Making his debut appearance as the mascot for HotelsCombined, we proudly present Max in his first ever commercial titled "Gettin' Ready".
A natural progression from the development of Max as a character, Supervixen were set to create Max's first animated appearence for television.
For more on the development of Max's character check out our process breakdown for character creation here.
Being a truly global brand, HotelsCombined had the unique requirements of creating a commercial that was not only usable across languages, but was also culturally sensitive to all audiences.
This meant keeping in mind the casting, wardrobe, internationally recognisable but not specific location, and the minimal voice over and talking used.
What began as some simple storyboards was developed into a fully animated storyboard. This allowed us to really get an understanding of timings, and the requirements of the production, given the "live" nature of the set, we made sure all questions were answered before we even approached a production crew.
Max had a unique set of tools, and given his unique physical qualities, being very small yet having enormous hands, we created a set of props and styled them to work with the HotelsCombined branding, and of course, Max's huge hands.
The thought of introducing a moveable 3D character as part of our brand identity refresh was equally exciting and scary as it was completely new territory for us. Furthermore, our expectations were fairly high and probably somewhat conflicting. We didn’t want a cute and cuddly bear for an on-off campaign, but something really unique that reflected our rather focused and serious tech company culture from the inside out. We wanted something our employees could feel proud of for the long term, but at the same time added memorability to all aspects of our global brand and user experience in a likeable way. It was evident that a successful outcome was highly dependent on execution and on somebody who had the ability and patience to really understand our business.
Turns out, Supervixen did just that. They were very understanding, transparent, honest and professional throughout the entire process. They’ve always kept their cool, even with many cooks on our side and, often times, conflicting feedback involved. Supervixen and their team managed to create something we initially couldn't envision at all and definitely didn’t believe would be executable in this cool way. Today, we can't imagine our brand without Max. He's not only a crucial part of various aspects of our brand marketing but also widely used in our internal communications and has quickly become a much loved member of the HotelsCombined family.
- HotelsCombined - Head of Communications
Creating this TVC was pure enjoyment. Once the initial stage of character design was established, it was time to take the project into the 3rd dimension. But before we crack open the expensive applications, further artistic interpretations were needed.
Investigating the character we designed earlier and giving him life was a very fulfilling process for us. No stone was left unturned. Everything from the weight of his hands to the degree of floppiness his ears have. We wanted Max's persona fleshed out in its entirety so we could get a convincing performance out of him.
The goal was to create a character that would stand out from the rest of what you see on TV.
The following images were taking on the morning of the shoot.
Film on location at Pier 1 in Sydney, we had the task of traffic control, pedestrian control, and making sure not to interfere with the normal running of what is one of Australias premiere hotels.
Keeping a tight schedule was key, organising the production team numbering over 30 went smoothly, each shot was executed quickly and exactly as expected due to extensive planning and of course, a talented and professional crew.
Post Production Gallery
The following images highlight many of the process used in the post production portion of the project.
After the shoot began the process of integrating a 3D character into the shot plates. For this we took light measurements at the shoot, and measured each and every scene to be recreated as reference in 3D.
A 'Making Of' movie is in the edit suite as we speak and we will post this once completed.