Phoenix, the Tribeca, NYC-based creative agency and hybrid content creation studio, recently completed a striking :30 spot promoting China Central Television's (CCTV) Biz Asia America, an hour-long daily global economics news program. The studio handled every aspect of the imaginative spot, from concept to dazzling content to post.
There Is Only We is a stylized journey through an immersive, re-imagined environment built to approximate the woven, patterned look and texture of global currencies. As a narrator describes the doctrine of "We" - the interconnected and international world of trade, business and investment that is Biz Asia America's lifeblood - a dynamic landscape of stately buildings, pastoral backdrops, and people delicately materialize, unfurling in a beautifully seamless sequence.
"Taking CCTV's global perspective and its initiative to foster dialogue between Asia and the West, we wanted to create visuals that linked money and trade with human interaction," noted producer Colin Elliott. "We saw this as a launching point to tackle the mutability and interconnectedness of monetary currency—to move beyond the cold analytics of business and show how money is an integral part of the world in which we live, a force for progress and creation. We decided to use the inherent designs and images found on all currencies and elevate that aesthetic into an entire world, to show that money affects and influences all of humanity."
Even as the studio took considerable creative liberties to draw a compelling landscape, they were careful to keep the overall integrity of the currencies intact. "We felt that staying true to the look of the currencies would keep the cinematic visuals of the spot rooted concretely in their conceptual framework, allowing the medium a comprehensible immediacy," said Senior Art Director Jeffrey Man.
CCTV, the predominant television broadcaster in mainland China with a network of 22 channels regularly reaching audiences larger than the Super Bowl, began broadcasting English-language programming intended for western viewers. The network engaged Phoenix after viewing their work at a global awards show. Following an in-person meeting to discuss potential promotions for new shows at CCTV's bureau in Washington, D.C., Phoenix pitched a few ideas that were immediately green lighted.
As always, Phoenix's full-service capabilities allowed them to hone their ideas and execute the challenging visual sequence with extreme precision. "Since everything was created in-house, there was no lag time between decision-making and execution," stated Phoenix President/EP Chris Phoenix. "The project involved a close collaboration between the creative producers who were directing the promo and the artists in charge of developing and rendering the look."
Phoenix's CCTV spot follows a stream of recent campaigns for the studio, including a slick Paul Masson Grande Amber Brandy spot starring J.B. Smoove; a graphically adventurous 2:00 show open for the CLIO Healthcare Awards that flawlessly blends CG, live-action spots, print ads, stills and music; and a hilarious faux game show segment to select the world's biggest 30 Rock fan. Their amped-up logo design for college football show 3 and Out earned a finalist position for Best New Logo Design at the PromaxBDA Sports Media Awards.
Spots Title: There is Only We
Air Date: April 2012
Agency: Phoenix Media Group
EP: Chris Phoenix
Producer: Colin Elliott
VFX Co: Phoenix
Production Manager: Adam Rauscher
Sr. Art Director: Jeffrey Man
Animator: Gavin Shapiro
Designer/Animator: Yung Jae Suh
Prod Company: Phoenix
Clearances & Legal: Rosalind Lichter
Music Composer: Steve Lehman
Sound Designer: Chris Phoenix
Colorist: Colin Elliott
Audio Mix: Mark Passy