2C Media was recently called on to deliver a hard-hitting promo campaign to help HBO kick off a new season of its successful Hard Knocks franchise. The Miami-based production company, which also did the promos for last season’s Miami Dolphins edition, was asked to help usher in the show’s return to Cincinnati. Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cincinnati Bengals debuts on HBO Aug. 6.
The idea behind the 30-second spot was to represent the intensity of NFL football through a powerful metaphor that embodies the Bengals’ mascot.
“We needed to strike a balance of capturing the sport’s pulse-pounding aggression while staying mindful of the league’s sensitivity and image,” explained Chris Sloan, co-president and executive creative director of 2C Media. “So, working closely with HBO’s David Roofthooft and Noah Lerner, 2C’s Ben Frank, Luis Martinez and Aaron Magee used mystery to build intensity in the spot, starting off with the sounds and tight frame shots of a restless wild animal before ultimately revealing a Bengal tiger and the team’s iconic helmet.”
Packed with digital effects, the promo for Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cincinnati Bengals incorporates a mix of 3D modeling, camera projection and sound manipulation. 3D models were used to craft the spot’s initial close-up shots, including the tiger’s fur and tail, as well as the football helmet, upon which the Bengals’ design was digitally morphed. Nearly everything else was done using photography. The promo’s soundtrack features an eerie jungle feel and modified tiger sounds that create mystery around the creature.
For their work on last year’s Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins promo campaign, HBO and 2C Media earned Silver in the 2013 PromaxBDA Promotion, Marketing and Design Awards.