Framestore’s creative advertising team worked alongside AB Inbev and the brand’s creatives, draftLine to create Budweiser 'The Wave 2021', a recreation of the classic Budweiser campaign first aired in 2006 to coincide with this year’s Euro 2020 Championship.
This energetic spot centers around a custom designed and generated CG Budweiser stadium. A drone provides dynamic aerial camera moves of the exterior and interior of this sporting arena, which is filled with tens of thousands of football fans. The crowd raise individual placards to reveal a giant full Budweiser bottle on one side of the stadium and an empty glass on the other. Through one epic Mexican wave the Bud lid pops off and beer bursts from the bottle, arcing around the stadium to fill the empty glass.The full glass is quickly emptied to the accompanying sounds of gulps followed by a synchronized ‘ahhh’ from the fans. The spot ends literally with a bang as rooftop fireworks explode to create the shape of the Budweiser crown logo.
The 20-second edit was created entirely in CG, aside from a one-second live-action crowd shot, pulled from the original commercial. This ended up being the perfect solution for not being able to film a live action crowd during the pandemic, while also giving the team a huge amount of creative flexibility and to react and remotely implement changes, as the project developed.
Framestore were tasked with designing and building a bespoke Budweiser CG Stadium surrounded by a vast CG Stadium Park and Digital Matte Painting City. The main objectives were to create a beautiful and modern structure that would emulate the Budweiser brand, while maintaining a generic European City feel that would be familiar to the Euro 2020 team countries playing in the tournament. “The stadium was meticulously designed to feel modern and contemporary whilst giving a unique Budwesier feel to it.” said Creative Director, Mike McGee.
“It was important for us to enhance and build on the energy of the original spot and highlight the joy of being connected to a crowd,” said McGee, “and to realise this we designed a brand-new CG stadium which is seen from both a top-down and a first-person perspective which places the viewer in the action and further involves them in the camaraderie of the wave.” Framestore have also future-proofed the stadium to allow design teams to make quick and efficient changes to the narrative of the spot down to the shirts on the fans backs and tweaks to the stadium itself.
"The biggest challenge when you have to recreate an environment like a stadium in a city at night is to make all the fine details photorealistic enough to make it believable, and yet keep it crisp and clean,” added Framestore’s 2D Lead, Francesco Cossatti, “With not much room to hide behind fancy lens effects, heavy atmospherics elements or camera moves, we managed to elevate full CG into something totally believable."
Using Houdini, Framestore also created a vibrant new crowd. “We are used to wrangling characters but on this spot we had to wrangle 120 thousand virtual football supporters to accurately animate our pouring beer,” added Framestore’s Crowd Lead, Philip Child. “This was achieved using Houdini and Arnold along with a bespoke crowd setup designed to allow us to work quickly in response to any tweaks or enhancements needed as the project developed.”
Through developing the crowd and cards tools, Framestore were able to respond quickly and effectively to any timing, animation and artwork change - which became integral to making the project flow smoothly for the various Euro 2020 markets.
Framestore’s Head of Grading, Steffan Perry breathed new life into the commercial whilst keeping true to the DNA of the original. “I was tasked with matching the grade of the CG shots to the existing commercial, but all around you can see the enhanced fresh take on the stadium.”