Unveiling the Enchanting SpinMania campaign: How NERD’S Director Light & Mathematics Weaved Magic and Charm in This Fantastical Commercial

Step into a world where magic, laughter, and creativity converge. Join us as we uncover the magic behind the making of SpinMania – a journey that promises laughter, wonder, and a truly enchanting experience. Discover a captivating journey of a director whose background includes legendary animated shenanigans featured in Hollywood franchises like Madagascar and Shrek.

Light & Mathematics aka Peter S, as someone who has contributed to iconic franchises like Harry Potter and Star Wars, how do you plan to infuse the magic of those worlds into this commercial while still keeping it fresh and original?

I approach every project as an opportunity for world-building and storytelling. Who are these little characters? Where do they live? How do they move, play, and explore? In the case of this commercial, my goal was to draw upon the whimsical charm and fantastical elements of these renowned franchises in order to imbue these fantasy figures with a life all their own.

Click the image to see the spot

Drawing inspiration from the rich storytelling and imaginative settings of the Hollywood films I’ve contributed to, I sought to create a world that resonates with audiences on a nostalgic level, evoking the same sense of fantastical, somewhat medieval wonder these beloved franchises offer. At the same time, I aimed to introduce a unique and innovative narrative that captures the spirit of Migros and the playful concept of spinning top characters.

It’s a delicate balance – maintaining the action and humour that fans of these franchises adore while weaving in new layers of creativity that elevate the commercial to its own level. Using classic story-telling techniques, we build on a solid foundation of narrative fundamentals, while introducing new and clever ways for the characters to interact. We want to keep the audience captivated by the new ways they interact with each other, and the vast world around them.

Ultimately, my experiences have taught me the art of storytelling and world-building. With this commercial, I aimed to channel that knowledge into a project that captures the heart of the Migros brand so beloved by the Swiss viewers, delighting and surprising audiences while offering them a truly enchanting experience that feels both familiar and original.

The concept of SpinMania sounds exciting! The medieval festival setting with knights, mermaids, and Cyclops sounds right up your street. Can you share any quirky behind-the-scenes anecdotes or fun moments from the set that capture the playful atmosphere of the commercial?

One of the most memorable moments transpired during our early character-testing phase. As we explored how the various spinning top characters interacted, we had a whimsical idea to infuse even more drama and excitement into the narrative. While the unexpected twist in the script was that the Mermaid emerged as the victorious champion, we thought it might make things even more fun if we drew the scene out and had them collide more than once, with the losing characters flying entirely out of the scene.

Picture this: the characters spinning, twirling, and manoeuvring in an epic battle, and then, with a carefully calculated spin, the Mermaid comes out on top – quite literally! Such a good twist, and since we dialled the action by extending the duel scene, the laughter and cheers from the creative team helped us realise that this approach injected an extra layer of fun and surprise into the storyline.

This playful experimentation not only added an element of excitement to the commercial’s concept but also perfectly captured the essence of the entire production process. These moments of spontaneous creativity define the spirit of SpinMania and genuinely reflect the dynamic and imaginative approach we took in bringing these characters to life.

How did you plan to add unexpected comedic elements that take the audience by surprise and leave them laughing?

One instance where we’ve harnessed the power of surprise and humor is with the character interactions. Take the playful duel between the characters, for example. In a sudden twist, the Cyclops, after being skillfully knocked out of the ring by the Mermaid, ends up soaring skyward, landing comically in a tree. This unexpected turn of events alone should get the audience chuckling, but the comedic touch doesn’t end there!

As the Cyclops settles into the nest, his rather abrupt landing inadvertently prompts a tiny Phoenix chick to emerge from its egg. This whimsical touch adds a layer of lightheartedness. It creates a delightful visual gag that catches the audience off guard, sparking genuine laughter while introducing and highlighting another of the collectable toys.

These unexpected comedic elements, carefully woven into the narrative, aim to surprise the viewers and evoke genuine amusement. By leveraging creative twists like the Cyclops and the Phoenix Chick, we ensure that SpinMania is not only visually captivating but also a source of true delight, engaging the audience in a way that’s both memorable and light-hearted.

With the rise of humorous ads, how do you see the evolving role of humour in advertising today compared to traditional approaches?

Humour in advertising has evolved significantly with the rise of humorous ads most recently, moving from a sporadic element to a strategic cornerstone. Unlike traditional approaches that convey information directly, humour engages audiences universally and memorably through positive emotions, kind of like what we do in films made for younger audiences like Madagascar and Ice Age. It captures attention in today’s media-rich environment, fostering emotional connections and brand loyalty without being overly sales-y. Humorous ads entertain, humanise, and amplify brand personality, creating relatable narratives that resonate and endure. In a landscape where authenticity matters, humour is a powerful tool to forge lasting and enjoyable connections with modern audiences.

In a world saturated with ads, what is the single most important thing when making a commercial you want to be remembered?

The most critical factor in creating a memorable commercial is the ability to evoke a genuine emotional response. Amidst the multitude of ads, those that elicit a heartfelt emotion – whether it’s laughter, inspiration, empathy, or awe – are the ones that etch themselves into the viewer’s memory. An emotional connection transcends fleeting visuals and catchy slogans, leaving a lasting imprint that resonates long after the ad has ended. Crafting a narrative that tugs at the heartstrings or triggers a relatable sentiment is the key to making a commercial that stands out and lives on in peoples’ minds and hearts.

  • Full Credits:
  • Client – Migros:
    Sara Schneider (Promotions & Activation Department Manager), Stephanie Künzler (Promotions & Activation Project Manager), Delia Candolo (Junior Promotions & Activation Project Manager), Kathrin Lamm (Digital Project Manager), Celina Bernasconi (Media Project Manager).
  • Agency- Wirz Group:
    Lorenz Clormann, Thomas Kurzmeyer, Chantal Heimo, Adrian Busse, Mark Stahel, Zara Velchev, Evelyn Schellenberg, Luigi Vitiello, Nico Keramaris, Cosima Lang, Naomi Meran, Tim Lieberherr, Florian Joller, Vanessa Lehmann-Spalleck, David Offermann, Janna Löhr, Eva Bachmann, Erasmo Palomba, Nadja Kilchhofer, Ruwanie Hayoz, Giovanni Bucca, Yussef Serrat, Oliver Fäs, Sonja Jegen, Karin Gartmann, Rahel Signer, Corinne Räber.
  • Production Stills, DOOH, OOH, Print and Film production:
    NERD Productions (production company), Light & Mathematics (director), Jingle Jungle (sound studio), Federico Bettini/Colin Schmid (music composition).

Sustainable Production Unveiled: How to get to the greener future with NERD Productions?

Is greener production just a myth? Join Ira Giorgetti, a creative producer and photographer from NERD Productions, as he shares his experiences and thoughts on sustainability in his career. Learn how simple changes can make production greener and discover ways to embrace eco-conscious practices.

Ira Giorgetti in the middle of a shoot

Can you tell us about your own personal journey when it comes to getting involved in sustainable production – how did you get started and where has that journey taken you?

Growing up in the Philippines, a country directly affected by climate change, sustainability became a deeply personal and relevant issue for me as a creative producer. My family elders instilled a sense of responsibility for nature, which influences every aspect of my production planning. To reduce the environmental impact, I prioritise eco-friendly practices, source from environmentally conscious suppliers, and use energy-efficient lighting and recycled props. I also manage resources efficiently, minimising waste, implementing recycling and composting programs on set, and promoting low-emission transportation options to reduce carbon emissions. Alongside environmental sustainability, I advocate for diversity and inclusion, aiming to create fair and inclusive working environments in my productions.

By integrating sustainable practices into my work, I aim to minimise environmental impact while staying true to our company’s values of diversity and inclusion.

Ira at work

What are the conversations that clients are having with you about their desire to reduce the carbon footprint and environmental impact of their content production?

While the demand for sustainability varies from client to client, many of them now consider it a crucial aspect of their content creation strategies. Some may view sustainability as a checkbox exercise, but a significant number take these concerns seriously, understanding the urgency and the need for substantial changes to mitigate environmental impact. This growing demand is partly driven by younger generations, who are more environmentally aware and passionate about sustainability, and are pushing for brands and companies to take action to reduce their impact on the environment.

Rachael Olga Lloyd ‘Pain Care’ for NHS

Because of remote production and the impact of transporting people and kits, I guess most sustainable production conversations are limited to live action, but what are the challenges and opportunities on the animation front?

Sustainable production conversations typically focus on live-action productions due to the significant impact of transporting people and equipment. However, there are also challenges and opportunities in the realm of  animation. One challenge is the collaborative nature of the work, but advancements in technology and remote collaboration tools have made it more feasible and efficient.

On the other hand, animation offers unique opportunities for sustainability. By creating virtual worlds and characters, they can reduce reliance on physical sets and props, lowering energy consumption and waste production. Studios can also prioritise renewable energy sources, like solar or wind power, for rendering farms and computer systems. Embracing remote work allows for tapping into global talent while reducing the need for extensive travel. By leveraging technology and making conscious choices, the animation industry can promote sustainable practices and reduce its environmental impact.

What advice would you give anyone working in production, whether for the production company, agency or brand, who is struggling to get buy-in from their clients and colleagues on sustainable production?

When seeking buy-in for sustainable production, focus on personalising the conversation to connect with clients and colleagues on a human level. Engage in one-on-one discussions to understand their values and concerns, emphasising the direct impact sustainable production can have on their lives, their loved ones, and future generations. Share stories and evidence of successful sustainable projects to illustrate positive outcomes for the environment, well-being, and cost savings. Address specific concerns and objections, collaborating to find common ground and align solutions with their goals.

Sustainable production is a collective effort requiring patience, empathy, and effective communication. By connecting with people personally, demonstrating the tangible benefits, and addressing their concerns, you can inspire and motivate your clients and colleagues to embrace sustainable production practices and positively impact the world around us.