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HomeIndustry SectorCommercialsPrice Chopper and Galaxy 61 Create FX-Driven Holiday Spots

Price Chopper and Galaxy 61 Create FX-Driven Holiday Spots


LR-4xGiftCards_01(1)Price Chopper recently returned to Galaxy 61 to design and execute spots to drive sales and position the supermarket retail chain’s brand for the holidays.
For the first spot, “Price Chopper 4X Gift Card,” Galaxy 61 created a photo-realistic silver gift box, adorned with Christmas ornaments and tied with a bright red ribbon – which unfurls as the box opens. A voice-over announces holiday offers and a series of animated elements, from gift boxes, animated tags and ornaments to 3D logos with ribbons, were created to provide visual interest and a cohesive bridge throughout the spot. The design boutique turned the spot around in seven days.

The second spot, “Holiday Recipes”, introduces an interactive element to the campaign, inviting customers to access some of Price Chopper’s recipes for the holidays. All recipes are accessible by simply clicking on the Pinterest logo on Price Chopper’s homepage.

“Crafting comedic, live-action mood driven spot content for a retailer is standard fare,” said creative consultant Doug Johnson. “The challenge with Price Chopper lies in designing and executing the segments of the spots that advertise the weekly sales and special offers, while maintaining agency-level quality that draws in viewers and drives them to the store. Price Chopper (supermarket) spots are unlike any other food retailer’s commercials.  First, you have to understand the language and all the details that need to be communicated. Only then can you deliver on the tight deadlines and the customized high quality work required for their promotions.”

The key to meeting the technical challenges of these spots was to keep things simple and render the elements quickly and efficiently. Johnson deviated from his usual practice of rendering out every conceivable layer of information in 3D (reflections, refractions, shadows, masks, etc.) and then creating the final look by compositing them together in Adobe After Effects. While that approach affords more flexibility at the last minute it results in much longer render times on both ends. Instead he created most of the FX ‘in-camera,’ which required minimal treatment – mostly color correction and animated transitions – at the compositing stage, saving time and money. “While effective, the ‘in-camera’ approach posed another challenge, as the client was used to getting that first look at a proof within a day of starting,” said Johnson. “Having built a level of trust over the years, they were patient – and, considering the level of realism we achieved, we turned things around very quickly – and it gave me the opportunity to introduce a level of realistic renders to the Price Chopper campaign which really took the production value to the next level.”

“Galaxy 61 is structured to be a nimble creative resource, with the level of expertise needed to work with modest budgets and still delivers complex, compelling FX-driven spots and logos that consistently exceed our clients’ expectations,” said Johnson.

“Working with a client on an ongoing basis also allows us to think ahead, and design assets so that they are re-usable, which is key for a retailer like Price Chopper,” said Johnson. “The original board for the “4X Gift Card’ spot was a bit frenetic, so we did a lot of adjusting during the editorial process. The retail partners provided the artwork for the gift cards, and were very specific about how the cards were to be presented. Each card had to be the exact same size, and appear for precisely the same amount of time.”

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