It’s a Cold, Cold World.
Under Armour is a brand with deep roots in innovative sports apparel. We got a call about a collaboration between Dick’s Sporting Goods (DSG) and Under Armour (UA) for a seasonal campaign promoting one of their advanced clothing technologies. The star of the campaign was ColdGear, a collection of inner and outer layers that promises to keep the wearer warm, dry, and light.
The line of leggings, pants, tops, hoodies and other gear was marketed as an exclusive partnership between UA and DSG. We were brought on board to create live-action promos with some CG work that would ultimately provide digital and print assets for several aspects of UA’s 360 campaign.
We broke the ice with a live-action shoot where we staged a 48-foot long patch of realistic turf with less-than-realistic snow to make it feel like our actors were training in a frosty icebox. Behind the turf was an equally large screen that we used to drive the metaphor of cold home. For that, we designed, and animated various edits we could cue up to our talents performances on the fly. We basically created a mini sports focussed concert on stage.
Redefining Thermal Imaging (Our Thermal Graphics Have No Chill)
A large part of UA’s ask with this project was to create a unique thermal signature for the bran. with the end goal of showing how ColdGear can keep the consumer warm, even in the most punishing of environments. We developed a volumetric technique, match moving CG models to their live action counterparts and using the CG silhouettes as containers for heat
sensitive dynamic particles. We focused the energy on pressure points of the human body as it moved, the areas where the most heat is generated and captured by ColdGear.
Defining a Library of Editorial Typography.
Editorial typography was a design detail we developed early in the process. It informed where we took the live in-screen edits we filmed on stage, and it ultimately helped us weave an edit together – giving us a little momentum as we cut on talent’s action. We developed a roster of iconography alongside the creative team at UA that could be used across the motion aspects of the campaign, but also lend its help to the print, in-store, and social components.
Commercial & Social Content
The digital deliverables we shipped to UA consisted of assets designed for promotion across the web and social media. This included numerous 6 second and 15-second cut downs of the live action spot in a variety of parameters including widescreen, 1:1, 4:5 and 9:16. Many of these cut downs were edits that highlight specific garments while the national spot focused on the campaign as a whole. Knowing what platforms we had to deliver informed us as to how we should build our master files – which allowed us to anticipate type layouts in both horizontal and vertical formats.
Event Activation Hits the Midwest
In its nascent stages, this job began as an idea for event activations, before it parlayed into a much bigger initiative. One such activation took place at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. The experience consisted of a large igloo-shaped tent with below-freezing temps inside where folks could try on some ColdGear and workout with free weights made of solid ice. The thermal still imagery we created for the campaign was part of the signage for this event, much like in-store print ads would be.
Coming in from the Cold
Every time we get on the phone with the team at Under Armour there’s a desire to push the creative forward, beyond what they’ve done in the past. It’s inspiring, and The ColdGear Experience was no exception. The project wove through many different disciplines, from live action direction to dynamic CG to graphic type and identity design. We cherish leveraging the combined skill set of the team in a true collaboration in an effort to bring unique creative to life with our partners.