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.
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.
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.
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.