Calabash Shows Just How Much 19 Million Is In Clever New PayPal Campaign

Animation Studio Teams With Design House Run Kick Shout On Six Online Spots Created By Agency Walrus Focused On Online Payment Systems Wide Acceptance

Sawt News

The old journalism adage “show me, don’t tell me” is visually appropriated cleverly in a new six spot online ad campaign for PayPal entitled “Ubiquity,” created by agency Walrus, New York, and featuring character animation from Calabash that visually highlights just how much 19 million actually is. That number is significant: it's the number of online retailers that accept PayPal, and as the :15 spots, animated in partnership with Chicago-based design house Run Kick Shout, show it’s also way more than say the amount of pigeons in New York City (roughly 4 million), or Americans named Bob (over 4.5 million), to name just two.

“Walrus had great concepts and a clear idea of what they were looking for stylistically, which provided us with a lot of inspiration,” Sean Henry, Calabash Executive Producer, says. “They came to us to develop the action and the final look of the animation, so we took their concepts a step or two further, and in several cases offered a few different options and alternatives where the original concepts were a little more open-ended. It was very collaborative and we had fun brainstorming ideas to convey the message in fun and inventive ways.”

Collaboration Success:
Each spot opens in a clinical “infographical” kind of way, complete with an overly serious voiceover, that uses a bar graph with PayPal logo atop to emphasize the multitude of online vendors that accept PayPal. For example, the spot that emphasizes PayPal’s acceptance at 90,000 gaming sites opens with 2 animated characters running from hordes of zombies. Suddenly the bar graph rises and reveals a gaming hub where the pair purchase weapons and quickly quashes the zombie apocalypse.

Similarly the spot showcasing PayPal’s acceptance at 190,000 travel sites shows a lone man eating microwave ramen noodles in a sparse room, when the bar graph suddenly rises and transforms first into an airport terminal and then into a Vietnamese city where the man purchases authentic noodles from street vendor.

“From the start, we had a strategic partnership with Run Kick Shout, who we have known for several years,” Wayne Brejcha, Calabash Creative Director, says. "Creative Directors Erik Jensen and Nick Hopkins took on the task of lighting, rendering, inventing and adding effects like the zombie laser blasts and finally compositing the spots. For the pigeons and all of the Bobs, they created the flocking, the crowd multiplication and the stacking up of all the little figures that we animated individually. All of that depended on close collaboration with our team.”

For Hopkins the project played to each studio’s strengths with Run Kick Shout’s aesthetic and portfolio matching the look that Walrus was after, while Calabash’s direction and character animation was essential to success.

“We ended up with a workflow and collaboration that brought the best of both worlds from both companies,” Hopkins says. “One big challenge was efficiency. Each spot had to deliver at three different aspect ratios: 16×9, 1×1 and 9×16. We’ve noticed that most content we’re making is now meant for the web and social networks. To help keep things as streamlined as possible, we ended up rendering everything at 2500 x 2500 pixels and then re-positioned all of it to work for each aspect ratio. That meant we could take one render out of Cinema 4D and use it for all deliverables. This saved us a huge amount of time and kept file sizes a lot more manageable.”

PayPal: Ubiquity

About: Calabash
About: Walrus
About: Run Kick Shout