Koodo Mobile Wrestling El Tabador

Canadian cell phone company Koodo Mobile is running an advertising campaign featuring their new spokesman, El Tabador, a Mexican wrestler. The four-inch-tall CG animated mask-wearing wrestler emerges from Mexico’s Lucha Libre culture, acting as a detective, ladies man and defender of justice. As he bids farewell to his small Mexican village in the launch spot, El Tabador passionately explains that his destiny is to save customers from the injustice of hidden fees and long-term cell phone contracts. The next two commercials, “Compact” and “Couch,” follow the wrestler as he continues his “fight for phone freedom.” Like all legendary luchadores, the hero finds plenty of time for romance and adventure along the way.

Koodo El Tabador


El Tabador’s name is a play on Koodo’s no fixed-term contract “Tab” feature. Although El Tabador is animated, the world in which he exists is purely live-action. Animation production, including an in-depth character design process, took place in house at BENT’s studio in Portland, Oregon. The live-action plate shoots were split between a Toronto stage and BENT’s studio. BENT’s art department built three full-size live-action sets for the in-house shoot. Drawing on their expertise in stop-motion, the team also constructed and shot the miniature Mexican village featured in the launch spot.

Koodo El Tabador Cage Fight billoboard

Beyond the three spots, BENT’s CG department created character models and animation for the Koodo Mobile’s YouTube channel, which includes an interactive YouTube video game, and “Behind the Mask,” a viral mockumentary featuring Bret “The Hitman” Hart. The BENT team also created character poses of El Tabador for a series of billboards, TSAs, wild postings and a variety of other out-of-home media.

Credits

The El Tabador campaign was developed at Taxi 2, Toronto, by creative director Lance Martin, art director Jeff MacEachern, copywriter Mike Blackmore, producer Jennfier Cursio, group acccount director Caleb Goodman, account managers Katie Trainor and Steve Waugh, with Lise Doucet, Vice President, Marketing Communications at Koodo Mobile.

Filming and animation were produced at Bent Image Lab, Portland, Oregon, by director Rob Shaw, director of photography Bryce Fortner, executive producer Ray Di Carlo, senior producer Tsui Ling Toomer, producer Harry Linden, line producer Darren Demetre, coordinator Chris Barber, cameraman/Moco Chris Peterson and Jim Birkett, gaffer Joe Bourguignon, electrician Ryan Kunkleman, storyboard artist Monique Ligons, character designer Huy Vu, art director Curt Enderle, art department manager Solomon Burbridge, art department coordinator Evan Stewart, lead carpenter Greg Fosmire, carpenters Daniel Miller and John Kirkley, graphic artist Christina Owen, lead painter Mary Blankenburg, painter Ryan Schow, model makers Marty Easterday, Kimi Kaplowitz, Jen Prokopowicz, props buyer Justin Warner, client services manager Patricia Hall, production assistant Charlie James, TD lead Fred Duff, TDs Josh Cox, Shirack Agresta, Devon Myron, principal CG animators Eric Scheur, Aja Bogdanoff, Joel Brinkerhoff, Max Perelman, Eric Urban, stop motion animator Jen Prokopowicz, CG rigger John Lally, 2D graphic designers Dave Manuel, Stephen Bodin, Beau Hudspeth.

Post production was done at Bent Image Lab by lead compositor/colorist Brian Kinkley, compositor Alan Winston, post production supervisor/editor/editorial supervisor Jeff Dawson.

Audio post was done at Company X Audio by sound designers/mixers Brad Nelson and Adam Moffat.

  • Brian Lonsdale

    Who plays the voice of Koodo?

    • Joe Humphrey

      I think it’s Nick Kroll, but I’m still looking for conformation on that.

  • Teri Needler

    I can’t stand that diminutive pepperoni titted freak who always refers to himself in the 3rd person, hides behind a mask, wears the same clothes every day and thinks he can score with women by hanging upside down and rolling up his mask with desperate hope of a mistle toe manated kiss. Or….is this image of the ever hopeful pepperoni tits positioning himself to aim his huge wormy lips at something else a person could supply from that angle?Nahh, doesn’t work unless she’s in Circ de so lame. Then, what hard working fit chick would go for a blowhard like that? She’d have to be deaf dumb and blind. In yo face-book he whispers to the tableau of ski bunnies from his tiny penis car. I know he’s a cartoon but with today’s competetive animation, I cannot help but see him as a human man person. I get so grossed out whenever he is on I can’t stop myself from barfing. If I had a choice out of this freak, Peter Griffin and Roger the Alien, I would choose Roger.Let’s humour me for a few points would you? He refers to self in 3rd person. That is looney tunes in human land. So is refusing to reveal your face. Yet he is proud of his pepperoni tits and showing up everywhere inappropriately dressed.I keep expecting to see him in a commercial in which a rave is the setting so he could justify twirling his nipples and getting squished underfoot by jumped up ravers having a good time. Wait–our hero can’t die….yet anyway, so the scene cuts to a stunning raver dropping his cell missing el Trap door by millimeters. The he/she scoops up the little man and revives him to see if he would later be talked into doing Gerbil duty. El Trapped dore thinks he is scoring and, well, anything to please a lady. ( still concussed from dance step) Lesson to be learned here? Dudes who are cool just don’t go out trolling for hot chicks in 3 week old spandex panties. He runs all the time so he would smell if he was human. and lastly, an observation I have to go to my happy place over is when he wakes up on a cold chicken wing and comes to refreshed from having partied all night, ready to do his Koodos patter flawlessly. Who passes out on a rejected party food after a nights drinking? There’s just NO way he was even that drunk to begin with. So why would he choose a chicken leg. I get the cell phone which vibrates and cues him to Koodo patter but a chicken leg? Sick. Just sick man….This comment has not been edited.

  • Anna

    Both the name Koodo, and especially El Tabador are repulsive. The image of macho is not appealing to any women today and luckily the men are not impressed either. The negative image of lazy, uneducated and inefficient, someone who will only think of seduction and muscles is epitome in this campaign ad. With so much repulsive reaction from the public I am suprised that Telus did not take bulls buy its horns, burry deep deep deep this horrible mistake, fire the ‘creative mind’ behind it and anybody who approved it and start over.

  • Andrew

    I actually like this ad campaign and find this character funny and his story quite engaging (but again, I’ve lived in two different continents before coming to Canada so clearly I think out of the box when giving my opinion about things).

    The comments above reflect not only a lack of sense of humor, but in a way a slight discrimination aka racism against what is clearly exaggerated through this little guy’s personality. I assume if he were a 6.2 blond blue eyed guy with a perfect 6 pack, stylish clothing, and so on would be “more acceptable” to these narrow minded people. Or why not a lumberjack or a rig pig stereotype character so it can “blend more” into the general Canadian public, maybe that is more normal, than an imaginary yet eloquent tiny Mexican wrestler who does no harm to anyone but in fact bring a fresh breeze of creativity to the advertising industry table!

    • Jean-Paul

      I’ve live in three… and you’re right Andrew. Thumps up

  • El SkidMark

    These ads vex me no end.
    I’m at a loss why a “major” venture would choose such an annoying creature as it’s flagship.
    IIRC, last X-mas they were offering up El Tabador bobbleheads, like he was some beloved Diznee character.
    Give me a break.

  • Greg

    Great where can I get the costume.

  • Elaine

    I just saw your most recent el tabador commercial…a kiss? I love this little guy. He makes me chuckle every time I see his commercials. Please keep it up. Thanks Elaine

  • Roberto rojas

    I’m from Mexico and I lived in two continents, but the spite thinking out of the box I think this commercials of that the production makes about this wrestler are in a way racist and as a person from Mexico I detest when they pin point and focus in the stereotype, thumps down. I think when the wrestler says ” I think I hurt my jalapeño is very offencive” to the Mexican etc Latino people

  • Doug

    You guys need to lighten up….its a commercial……El Tabador is just too funny…………he is the best wrestler to do promo commercials since Randy Macho Man Savage (RIP) did promo’s for Slim Jim,.

    Look at this for the funny side…..enjoy El Tabador…..Koodo

  • Tucker T. Stone

    Funniest and best commercial along with the MIO ones, both done by Taxi 2 Advertising in Toronto. I forgot politically correct individuals do not have a sense of humour. Perhaps, this is the next match for El Tabador: body slamming a sense of humour into the unfunny p.c. amongst you!

  • John M.

    Yeah these commercials are borderline racist, when was the last time you saw a cartoon mascot of another race constantly making an ass out of itself? I’d like to see them making an ad featuring a chinese cartoon mascot where he’s like a martial artist but on every commercial they show him and his buck teeth doing something idiotic. I’d like to see how well that plays out!