A hapless business owner named Steve is confronted by the gaping black hole of too much data, too much knowledge, too many client emails to reply to and too many details to keep track of. This big black hole appears behind him, set against a grid that seems to gently pulsate, causing the hole to change slightly in shape. It’s the centerpiece of a new campaign Droga5 for the business automation service MailChimp. Directed by the designer-turned-director Greg Barth and produced by Ruffian, the gently comic spots feature visual effects elements provided by the artists at MPC New York.
This is the second MailChimp campaign in which MPC has partnered with Droga5 to bring offbeat concepts to life. Previously, the studio lent its visual effects capabilities to such arresting ads as “MailShrimp,” “KaleLimp” and “JailBlimp.” These surreal ads relied heavily on VFX in order to bring their highly visual concepts to life.
In this latest campaign, which consists of four spots under the heading “MailChimp vs The Black Hole,” the black hole represents a business owner’s sources of anxiety, and MailChimp’s products appear as solutions. These are illustrated with a series of soothing graphs or charts rendered in shades of light green and orange.
The MPC team was tasked with “helping to make these light animations that are beautiful and artful while striking a balance between being emotive and explanatory,” says MPC’s Head of 2D, Marcus Wood. “We had to translate the power of each MailChimp feature into these visual forms in a way that illustrated the emotional dynamics that result from applying them to your business problems.”
In addition to creating the animated charts and graphs, MPC also augmented the practical in-camera effects that Barth used to create the gently pulsating black hole itself. The director, whose fine art and design work has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, is known for his use of fabrics and physical manipulation in his film and video work. He used similar techniques, with an assist from MPC, on this MailChimp campaign. The studio’s artists and producers collaborated closely with the director and creative team at Droga5 from the initial brief through on-set shoot supervision and final delivery.
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