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Group745
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Creative in association withGear Seven
Group745

Absolute Directs a Robot for Toyota’s Paralympic Games Sponsorship Idents

07/03/2022
Post Production
London, UK
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Company completes production and post-production across sponsorship idents running on Channel 4 from The&Partnership

As Beijing prepares to host 2022’s winter Paralympic Games, the event’s sponsors, Toyota, are back with an unlikely protagonist. The brand’s HSR - Human Support Robot – stars in a series of Channel 4 idents to support the brand’s ‘Start Your Impossible’ messaging. A loveable icon who embodies the spirit of encouragement, challenge and progress, the robot was initially created in response to the rising demand for long-term elderly care and can be programmed to complete everyday household tasks. 

The new campaign is honest storytelling at its best, an epic tale equipped with emotional and comedic values as the HSR is seen battling against the elements to complete in some winter games of its own. With the original brief suggesting a live action x stock footage approach, Director, Jonas McQuiggin, knew a carefully considered VFX route held better comedic value and teamed up with Absolute’s VFX Supervisor, Phil Oldham. “Even though our background is in VFX, our go-to solution is always to shoot in-camera,” Phil comments. The pair ventured to snowy Bulgaria to shoot some wintery background plates and texture plates props in situ, before completing a second, green screen shoot in London with the HSR. “Real backdrops gave us full control over the creative and we were able to perfectly match the lighting, angles and lenses back in the studio location,” Phil adds.


Senior producer, Rosanne Crisp, described the studio shoot as a surreal experience: “I’ve never dressed a robot before! Being on set is always a lot of fun, but even decisions like the wardrobe had to be carefully considered to complement the dynamic wintery shots. It was definitely a trip to the British high street with a difference!”

Not without its challenges, Jonas credits the campaign’s success to an ‘under-one-roof' approach “It’s a testament to what’s possible when we believe in an idea and think it’s pretty funny. We pushed the boundaries of the epic visuals and the sincere performance from the HSR at every turn – a live action Pixar movie was how we coined it! We had a blast in the Bulgarian Alps, a studio in Greenwich and at our desks in Soho. But the diligent craft of Nuke Artist, Harvey David, was imperative in lifting this set of films and bringing them to life.”

Executive Producer, Jenna Le Noury, adds: “There was a tight turnaround, but, as we were managing the creative for each stage of the journey: pre-production, production, edit, grade, VFX and sound design, we had complete control and were able to achieve creative results as efficiently and economically as possible. The fluidity of being able to share WIPs with the entire team in one sitting really cemented the seamless workflow and it was great working with the team at The&Partnership.”

Toyota’s idents will run on Channel 4 for the duration of the Paralympic Games.

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