A hoard of frightening monsters invade homes in a cinematic TV campaign for pest-control brand Terminix created by ad agency Publicis Dallas and produced by Blacklist’s Barcelona-based directorial and design collective Dvein. The four spots, part of the 2011 integrated ad campaign, use high-end 3D animation to liken termite, cockroach and ant infestations to the creeping specters of disease and structural damage. For Dvein, creating such unsettlingly insatiable creatures was a chance for the Blacklist-repped collective to design and animate characters unlike any others seen in feature film or commercials. “Dvein's work for Terminix is edgy, fresh, attention grabbing and creatively inspiring,” says Adina Sales, Managing Director / Executive Producer, Blacklist. “We are so grateful to work with the Publicis Dallas and Terminix teams who have been great collaborators keen to push boundaries from the start." “We liked the idea of working so deeply in character animation,” adds Dvein. “It was something that we hadn't done before. We love how original and different the campaign is from what pest control companies typically do in advertising.” “We want to assist homeowners in proactively protecting themselves from the financial and health issues associated with pest problems,” says Brad Cumings, Chief Marketing Officer, Terminix. “A monster attack is a very clever visual metaphor to communicate that message.” Each monster is based on a hybrid of animal and insect features. The hefty, winged star of “Flying Monster”, for example, combines the lumbering nature of bison and elephants with a piranha’s gaping mouth. Dvein dispensed with eyes to emphasize its more unsightly features and add extra fright value. “We thought it was important to create monsters that were unusual and unsettling,” adds Shon Rathbone, EVP, Executive Creative Director, Publicis Dallas. “Something from the dark corners of the imagination." In “Beams”, a psychotic, multi-mouthed creature with buzz-saw teeth gnaws away at a room. “Our main concern was to distance it from being insect-like and made it more animalistic,” they say. “In all the spots, the idea was to build a collage of attributes, forms and textures in line with a termite's modus operandi.” Dvein animated the creatures using a combination of manual and simulation tools, such as 3D Studio Max, Maya, After Effects and Nuke, to give each action-packed ad as natural a feel as possible, amplifying the realism of each monster’s weight and anatomy with strategic camera framing. “In this project it's pretty clear that we have a taste for realistic, organic forms,” they say. “Our influences are traditional animation techniques and the cross-section between disgustingness and cuteness.” This particular job required a lot of trust between collaborators, which is one of the reasons Publicis and Terminix looked toward Blacklist and Dvein, as they worked together on Terminix’s 2010 campaign. Familiar with Dvein’s diverse artistic talents, they gave them a lot of freedom to conceptualize and design the monsters and the resulting campaign is not only a persuasive warning for consumers, but evocative of Dvein’s darkly imaginative creative vision.
Client: Terminix Creative Credits: Seeing Is Believing Agency: Publicis Dallas Agency Location: Dallas, Texas Executive Creative Director/s: Shon Rathbone Group Creative Director/s: Julia Melle Creative Director Copy Writer: Steve Grimes Creative Director Art Director: Pete Voehringer Producers: Jaime Roderer Account Director: Rick Rogers Production Company: Blacklist Executive Producers: Adina Sales, Andrew Linsk Producer: Michael Neithardt Associate Producer: Patrick Gantert Direction and Art Direction: Dvein Design and Character Development: Dvein Producer: Esther de Udaeta Post Production: Dvein Post Production/VFX team: Vando Audio Record & Mix: HECQ, Ben Lukas Boysen and Infinia, Marc Gonell Sound Design: HECQ, Ben Lukas Boysen