VERSUS, the fastest growing sports cable network in the country and the exclusive cable television home of the Tour de France in the U.S., enlisted Zoic Studios to help the network re-design and implement a new graphic approach to promote the network’s tenth year of Tour coverage under the banner “The Most Epic Race Ever.”
The key directive, as envisioned by Tripp Dixon – Vice President of Creative Services for VERSUS, was to highlight the inherit drama and heroic aspect of the race. The other goal was to provide the network with an updated toolkit flexible enough to accommodate ongoing rapid-fire coverage at all stages of the race with plenty of production value and visual interest.
Building on the existing brand elements, Zoic Creative retained the basic color scheme (black and white with yellow highlights and text, representative of the leader’s jersey) and the preexisting logo. The campaign was built around the tagline, “The Most Epic Race Ever,” so the promos needed to simultaneously express drama, honor the tradition and extol the inherent beauty of the race. Accordingly, “Fracture” was designed using a “photogrammatic” effect that allowed Zoic Design to create “scenes” for the Graphic backplates – shots of the road, going over mountains, cobblestones, and French country lanes. In the launch spot, the road is the adversary, as much a challenger as the racers in the pack.
“The overall framework of the race and its principal icon The Long and Winding Road are at the heart of the project,” explains Zoic Creative EP Miles Dinsmoor. “So within the context of the campaign the viewer never leaves the road; the flow is consistent, propelling viewers ever forward, while keeping us grounded in the environment.”
To build tension and drama, as well as hearken back to the longstanding tradition of the Tour, the design elements employ a yellow “fracture” effect that allude to the punishment that riders experience on the tour; their muscles pushed to the point of tearing.
“Visually we wanted it to feel that the whole world is just on the verge of ripping apart, that it’s all being pushed as far as it can go,” says Zoic CD Derich Witliff. “We utilized the “filigree” element from the Tour de France logo, gave it a distressed treatment, and used it throughout. This not only works to suggest the Tour’s history, it does so in a gritty way that also speaks to endurance. The endurance not only of the riders, but of the Tour itself: The Most Epic Race Ever.”
SVP: Bill Begofin
ECD: Tripp Dixon
CD: Louis Tumolo
Director Operations: Stephanie Jandoli
Coordinator: Joe Nash
Producer: Ray Worsdale
Editor: Christopher McGlynn
Audio: Nick Sjostrom (Clean Cuts)
Creative Director: Derich Wittliff
Producer: Beth Elder
Executive Producer: Miles Dinsmoor
Designers: Derich Wittliff, Allen Donhauser
Animators: Allen Donhauser, Ryan Zunkley
Coordinator: Adam Reeb
Platforms: Cinema 4D, AfterEffects
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