Following our highly successful Tropicana campaign for DDB London/Chicago, Loco London were recommended to Owens DDB as the creative partner for their CG/ VFX project to illustrate the journey of Carlsberg beer from keg to glass. Under the Direction of Danny Coster, working with the same senior VFX team, Loco wrote the creative treatment to visualise Owens DDB’s “Journey” script.

Carlsberg’s history is as much about the art of brewing lager as the science, so Loco’s team produced a commercial that was both visually engaging and physically grounded. The story opens on an extreme close-up of the keg, modeled to look like it was made from glass rather than stainless steel. We see hints of Carlsberg branding on the keg and waves of beer gently undulating within it. As a glass coupler connects with the keg, the extreme close-up plays with the viewers’ sense of time and space, to appear almost like a space station docking. All the while, the beer’s amber light reflects and refracts to whet the appetite.

Using the latest RealFlow technology, Loco’s VFX team simulated beer in CG to show the brilliant, golden liquid rushing through the transparent glass world, splashing towards camera like a tidal wave, and spiralling up through chambers and pipes. The VFX team pushed the liquid dynamics software to extremes. Often used to recreate liquids on the scale of ocean scenes, the challenge was to keep the fluid simulation confined within narrow pipes as well as mesh in the foam and froth that would provide visual cues of beer as the liquid made its journey.

Working closely with Eclectic, the talented audio house within the same premises, we were able to direct clever sound design to enhance the feeling that the viewer was travelling along with the beer on it’s journey. Moving from grand, ethereal effects during the exterior views, whooshing around curves, spiralling along with the tones like a glass harp, rushing like wind and water through the nozzle, then emphasising the mouth-watering qualities of draught beer flowing into the drinking glass, before plunging into frenetically bubbling beer, then to arrive, at last, in a tall pint glass standing on a bar, within a “real world” environment.

For the final pack shot, Dan directed a high speed Phantom shoot with liquid genius, Ray Spencer, DOP, Tony May and camera operator, Martin Godward at Pirate studios. We rigged up an impressive array of tanks, glasses, vessels, and tubes to give the VFX team plenty of beautiful shots of beer in extreme detail as reference or plates to composite into the journey. Our colourist, Tom Balkwill did sterling work fulfilling the needs of the creative brief while staying true to the requirements of Diageo’s compliance team.

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