When it came time to launch the first line of consumer products for animated/live-action kids’ show Blue’s Clues & You!, ViacomCBS-owned Nickelodeon partnered with Miami-based 2C to create a motion-graphics enhanced live-action campaign that would air across Nickelodeon’s linear, digital and social platforms.
In the campaign, cuddly blue dog Blue leaps from his animated TV show into the arms of a live-action little girl to help her find animated clues that transform into real-life objects, such as an oversized Blue’s Clues watch, an interactive notebook, and of course, a super-soft plushy of Blue himself.
The live-action aspect of the spot proved challenging to deliver during the pandemic, but with extensive planning and experience with working remotely, the teams pulled it off.
“There were so many challenges to think about with COVID and remote-style shooting, which was the safest option at the time. We had to make sure that the two-person production team on the ground with our talent could do everything the client wanted sans a traditional crew,” said Director Tony Cohen in a statement. “What made things easier was 2C’s expertise and availability to talk creative out, especially with the animation aspects being added to live action.”
Since 2C already works with freelancers and contractors around the globe, the agency felt prepared to handle the challenges the production would create, said 2C Creative Director Cheryl King.
“Many of us have been working remotely for quite a long time, and we’ve had plenty of practice living in a hurricane zone, so quarantine work-life is fairly similar to our normal way of working,” she said. “The teams on this production spanned more than five time zones – from L.A. to Miami to Dublin – so we planned extensively to ensure a seamless and successful project and worked to cultivate and maintain open and honest communication – an absolute necessity during this time of change and evolution in our industry.”
Once the shoot was completed, 2C edited the live-action spots and handled the visual effects to create a colorful and fun product launch campaign consisting of 30- and 15-second linear spots that could run on over-the-top platforms as well. The campaign also includes a mini-series of short social spots at various ratios of 1x1 and 9x16 to span various social platforms.
“This was a VFX-intensive production so VFX supervision had to be especially well-monitored to ensure that the plates that were shot would work with the compositors and 3D artists,” said 2C VFX Supervisor Bob Cobb. “In addition, Nickelodeon gave us access to the rig used by the studio for the Blue’s Clues & You! series. Our animators had to get up to speed not only on the rig, but also on making sure that any animations done would match the show’s existing style.”
Nickelodeon’s line of branded Blue’s Clues and You! toys is available now at Target.
Client: ViacomCBS’s Nickelodeon
Senior Vice President, Franchise Story Group: Joshua Braunstein
Vice President, Consumer Products, Marketing, & Events: Cheryl Konieczko
Director of Production, Corporate Content: Michelle Russo
Producer, Corporate Content: Brianne Riviello
Production Assistant, Corporate Content: Joseph Weston
Live-Action Director: Tony Cohen
Director, Short-Form Production Management: Irene Fitzsimmons
Sr. Production Manager, Short-Form Production: Jill Raifaisen
Director of Photography, Short-Form Production: Frank Howard
Production Designer, Short-Form Production: John Richards
President/Owner: Chris Sloan
Operations Manager: Bob Cobb
Creative Director: Cheryl King
VFX Supervisor: Bob Cobb
3D Animator: Andy Fernandez
3D TD / Animator / Rendering: Bob Cobb
Compositor: Bob Cobb, Jessica Musumeci
Colorist: Dmitri Zavyazkin
Audio Engineers: Cesar Haliwa, Andy Stermer