Last month, FCB Chicago came across a poem by Terrell Myles, a Walmart associate from Arizona, who also raps under the moniker Trizz The Whiz. Myles’ words, infused with a strong, hopeful spirit in face of adversity, prompted the agency to propose an ad based on the poem for Walmart, choosing LOBO to bring it to life.
Their initial idea was to commission a fully-animated piece from us, since most film productions had been shut down. But we had a couple of considerations: first, Terrell’s music is a deeply personal form of artistic expression, benefiting greatly from a focus on the artist’s image and performance; second, a fully-animated film demands months to be completed, a time by which the topical relevance of the campaign would have been lost.
We then suggested that Trizz himself should be the star of the film, keeping the authenticity of his message intact. His footage would be paired with hand-drawn, energetic animated graphics that added layers of meaning and strengthened his delivery, reflecting his spontaneous, quick-witted style.
Basing the film on live action footage posed an obvious question: what about social distancing? We got around that issue by carrying out an extremely simple shoot: just a DP and the talent in an empty Walmart store, capturing a raw, honest, no-frills performance among the aisles and stands. No elaborate set designs or populous camera and lighting crews.
The material was transferred to LOBO’s servers and distributed among our animators, who worked remotely on rotoscoping and adding animated graphics, illustrations and hand-drawn type that commented and expanded on Trizz’s words, transporting his performance to a vivid graphic universe.
With that hybrid approach we were able to create an ownable look that was faithful to the Walmart brand and to what the “Spark” campaign stands for: positive messages delivered with honesty by real people. The result feels attainable to the audience, who’s at the same time able to perceive all the care and attention to detail that the film received.