Marco Polo in the Cereal Bowl

Kellogg’s has released a new commercial for Coco Pops in Australia featuring animated cereal playing childrens game “Marco Polo” in the swimming bowl. The pool game involves a blindfolded Coco Pops child calling out “Marco” while wading through a bowl of milk. As other cereal children respond with the word “Polo” the Coco Pop attempts to tag them using his or her sense of sound. The sense of fun pans out as we see a young boy finishing off the chocolate-flavoured milk at the end of his breakfast.

Coco Pops Marco Polo

Marco Polo Credits

The Marco Polo ad was developed at JWT Australia, Sydney, by senior art director Gerhard Myburgh, senior copywriter Paul Suters, agency producer Rachel Devine.

Filming and visual effects were produced at FSM by creative directors Andreas Wanda and Emile Rademeyer, executive producer Dean Sutherland, producer Tina Braham, CG supervisor Chris Gardner, on set supervisor Stuart Mallia, lead lighting artist Adam Waddington, Fluid FX technical director Serge Kovalenko, animator Alex Goodwin, 3D artist Amanda Lee, lead compositor Howard Hill, compositor Melissa Mai and director of photography Alex Dufficy.

Behind the Scenes

It was decided early on that the Coco Pops would remain in their natural state without arms, legs, facial features or props that rendered the Marco Polo story one of the trickiest to tell. The action and characterisation is not easy to interpret visually with the hero character blind folded and trying to find the other players. The FSM team was tasked with making a Coco Pop perform like it had its eyes covered without an actual blindfold. Body language became the imperative with visual gags like the Coco Pop bumping into the spoon communicating the role.

FSM Creative Director, Andreas Wanda, said that the team identified challenges early on as there wasn’t a great deal of dynamic action to work with as the Coco Pops interacted with the bowl of milk.

“There was very little activity in the liquid and that boiled down to the scale at which we were viewing,” he said. “So we made the decision to scale it up and turned down the viscosity to give us more detail in our splashes. We also needed to see some curve in the liquid caused by surface tension around every Coco Pop. Unfortunately this doesn’t just come out of the box when using specialist 3D software so in order to achieve this it required a multi-step process.”

“We set the scene at sunrise on a beautiful morning with warm light streaming in through the windows and light rays in the air. We then knew how to light our miniature world. And that’s exactly how we wanted it to feel – like you’re actually in this luscious milk pool with these child-like Coco Pops. Everything was rendered in one hit – motion blur and depth of field on every element.”