Commercial Spot Uses Mixed Media to Invite Viewers to 'Road to Berlin' Exhibit
December 16, 2014

Commercial Spot Uses Mixed Media to Invite Viewers to 'Road to Berlin' Exhibit

CHICAGO and NEW ORLEANS –The principals of design-driven creative production company Sarofsky Corp. have produced a new 30-second commercial spot created in partnership with Peter Mayer Advertising that integrates mixed media.

Titled "Road to Berlin," the spot debuted throughout Louisiana in early December, inviting viewers to visit the phenomenal new exhibit at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

The new "Road to Berlin" exhibit occupies the first floor European Theater galleries within the Museum's newest pavilion, Campaigns of Courage: European and Pacific Theaters. A major component of the Museum's capital expansion, these galleries powerfully immerse visitors within the war that changed the world, educating them on why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today.

For the commercial assignment, Sarofsky's team (led by executive creative director Erin Sarofsky and creative director John Filipkowski) was invited to produce a nostalgic vision artfully uniting archival footage with an animated map.  Conveying the dramatic path taken by U.S. and Allied forces as they made their way toward Berlin from many points on the globe, the spot's ultimate goal is to attract visitors to the new exhibit.

As seen in the finished project, the Museum afforded the production team access to its private archive of World War II footage. "We received roughly 40 minutes of WWII archival footage and paired it down to about 15 shots for the 30-scond spot," Erin said. "The footage spanned all fronts of the war and some of it was pretty graphic.  Although much of it was not used, going through it definitely brought some weight to the project from our perspective."

Designing an animated globe leveraged more of Sarofsky's creative talents. The team was given a map from the 1940s for reference purposes, which was then traced line-by-line using Adobe Illustrator to re-create it as vector art for their animated scenes. A textured pass of that image was rendered at 30,000 pixels wide, before being imported into Maxon's Cinema 4D, which Sarofsky's artists used to model, animate, texture and project the archival footage onto the globe. 

"Cinema 4D is a great tool, and it easily churned out multiple render passes, all of which were brought into Adobe After Effects for compositing and finishing," John explained. "The seamless workflow between After Effects and Cinema 4D allows us to share camera data for added effects while at the same time giving us infinite control over our final look."

"Through the leadership of our clients at the Museum and agency, we had access to historical expertise that allowed us to focus on the creative aspects instead of stressing over facts," Erin added. "Together, we all are hoping that our work, portrayed in a beautiful, compelling way, drives people who wouldn't have already known about the exhibit to go out and see it."