Motion Theory director Mathew Cullen was recently enlisted by agency DigitasLBi to direct a new spot, “Factory” for Maytag that includes some of the company’s actual factories and employees.
Shot partially on location at multiple American Maytag factories, the spot portrays the iconic Maytag Man being created on a full-scale assembly line including six real-life Maytag factory employees. Hats, buttons, perfectly pressed uniforms, and rows upon rows of actual Maytag Men are hand built and stamped out in perfect precision across an array of gleaming factory machines.
“I wanted to tell the origin story of the beloved Maytag Man in a way that felt like the embodiment of the American work ethic,” said Cullen. “I wanted to reveal the source of his great confidence and durability, and the dynamic camaraderie from which he is forged.”
To establish the appearance of hundreds of Maytag Man characters required a wide variety of techniques. “From practical effects to motion control, CG doubles and more – there was a lot that went into the synchronicity between man and machine,” Cullen explained. “I wanted the workers to feel as if they were breathing life into the Maytag Man with a kinship that solidified, and propelled, the entire building process.”
Special attention was made during production to ensure that the Maytag men, both live action and digital doubles, were choreographed to perform in a complementary way, moving like one finely tuned machine. Motion Theory sister company Mirada provided all of the spot’s visual effects.