The Deutsch creative team, writer Mark Koelfgen and art director Tuesday Poliak, found animated characters to be the perfect vehicle for their dark humor. They note that details like the gopher's gynecomastia (that's breasts on men) or animal porn would have been much more difficult, even taboo, with live-action. "We wanted to be bold and brazen, and you can get away with a lot more in animation," says Poliak. Koelfgen agrees. "We love stuff like the Sick and Twisted Animation Festival. Animation in this country is underutilized; it's not synonymous with cool advertising."
In fact, one spot takes direct aim at America's idea of "cool advertising." The animals sit in their junky apartment and discuss the extreme sports feats that their Elements drinks are inspiring, including paragliding behind an aircraft carrier and rappelling down a national monument. Then they look at each other and sigh, returning to their sedentary activities.
"Animation is so often used to leverage this utopian socialism to children. We wanted to turn it on its head," says Poliak. So far, the spots will only run on MTV, where such a view is likely to be readily accepted. Poliak and Koelfgen are not expecting everyone to warm to the acerbic humor, though. "When we sent it to distributors, we put on a warning label: if you're over 25, you're not going to get this," laughs Koelfgen.
Client: Snapple Agency: Deutsch CD: Kathy Delaney AD: Tuesday Poliak CW: Mark Koelfgen Agency Producer: Nicole Lundy Production Company: Passion Pictures, London Company Animator: John Robertson/Tim Sanpher