United Airlines has unveiled five new animated spots for the Beijing Olympics. The commercial are elegant, visually-driven and beautiful to watch, just like the rest of the animated spots that the airline has produced in recent years. Pretentious to be sure, particularly for a carrier like United, but I still appreciate their attempts at fostering a more positive image by utilizing artistic animation. The ad agency responsible for these spots is the newly formed BDM, though two of its principals, Bob Barrie and Stuart D’Rozari, have been instrumental in United’s animation campaigns from the very beginning.
The real standout piece in this latest batch is “Sea Orchestra” (view hi-res version here) by Shy the Sun, the South African collective who also operates under the name The Blackheart Gang and who produced the short Tale of How. In this commercial, they combined hand-drawn textures and photographs into a brilliant and ornate CG package that is bursting at the seams with creativity. The commercial was produced in cinema resolution and I’m sure the visual effect of this on the bigscreen is overwhelming.