Following Axel’s first Old Spice appearances in the Cannes Lion and Grand Clio award-winning ‘Whale’ and ‘Rocket Car’, this spot sees yet another dramatic change of scenery: the deep jungle. When our hero comes face-to-face with its seemingly wild occupants, he ultimately discovers they’re more alike than different. Axel’s work is, as usual, nothing short of inspiring.
Tim Davies, The Mill’s Creative Director and Shoot Supervisor, has seen Axel through his Old Spice journey from the beginning. “He’s hilarious and a brilliant actor,” Tim says. “His character’s charm goes hand in hand with his absurdity, which is captivating to watch.”
The main question from the VFX side was how to go about creating Axel’s co-stars – silverback gorillas – without having unlimited access to the real, living thing.
Tim explains, “The enormity of creating fully CG gorillas wasn’t possible on this project, so we decided to use a man in a gorilla suit. This meant we’d have no expression and personality in his face, so we decided to build a CG gorilla head to add personality and performance ability.”
3D Lead Artist Tom Graham adds, “We created a variety of blend shapes for the gorilla’s face to provide him with a wide range of expressions. We then did a skin simulation after the animated face, giving a little bit of jiggle and realism to the movements.”
Having worked on a multitude of Old Spice campaigns on the past, Tim attributes much of their success to the relationships and teamwork throughout the process. He recalls, “This was the third installment in Axel’s role, and we managed to get the same team on board. All of us flew back to Cape Town with Steve and our friends from Wieden+Kennedy. While this was a new campaign set in a different location, there was a wonderful familiarity being together again with the crew."
Catch more from the #smellegendary campaign below.