Sunday, September 13, 2009

COM: Matt Hunnicutt Wins an Emmy!!!

Wieden + Kennedy, Psyop Score With Super Bowl Commercial
LOS ANGELES, September 12, 2009, Robert Goldrich

Coca-Cola's "Heist," a charming animation spot in which flora and a community of insects team to open a bottle of Coke, won the coveted primetime commercial Emmy on Saturday evening (9/12) during the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Creative Arts Awards ceremony at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

Todd Mueller and Kylie Matulick of Psyop directed "Heist," which debuted during this year's Super Bowl telecast, for Wieden + Kennedy (W+K), Portland, Ore.

Members of the W+K creative team talked to SHOOT about "Heist" shortly after learning it had been nominated. Lee Jennings, a W+K art director on "Heist," noted that he and his agency colleagues were conscious of it being a Super Bowl commercial. So they cut against the grain and intentionally made the spot start very quiet, with soft classical music, representing a departure from the in-your-face/rock/pop Super Bowl norm. "There was the temptation to put up a big expensive pop song," Jennings recalled. "We had even been considering a song from The Beatles. But we went with orchestral and classical throughout, and that worked the best."

Jennings added that there were visual temptations which W+K also resisted. "With an animation piece, you can be tempted to be a little more cartoony. We tried hard to instead make it Planet Earth-like animation, very realistic, and I think that helped the spot strike a responsive chord."

W+K senior producer Matt Hunnicutt credited Psyop for its contributions to "Heist." "We had a lot of success with them on previous jobs for Coca-Cola, so it was a no brainer to work with them again," he related. "They made the animation fun and clever, creating a feel-good platform which helped us introduce Coke's new tagline, 'Open Happiness.'"

Among the alluded to prior collaborations between W+K and Psyop on Coca-Cola was the lauded "Happiness Factory" (for W+K, Amsterdam), which earned an Emmy nomination in 2007.

John Leverence, senior VP, awards, for the Television Academy, observed that "Heist" is "reminiscent" of "Happiness Factory" in that it is "wonderfully and imaginatively done. Wieden has given us another wonderfully clever fantasy with 'Heist," a midsummer night's dream only it's the afternoon in which insects and plant life are the fairies who act with assembly line precision to move a bottle of Coke through a series of Rube Goldberg steps, and then open the bottle to refresh the world they're in."

Hunnicutt affirmed that the brand itself makes W+K's job easier. "You can naturally do feel-good work because you're walking into a brand that people know, trust and love. So you can go to places like where 'Heist" takes you and it just feels right."

Formidable field
To win the '09 primetime spot Emmy, "Heist" topped a field of eight-nominated commercials. While there are usually five nominees in this category, the judging yielded eight nominations as five commercials tied for fourth place in the voting tally.

W+K had three of the nominated ads: Coke's "Heist" as well as's "Tips" (which was directed by Tom Kuntz of MJZ); and Nike's "Bottled Courage" (directed by Ralf Schmerberg of DDB Chicago had two nominated commercials: Budweiser's "Circus" (helmed by Joe Pytka of PYTKA); and a web spot for Bud Light, "Magazine Buyer" (directed by Erich Joiner of Tool of North America). And scoring single nominations were: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, for Sprint/Nextel's "Wedding" (directed by Jim Jenkins of O Positive Films); Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Miami and Boulder, Colo., for Hulu's "Alec In Huluwood" (directed by Peter Berg of Pony Show Entertainment); and Ogilvy & Mather, New York, for AmEx's "Airport Lounge" (directed by Bryan Buckley of Hungry Man).

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