DDB New York were approached by Paramount and McDonalds to concept a commercial that showcased the partnership between the two brands to promote the highly anticipated Sonic the Hedgehog 2 film. DDB enlisted the help of Global Creative Partner; The Mill’s Carsten Keller to direct the spot and transport sonic from the big screen into the world of advertising.


The biggest challenge for The Mill’s VFX team was to make sure that Sonic’s character was portrayed in the same way as it was on screen – his cheeky personality really needed to be front and centre. The team worked closely with the film’s producer Toby Ascher to make sure the iconic characters of Sonic and Tails were represented correctly. They took references from the previous and current movies, and worked with their TCS counterparts at MPC Film to achieve the best output possible.


An exciting and captivating campaign that quickly gained attention worldwide, gaining millions of views on social media platforms on on broadcast media.

Million YouTube Views



DDB Chicago

Production Company



Carsten Keller, Fabian Frank


David Kessler

Creative Director

Carsten Keller


CG / R&D / Modeling / Texturing / Lighting / Animation / Comping

The introduction portion of the spot required a full crew in Los Angeles while the subsequent environment shots were built in full CG – the windows, the McDonald’s Logo and the foliage. This method gave the team full flexibility on where the cameras were placed, and allowed them to set up time ramps that differed between increased speed and slow motion, before going into character animation. A challenge that the animation team encountered was the difficult task of switching between fast and slow motion.

The Mill also worked directly with Paramount to create a series of toolkits to accompany the film’s launch, their team crafted a series of interviews featuring the film’s hero characters Sonic (Ben Schwartz), Tails (Colleen O’ Shaughnessey) and Knuckles (Idris Elba), these were then broadcasted around the globe. The clips featured 75 seconds of character animation, and showcased the posture, dialogue and facial expressions.

You can find out more about Carsten Keller’s directing work here. Get in touch with our VFX teams to discuss your upcoming projects via our Contact page.

Full Credits

Agency: DDB Chicago
Producer: David Moore
Creative Directors: John Hansa, Tony Katalinic, David Moore
Account Director: John Balch, Emily Kuusisto
Colour: The Mill
Colourist: Peter Oppersdorff
Production Company: Story
Producer: Dolly Tarazon Billinger
Director of Photography: David Kessler
VFX: The Mill
Creative Director: Carsten Keller
VFX Supervisor: Will Laban
Producer: Jaz Rongokea
Shoot Supervisor: Aryel Melek Shalmon
2D Lead Artist: Marko Perendija
3D Lead Artist: Chris Welsby
2D Artist: Elsa Tu
3D Artist: Emre Sumer , Anthony Bloor , Fabian Frank , Chris Welsby , Mack Knight , Clementine Supiot , Thanos Topouzis , Stephan Haidacher, Jean Grandgirard , Alesandro Granella , Flavia Minnone
Motion Graphics: Barry Chapman
Production: Mill Direction
Director: Carsten Keller
Co Director: Fabian Frank
Creative Director: Carsten Keller
Executive Producer: Frederic Lissau
Producer: Jaz Rongokea