Crash+Sues brought summer to Minneapolis early this year, with a whimsical, fully animated spot for Bailey Nurseries that transports viewers through a beautiful garden created with a variety of hydrangeas that ensures blooms all summer long.
The spot, from Initio Advertising/Minneapolis, opens with a butterfly taking flight, and follows its path over a colorful field of hydrangea. It continues through a stylized composite global landscape - complete with landmarks, such as the canals of Venice, the Sydney Opera House and Mt. Fuji, as the voiceover asks, "Is your summer endless? Is it filled with lasting color and inspiration? You could travel the globe to find it, or discover it in your own backyard with the Endless Summer Collection of remarkable hydrangeas that bloom all summer long."
The animated journey continues, revealing a lush backyard garden showcasing a pastel pallet of hydrangeas in bloom, framing a charming outdoor living space with a fountain, gazebo, bistro table and seating - that takes season-long advantage of the magnificent flowers.
"Unique plants, unique blooms, voila - unique garden," says the voiceover as fireworks erupt in the night sky. The spot ends with the butterfly entering an open window where a woman, seen in silhouette holding a bouquet, transforms into the Bailey logo. "You don't need crazy gardening superpowers or an endless amount of time," concludes the voiceover. "All you need is Endless Summer - look for the blue pots at a garden center near you."
Crash+Sues animator Sean Hall and CG artist Matt Sattler collaborated with the agency creatives to develop the storyline's visuals, which showcase three varieties of hydrangeas. The agency also wanted to incorporate several still photos of the plants and a live-action shot filmed in a Georgia garden while maintaining a seamless animated look.
"The commercial illustrates how to integrate a lot of styles and tools," notes Hall. "Using Autodesk Maya and Adobe After Effects we were able to create a spot that was never meant to feel realistic yet includes real world elements."
Matt Sattler tapped Maya to give more dimension to the hydrangea stills and crafted 3D flower petals and the butterflies, which emit pixie dust created with particle effects.
FX artist Adam Celt manned Autodesk's Discreet Flame for the shot where the camera transitions from pushing into the global landscape and flashes to the garden where it pans down to the potted hydrangeas adapted from still product photos.