Mercado Libre and GUT Go Big With Cute Little Boxes

Celebrating 25 years in LATAM

It's been a banner week for anthropomorphic adventures.

Readers might recall Hinge's furry app mascots going 3-D and visiting heaven to tout the dating service.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Mercado Libre boxes sprout feet and give cutesy cardboard performances to celebrate the online marketplace's 25th anniversary in Latin America.

Does the campaign film by GUT in Mexico City and Primo director Nico Perez Veiga deliver Malvina Reynolds' classic but overused "Little Boxes" as the soundtrack? We all know the answer to that.

Mercado Libre | Little Boxes

That anti-establishment ditty sure works overtime in ads.

"This film posed a significant challenge due to our unique approach," agency CCO Ramiro Rodriguez Cohen tells Muse.

"Initially, we traveled to Montevideo to capture empty plates, which we later used as a canvas to design and insert the boxes into each shot. Our script outlined the characters we envisioned for each box: Monsters, clowns, robots and more."

And these turned out to be prize packages, one and all. They populate fanciful frames that feel in step with the brand mission. And unlike Amazon's smiley singin' containers, they keep their flaps shut.

"The process spanned five months: from the green light for production to the actual shoot, followed by three months of designing, animating and integrating the small boxes into every scene," Cohen says. "We meticulously considered their personalities, movements and sounds—essentially breathing life into them."

The shoot proved especially challenging, as the team began without the physical boxes.

"Yet, armed with a clear plan and a precise shooting board, we—along with the director and the VFX studio Mathematic—stayed on track," he recalls.

"While exploring the city, we captured additional footage. As a quirky touch, we even used real boxes with wooden legs as stand-ins. These peculiar props helped us gauge proportions and frame sizes for each shot."

It's almost like they thought outside the ... something. It'll come to me.

David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is managing editor at Clio Awards.

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