius-dominated hybrid market, Team Detroit introduced a series of broadcast spots, short brand films and other cross-media campaign assets featuring the world-famous La Linea character from the Milan-based Quipos agency.

The challenge we faced was developing a simple, breakthrough C-MAX Hybrids campaign highlighting fuel economy in an environment of high gas prices (…)¬†La Linea lives out frustrations customers traditionally faced with hybrids, and is rewarded as the animator draws the C-MAX Hybrid’s innovative solutions, echoing how the character has overcome challenges for more than 40 years.

Bradley Hensen,

Team Detroit’s Creative Director.

Two of four 30 seconds spots recently launched widely on television, and they can also be viewed on YouTube. Also, the La Linea / Hybrid Games have launched online with more spots and content debuting through next year.

In the campaign’s spots, the styling, horsepower, fuel-efficiency and more advanced features of the C-Max Hybrids help La Linea overcome many frustrations presented by other hybrid vehicles. While the character makes the brand’s points very effectively, the creatives also wanted to transition into live-action footage showing the C-Max on the road. To collaborate with Quipos and handle the project’s ambitious production, visual effects and post-production challenges, Team Detroit chose creative production company Shilo and its co-founder and director Jose Gomez.

For the production, the first step was sending Jose and Shilo executive producer Arthur Portnoy to Milan to meet with the principals of Quipos, including general director Coleta Goria Ravoni.

With Shilo’s executives back in America, the international collaboration continued with many phone calls to Milan, and production got underway in Shilo’s West and East Coast studios. “From the beginning, we were very focused on the direction of La Linea’s actions, especially given the importance of the transition to live-action,” Jose explained. “We focused on conveying the message of each spot in the most powerful ways, and ensuring that we maintained the right tone in all the elements. Our art director Colin McGreal was immensely helpful in keeping everything consistent.”

For the 2D animation, Shilo’s artists previsualized the content and handled all rounds of revisions with Team Detroit and the Ford clients, before handing the approved creative over to Quipos to create the final animation.

Meanwhile, Jose and director of photography Jordan Valenti led a large-scale live-action shoot in San Diego, where the C-MAX was captured driving through the city. On location, Shilo’s team used the ARRI Alexa digital camera system to shoot HD source footage and a crane car called The Pursuit System. Editorial began in Shilo’s La Jolla studio before moving to New York to coincide with visual effects, compositing, finishing and sound design.

“We truly had a stellar team of animators, compositors, and 3D artists onboard for the transitions for this campaign,” Jose continued. “Once the edit was locked, they integrated the final moments of the 2D animation previs with their 2D and 3D renders and passed the final cleanup, composite and conform over to Flame artist Nic Seresin. To optimize the transition animation and ensure the highest quality for the composite, we brought in a Flame suite specifically for this project.”

Additional agency creative credits include EVP, chief creative officers Toby Barlow and Curtis Melville, senior copywriter Dan O’Connor, art director Sanja Dardagan and senior producer Maureen Marnon. Complete credits are available upon request.

Shilo is an Emmy Award-winning creative production company representing a group of filmmakers led by director Jose Gomez.¬†Internationally known for creating original and commissioned work that is powerful, provocative and visually extraordinary, Shilo’s deeply held passions for design-infused storytelling and their innovative applications of live-action, design, and animation techniques deliver breakthrough experiences for screens large and small. From its studios in New York and California, where recent projects have spanned short films, commercials and music videos, Shilo has the capacity and experience to originate ideas and handle all aspects of production. Shilo published its first book, We Make It Good, in 2007, and also curates and produces content for the blog.