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HomeIndustry SectorCommercialsKing and Country Talks Trash with Humorous Campaign for Waste Management

King and Country Talks Trash with Humorous Campaign for Waste Management


LR-WM_0005_Layer 8Santa Monica-based production company King and Country (K&C) recently delivered campaign for waste collection and recycling company Waste Management. Working directly with Houston ad agency The Company of Others, K&C created a series of :15 spots. The “Bin-to-Bin” campaign featuring Waste Management’s receptacles talking, joking and even singing about the trash and recycling they collect is the first time the brand has taken a comedic approach with its advertising.

The creative was helmed by K&C partner and creative director Rick Gledhill.

“At King and Country, integrating live-action with exceptional photo-real VFX is what we do,” said Gledhill. “From the subtle comedic sensibility of the container-characters to the photoreal potential of humanized inanimate objects, the whole campaign was a perfect fit.”

Each 15-second spot follows its own premise and humorous storyline, while highlighting the features and importance of Waste Management’s services. From the residential trash toter that takes a topsy-turvy on a collection truck, to pun-loving dumpsters trading quips behind a commercial building, each commercial has its own unique charm.

K&C shot the live action in one day on two different locations, and by working efficiently achieved seven setups with only one camera move. Filming “stunt” trashcans and dumpsters to capture texture and lighting reference, K&C returned to the studio with the footage where they re-built all the characters from the ground up, gave them personalities and, most importantly, the ability to talk.

It was those mouths, from their material-realistic bendability to the voiceovers and sound design that Gledhill credits with elevating the character design. Working within the parameters of practical material elements, K&C concepted interesting, character-defining features, such as adding trash bags and recycled elements, to make up the teeth and the contours of their tongues, and injecting the sound of trash rattling around the containers’ bellies when they laugh. Each detail infused another layer of humanity into the work.

“Even though these spots are fun and lighthearted, we grounded the action in reality,” said Gledhill. “And inside those limitations, we found comedic and character gold.”

“A key factor to making the trash toters and dumpsters really come to life was animation,” added Andrew Cook, VFX supervisor at K&C. “It was an animation and rigging challenge to have the trash cans have a full range of emotional capacity with little more than just a flapping lid. For the dumpsters, it was also a challenge to show emotions, as well as clear phonic shapes on the top lid to play as pupils, eye brows and lips all at the same time. During the process, the whole CG pipeline stayed non-destructive. This was imperative to allow for changes to happen later in the process without requiring a lot of reworking setup.”

The timing, delivery and personality of the voiceover artists rounded out the spots. K&C recorded the voiceovers early on in the process and had the artists ad-lib during the session for even more natural deliveries that helped to inject the characters with authentic, sincere personalities.

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