Premium cycling apparel brand ASSOS of Switzerland has launched its latest product - the Mille GTO Bib Shorts - with a visually striking campaign from creative agency Identity, working with Bolder Creative. Asking viewers to ‘Unknow Your Limits’, the film showcases how the specialised shorts transform the intersection between rider and equipment, igniting the power to go further.
Identity reunited with Bolder Creative for the new campaign, following the success of the previous campaign for the Mille GTS Bib Shorts. Where the earlier spot for the GTS focused on the generation and evolution of the product, this new GTO campaign explores the strength of the cyclist and the connection between them, the equipment, and the terrain.
In order to showcase this connection, Identity developed a visual narrative that told the story of awakening power within a cyclist’s body - as an almost superhuman strength flows through the muscles and interacts with the GTO shorts. With the spot opening on an otherworldly landscape, we watch as a minutely detailed fibre optic light glides across the model’s body. This trail of light winds its way across the shifting terrain, which is constantly transforming in response to the shorts.
Identity were responsible for the creative direction of the project on behalf of their client ASSOS, as well as crafting all storyboards for the campaign, providing Bolder with the perfect foundation for their motion graphics, CGI, post and grade work. The abstract aesthetic was supplemented with CGI builds that evoked the essence of the product’s technical qualities, whilst the otherworldly setting of the spot was developed to give a sci-fi tonality.
To develop this aesthetic, Bolder and Identity also undertook an extensive photography shoot with DOP Kenny McCracken. The team researched and developed a high resolution, long exposure approach that was able to capture the finely-detailed lines running across the skin - all in camera. This fibre optic effect created a flow of incidental visual details, generated by the natural movement and unrepeatable moments caused by the fibre’s interaction with the model and product’s forms.
For the motion piece, Bolder took 3D scans of each of the model’s poses during the shoot, then re-projected the still photography back onto the CGI geometry (projection mapping), allowing the team to animate camera movements around the figure. These builds were then combined with generative particle animations - that were themselves informed in look and feel to the fibre optics shoot imagery. Such an approach created a richness and depth to the visuals, with in-camera VFX blending with a hybrid photography/CGI base and striking simulations.
David Farquharson, Head of Motion and Creative Director at Bolder Creative, comments: “This was a really exciting shoot for us, as the exact outcome of each take was impossible to predict. A particular challenge was to create a feel in the 3D elements that complimented and reflected the subtle nuances and optical details captured in the stills shoot - the natural, accidental plays of light on the skin and within the light filaments. This was in addition to the imperfections in real world terrains, road textures, and fabrics. We found our solutions by carefully layering multiple channels of bespoke textures, subtle deformers for geometry, multiple noise inputs integrated within simulations and a number of post processes to combine the elements - all to generate a natural level of flow, degradation and imperfection. Layers of detail were added at each stage, balanced together and then some more fine detail added on top.”
Andrew Spencer, Creative Director at Identity, adds: “This campaign for GTO Mille Bib Shorts is an evolution of our previous campaign for the GTS shorts and pushes the brand and its visual language even further. The use of video, stills and complex post-production including CGI combines to create a really compelling and distinctive message. Bolder have used their undoubted expertise and skills to bring the vision to life and the early stages of the campaign have already driven impressive results.”
The stills from the photography shoot were also used to create the campaign’s key visuals. All landscapes and product attribute shots were full motion graphics/CGI - designed, generated and animated in Houdini and Cinema 4D by Bolder. You can read more about it here