Coffee Mate stop-motion

Coffee-mate creamers have been stirring up the morning coffee for people around the world since the early 60’s. So when we were approached with a stop-motion idea for their latest TVC, we jumped at the chance to get involved.

We love an idea written with stop-motion magic at its core, so we were thrilled to have the chance to blend traditional stop-frame, claymation, paper-craft, pixilation along with digital effects. The process took roughly three weeks from storyboard to final delivery. There were a number of sets, props and rigs which needed to be created to pull off the seamless transitions seen in the final edit.

The keen-eyed viewers will notice five different coloured boxes in the final film; however seven boxes were actually created in order to pull off the different practical aspects seen throughout the ad.

The film required four separate solid boxes to be used for majority of the film, each one painted to match the four separate flavours of creamer. Two further sets were built with collapsible walls that could fold down completely flat. Then a final box was given a rotating panel in the base that would spin frame by frame to reveal the full range of creamers in the end shot.

We needed to show off the essence of each flavour of creamer as it appeared on screen. To do this we sourced and hand crafted multiple props. These ranged from clay caramel cubes, vanilla pods, hazelnuts, and individually painted flowers that magically sprout from the walls.

The hands you see in the film are real. We call this process pixilation. For this we move an actor/animator/model frame by frame. It’s a hard task standing in a studio holding your hand still while our team take hundreds of photos of you, but we know a few crazy people!

Paper-craft animation was another part of the animated TVC. We used individually cut pieces of coloured paper to create the spreading effect seen throughout the ad as the colours transition from one to another. To achieve this the paper shapes were swapped out in every frame whilst returning the product to precisely the same position. Needless to say this took some time and a lot of patience.

All these elements were brought together and finalised in post production, including linking all seven boxes together to deliver the seamless transitions we see in the final TVC.

This film was a joy to work on and a great example of how stop-motion can deliver clear and effective product led advertising. The final film will be aired in the Middle East at the start of this year.

Also published on Medium.