Making sparks fly for BMW’s Big Game Ad

Work February 15, 2022

The only thing powerful enough to lift Zeus’s spirits? The Ultimate Electric Driving Machine. We teamed up with Director Bryan Buckley of Hungry Man Productions and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners on BMW’s Super Bowl 56 spot ‘Zeus & Hera’ featuring the electrifying Arnold Schwarzenegger and Salma Hayek Pinault.  

Retiring from Mount Olympus to Palm Springs, Zeus is underwhelmed by all earthly electric things and becomes a shell of his former self. But right when we think all hope is lost, his wife, Hera, introduces him to the all-electric BMW iX and helps mighty Zeus reclaim his spark. 

From the sparks at Zeus’s fingertips to the God’s adorable mini-Pegasus aptly named Peggy, our VFX team expertly brought the mythical elements of Mount Olympus down to earth. 

Zeus and Hera’s adorable miniature Pegasus, Peggy.

On creating one of the spots biggest stars, Peggy, 3D Lead Robert Chapman, comments: “Originally, we were meant to attach wings onto a live-action mini horse, but we ended up creating Peggy all from scratch. This required a very quick build for her asset so that we could start animating and lighting her in shots. Thankfully, we have a wonderful 3D Lead, Jessica Groom, and Asset Team who created the model, groom, and feathers, before I came onto the project and finished the look development. To create Peggy’s wings and coat, we used our in-house tools for fur and feather grooming inside of Maya and did all our FX in Houdini. The team really knocked it out of the park.”  

And what would the god of thunder be without, well, thunder? Robert Chapman adds: “We had a lot of fun iterating on different looks for the lightning. We knew we wanted a consistent look but also had a few different “languages” for the electricity to perform throughout the spot. At times he is shooting short bolts, other times, it was a large staff that transforms into a large beam shooting out of his finger.” 

Looking to take your spot to the next level with VFX? Contact us here. See our full list of work from Super Bowl 56 in our official round-up here.