The one-minute and 12-second promotional video featuring a sloth was a complex venture, according to a press release from a company called Blind. This was the company that actually created the video for the Atlanta advertising agency 22squared. The ad campaign is the keystone of the promotional effort for the country by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo.
Blind said that there were three videos produced with the sloth promoting rain forests, mountains and stunning local architecture. This is for the Million Dollar Gift of Happiness campaign in which the tourism institute will be giving away up to 200 trips for two to Costa Rica.
“We won the pitch on one of our initial animation tests, which used sound bites of a laid back Owen Wilson,” noted Tom Koh, creative director, Blind, as quoted in the press release. “Our focus was to create an iconic figure embodying the character profile 22squared had developed, and our specially developed 2D and 3D approach brought us the style and production efficiency we were looking for.”
Owen Wilson is the actor known for his roles in “The Wedding Crashers” and as the diminutive cowboy in “Night at the Museum.”
Blind said that the concept of the sloth was from 22squared. Blind’s contribution was mainly technical to create the animated sloth. Said the press release: After 22squared drafted scripts for the three videos and created a profile of the sloth’s character, Blind conducted an extensive character design of the sloth, focusing on maximizing the body and facial performance. Once the sloth’s look was agreed upon, Blind went to work with Cinema4D, After Effects and Photoshop using stock footage and photography to bring to life a unique 2D and 3D animation style. They used lip-syncing freeware applications Papagayo and LipSync to convert audio into corresponding phoneme images in After Effects.
The press release credits 22 persons at 22squared as having major roles in the promotional video and 13 persons at the New York-based Blind.
The video is not universally accepted as a masterpiece. Some readers object to the end of the first video in which the sloth falls off the branch. Others object to superimposing the presumed mouth of the sloth on a human character. Some simply object to using a sloth as the country’s mascot when other creatures are available.
However, many readers describe sloths as cute and lovable, and one reader recounted how his family adopted an abandoned sloth 15 years ago.
The trip giveaway represents a $2.9 million investment by the tourism institute. The promotion runs through February.
The initial sloth video is here:http://www.youtube.com/VisitCostaRicaVideos
Some U.S. and Canadian readers can use this link to register for the free-trip raffle.