Mercedes Benz USA is promoting the fuel efficient technology available to recent model in ‘Tinker’, an effects-driven 30 second TV and cinema advertisement. A woman drives her Mercedes SUV on to a motorway, accelerating to move past a bus. At the critical point the action is frozen. A male narrator walks onto the set. As he talks the engine lifts out of the hood, rotating and transforming in all directions, showcasing each element that produces the superior technology synonymous with the Mercedes brand.
The narrator’s voiceover: “Power when you need it. This diesel engine’s common direct injection system optimizes combustion while the turbocharger boosts torque. The result? A powerful diesel engine that gets nearly 600 highway miles to the tank. At Mercedes Benz we’re taking diesel further, faster. Fuel efficient diesel technology available on three different Mercedes SUVs.”
The campaign is being developed at NY advertising agency Merkley & Partners by creative directors Chris Landi, Steve Pearson and Tom Miller, and agency producer Chris Ott.
Filming was directed by Nico Beyer via Crossroads, with producer Naia Hall.
Post production and visual effects were developed at Rhino FX, New York, by VFX supervisor Arman Matin, CG supervisor Tom Allen, animator Rob Dollase, Ian Brauner, programmer John Alex, Matchmove Bogdan Mihajlovic, lighters Natasha Saenko, Sung Kim, compositors Chris Difore, Nitant Karnik, Rodrigo de la Parra, effects technical director Ivan Guerrero, Roto artists Ali Kocar, Amy Paskow, Inferno support Dan Kelly, Susanne Scharping, John Budion, systems engineer Paul Tsung, managing director/partner Rick Wagonheim, senior VP producer Camille Geier, producer Jill Hughes.
Arman Matin explains the role of Rhino FX…
“This year long, 10 spot campaign continues to evolve…this being the first time Mercedes has revealed the inner-workings. The brand is looking to market the diesel in America aggressively, so it was important to show how clean the engines burn. We needed to come up with a way to re-arrange all the intricate components, as every element of the engine is photo-realistic CG animation behaving abnormally. We created the hood in CG, and all the other components were delivered as CAD data directly from the client in Germany. Our proprietary pipeline of data management/versioning software written by John Alex was critical for the success of this project. We had the animators working on a proxy version of the engine as the files were just too huge to work with the hi-res version…we then swapped that at the end. All the artists involved are researching and working on the same thing at the same time. Any animator or texture artist knows what the other is doing, and has the latest version of any piece to the puzzle. With frames that have 8-10 hour render times, it would have been impossible to come in on time without it.”
Editorial work was done by Richard Learoyd with assistant editor Adam Robinson and producer Melanie Klein at The Whitehouse, Los Angeles.