Lightfarm Studios Gets Emotive with Pepsi
Emojis were born from the desire to express emotions visually. As our communication has become increasingly text based, emojis provide the opportunity to manually offer the social cues and body language that comes with interacting in person. A well-placed wink or smiley face can change the entire meaning of a phrase, and help two people better understand one another. Those who are particularly savvy can communicate exclusively with emojis, casting faces as characters and spinning yarns through pictures. Pepsi, ever with their hand on the pulse of popular culture, decided to employ emojis with BBDO, using Lightfarm Studios to execute the idea.
A series of scenes show bottles and cans of Pepsi locked in social interactions with one another, putting forward the faces of emojis to tell simple stories. Simon McCormack explains that when they got the 100% CGI project, they were immediately looking forward to it. “They had a really cool brief and we thought it was fun with those emoji characters,” he says. Not only was it a cool project to undertake but it was also unique for them.
Typically, Lightfarm works with agencies to take photographed materials and bring them to the next level, oftentimes shepherding them into a new world. But this was different. “We do a lot of photo realistic stuff, but no so much of these abstract, graphic looking projects,” Simon explains. “So it was cool to work on something different in that way.” The results use the same Spartan style of emojis to tell the visual stories. Whether it’s a trio of terrified cans being chased by a bee bottle, or a drink crowd surfing other cans, these simple set ups are all one really needs to express an entire story.
Simon and his team were presented with an additional challenge for the Pepsi project: how to make it so Pepsi could make as many of these images as they wanted. Lightfarm created compositions so that Pepsi, employing a kind of visual MadLibs, could swap out the emojis in the future. But the condensation on the bottles and cans complicated the images, since they would change depending on what emoji was placed in there. “You get light refractions through the droplets,” explains Simon. “We had to figure out a way to set it up for them so they could insert different emojis underneath the drops and still look great. That was one of the real challenges on this one and in the end we did really well with it.”