Sarofsky and Havas Chicago Join Forces to Roll Out Fun New Campaign for Babybel
June 29, 2020 by Andrew Schneider
Have you been to the Land of Goodness? Havas Chicago and Sarofsky have joined forces to take you there. Mini Babybel – the individually portioned, rich and creamy, red-wax-wrapped cheese – is currently debuting several new products in partnership with award-winning, fully integrated global advertising company, Havas Chicago. A series of new 15- and 8-second ads is rolling out on the brand's social media channels and beyond, introducing Babybel Bio, Babybel Cheese and Co., and Babybel Mini Rolls.
To bring the new ads to life, Havas Chicago brought on Director Erin Sarofsky and her team at design-driven production company Sarofsky. For all campaign assets, including additional videos created and finished specifically for social media, Sarofsky's team completed this assignment while working remotely. The spots are 100 percent CGI. Here are the three main 15 second spots tied together into one video for you:
A Fun Yet Elegant Campaign
True to the brand and agency's vision, each spot lives in the minimal "Land of Goodness," a natural utopian home of Babybel. Focusing on the intrinsic value of Babybel as a naturally good snack, the "Land of Goodness" is a campaign that introduces customers to the playful goodness that is Babybel, showing the fun nature of the product in unexpected ways. The spots present hero products springing to life in a grassy pasture, on playgrounds, picnics and road trips on a field of white.
"Havas invited us to create a series of energetic animations where the product is the main character, and it's also photo-real," Erin began. "Figuring out how to solve that was a wonderful challenge. A big part of our approach was introducing some sass in the animated movements. For example, Babybel hops a certain way, and it even unpeels with a fun elegance."
According to Sarofsky's Executive Producer Steven Anderson, purely design-driven production without live-action requirements is now of critical importance. Nonetheless, concerns over CG product creation still exist. "We understand why clients are sensitive to these issues," he said. "To us, these spots are an excellent reminder that we can produce realistic, appetizing products in CG."
Creating the Land of Goodness
Havas' campaign concept centered on using the products' iconic red-wax-coating inventively, in the creation of flowers, birds, trees and cows. Sarofsky's team brought this to life in a seamless, artful way. "It didn't take us long to create authentic looking cheese, to make the wax shell look just right, and to get the Babybel Bio cellophane wrapper to look shiny and crinkly," Erin added.
Sarofsky's Senior 3D Designer/Animator Jake Allen revealed more of the advanced technical wizardry behind the deceptively simple-looking spots. To construct the "Land of Goodness," Maxon's Cinema 4D and Autodesk's Arnold renderer were used to explore rigging and look development. The designers began with textures scanned from the actual product, then applied Arnold's sub-surface scattering to create an accurate representation of the cheese and wax. With those modular assets sorted, layout and animation commenced.
"We built a controllable setup for the Mini Roll, and another clever setup using the Babybel cheese radius to make it automatically roll when animated in each shot," Jake said. "We also shared a common lighting setup to keep things consistent, then rendered out passes and mattes for additional tweaking in our final After Effects composites."
In the Mini Roll spot, the product energetically transforms into numerous shapes. "For those," Jake continued, "we customized the Mini Roll rig, or swapped them out with specialized rigs for other movements. This allowed us to test different setups for different shots, while keeping things as simple as possible."
Expressing her appreciation for having such a fun job to tackle during an uncertain time, Erin is also pleased to perpetuate a return to stylized animated storytelling. "When you a create a fantastical landscape like the Land of Goodness, it is inherently ownable," she concluded. "That's something more brands are likely to embrace in the post-COVID world."