March 2nd, 2015

Google Play took on New York's Times Square for their latest venture, with a little help from Mill+.

Collaborating with BBH in both London and LA, the Mill+ team aided in bringing a series of Google Play’s latest commercials to life, incorporating dynamic and eye catching visuals to the Google Play logo.

Google Play: 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord Of The Rings'

Launched in-line with the release of Peter Jackson’s final installment in the Hobbit trilogy The Battle of the Five Armies, Google Play's 'The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord Of The Rings’, directed by Clarice Chin, saw Mill+ artists bring familiar fantasy characters of Middle Earth into the Google Play library. Clarice discusses creating content for such a large screen, "We’ve worked on Google Play projects with BBH before, so we had an existing trust that made the process flow really easily. The difference with this project is it was the first time working in such a massive format. We had to take the size alone into consideration: the resolution would be different, render times would take longer and, in general, we had to allocate a lot more time.”

Clarice continues, "A lot of the prisms used in previous spots can be seen in the billboard. We did have to create the big-screen moments for this project – Candy Crush, Batman, etc. It was all a matter of communicating what Google Play is by showcasing the prisms we’d done for the commercials and appropriating them in a different format that would make people stop and try to figure out what they are. We had lots of fun creating the full-screen moments for each vertical, especially with Batman. DC comics are very careful about how their characters are represented, but they were very happy with the Batman we created and gave us that creative freedom.”

Times Square Digital Billboard

The characters, amongst other visuals created for Google to showcase the wealth of content available on Google Play, were screened on the world’s biggest digital billboard in the iconic Times Square.

See how 77 x 323 feet of content caught the eye of millions of NYC residents and visitors in this behind the scenes film:

Google Play UK: Take That

Along with the content screened across America, Tom Wansbrough-Jones, Mill+ design director in the London studio, helped celebrate the launch of Take That’s album ‘Three’ with the creation of a Take That-tastic ad. Bursting with energy, the ad used memories from their vast history, as well as their new look, as inspiration.

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Tom comments, "Using a mixture of 2D, 3D and hand drawn 'Flash' animation, we did whatever we could to push the boundaries of what we were allowed to create using the Google Play prism. It was great to have such a diverse team in place to create the right elements in whatever format felt right for any given moment.

It felt essential to break out of the prism wherever possible into full screen moments to help with the visual impact of the ad. This also meant crafting particular moments of animation to hit the right beats in the track.

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The 'iconic moments' chosen are a great tribute for the fans to look out for. It's one of those ads that you want to watch over and over, as there are always little details to discover that you might have missed the first time around. It's a fantastic way to keep the viewer engaged, whilst they try and figure out what each video is, rather than show the videos themselves.”

See more of The Mill's collaborations with Google in Google Play UK and Google Play: Play Your Heart Out