Transistor Studio’s James Price has the incredibly useful talent of being able to adapt his vision to the needs of the client. The result is an eclectic but highly polished body of work. With this in mind, check out the latest addition to the Transistor portfolio, a strange, cross-cultural promo for ESPN’s coverage of the World Figure Skating Championships.
Honestly, I was initially turned off by the anime style. I’ve never dug the whole anime scene. The convoluted plot lines and excessive use of expository monologuing to provide background info on characters are, for me, annoying narrative quirks of the artform. (I’m going to catch hell for that one, I bet.)
But the anime approach makes sense for this promo. First, the World Figure Skating Championships were held in Tokyo. Second, figure skating routines often employ the melodramatic narrative devices found in anime (and classical ballet, for that matter). Third, the use of anime is an attempt to include a younger audience. I’m no marketing specialist, but I think it’s safe to assume that figure skating typically attracts an older demographic. By leveraging anime, perhaps ESPN was trying to snare that golden 18-35 demographic.
The spot itself is impeccably well put together, beautifully blending 2D and 3D. I’m reminded of Buck’s excellent work for G4, which utilized a similar strategy.