February 21st, 2014

While the Super Bowl's entertaining ads are becoming a fleeting (but happy!) memory, brands have moved on to the latest major sporting event: Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. New family-friendly ads debut throughout the event taking advantage of the large audience tuning in for the hockey rivalries, snowboard halfpipe, figure skating, and of course - the always exciting - curling event.

As Mill creative lead Dan Williams previously noted, "The top Super Bowl ads "blur the lines between entertainment and advertising."  If the goal of a Super Bowl ad is to entertain, Olympics ads seek to inspire, usually by celebrating the athletes and the countries.  Below is a collection of Mill spots that debuted during the event:

Tine Milk 'Olympic Film'

This collaborative project for Tine Milk, developed by Mill+ and directed by Martin Engh, displays a battle between the elements and Marit Bjørgen, the Norwegian cross-country skier. Influenced by famous Norwegian illustrator, Theodor Kittelsen, we see the icy world brought to life by our team of Flash, Cinema 4D and After Effects artists.

Coca-Cola 'International Space Station'

Coke's Winter Olympics themed spot takes sports rivalry to space as a U.S. astronaut and Russian cosmonaut watch an Olympic hockey match together in the International Space Station. As bubbles of Coke escape into the cabin, the men race to slurp up the fizzy drink in zero gravity.

The actors simulated zero-g with the help of wires and a CG roof to complete the space cabin environment. CG droplets were then added to achieve the same ultra slow motion floating effect.


Coca-Cola 'Footprints'

The spot tells a simple but romantic tale set in a 99% CGI winter wonderland. While challenging for a CG artist, recreating the natural world and adding little subtleties and imperfections in the snow enabled the team to achieve the detail needed to bring the scenes to life.

Visa 'Flying'

"Flying" celebrates the debut of Women's Ski Jumping in the Sochi Olympics by featuring U.S. Olympian Ski Jumper Sarah Hendrickson floating over snowy mountains and blue skies as another female pioneer in flight, Amelia Earhart, lends her voice to inject the spot with the prestige of legacy.

The ad was shot in two locations, Hendrickson's training facility in Utah and a mountaintop in New Zealand, to capture the frosty backgrounds associated with the Winter Olympics. The two locations were then combined by The Mill to create the ad below.

Visa 'Night Swim'

'Night Swim' features U.S. Olympic Freeskier Torin Yater-Wallace skiing down a snowy mountain at night to escape from the world into his passion for skiing. The Mill's 2D team added snow to the spot, and recreated the look and feel of the final shot, producing an almost abstract and ethereal world.


Budweiser Canada 'Blackout'

Premiering during the 2014 Super Bowl, the spot introduces the Budweiser Red Zeppelin as the “world’s biggest goal light” and a gift to hockey fans as the country battles for Olympic hockey supremacy.  While Mill+ created the huge CG goal light blimp in the spot, a real 80 ft blimp will fly above Canadian cities during the Sochi Olympic games. When the Canadian hockey team scores, the blimp will light up and make noise.

BMW i8 'Sightings'

BMW introduces us to the future in a new campaign promoting its BMW i electric models. BMW i8 'Sightings' highlights the car’s uniqueness in the market by featuring people attempting to describe something they’ve never seen before.

BMW i3 'Shhh'

With the tagline “So quiet, you could get away with anything," BMW i3’s 'Shhh' depicts a short story of  young love sure to become the premise of a future RomCom: Boy meets girl. Boy sneaks out quietly thanks to his quiet electric car.  Boy takes girl on joyride. Boy gets caught by father thanks to BMW i’s remote app.

Adidas Sport Chek

The concept for the films was to create a surreal ice world setting for the Olympic athletes to train in as a metaphor of their hard - and often solitary -  training routines. Since the scenes were shot in the summer, a half imagined and half real world was created with a combination of CG environments, matte paintings, and atmospheric elements.  See the side-by-side for  Ice World 1 and Ice World 2 for a look at how the ice world came to life.


ADIDAS SPORT CHEK  - Ice World 2 Side by Side