2020 marks a momentous 50th year for MPC. During this time, we're proud to have grown into an Academy Award-winning creative studio, taking huge strides in innovation, artistry, end-to-end production and direct-to-brand work across our nine global studios.
Over the years, we've learned the true power of embracing innovation to push the boundaries of creation, constantly evolving to deliver work that genuinely moves people.
As we prepare to celebrate half a century's worth of groundbreaking work, we take a look back over some of our most successful and favorite ads from the past decade. Whittling it down was a tough task, but the spots selected were those that broke boundaries for the time they were produced in, and pushed MPC and the industry forward.
Dior | J'Adore Egéries (2011)
An ad so iconic that it still plays today, almost nine years later, Dior's 'J'Adore Egéries' stars the fragrance line's muse, Charlize Theron, alongside three of history's best and most glamorous actresses: Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe. This impossible meeting of starlets across eras was achieved through the post-production work of Mikros MPC to bring each actress to life and join Theron in the opulent Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles Dior runway show.
MPC Studio: Paris (Mikros MPC)
Production Company: Wanda
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Channel 4 | Meet The Superhumans (2012)
To celebrate Channel 4's coverage of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, "Meet the Superhumans" highlights a multitude of Paralympians as they prepare for the big game. Working with 4Creative director Tom Tagholm, MPC brought together each individual story into one inspiring film for one of the broadcaster's biggest marketing campaigns.
We developed breakthrough in-house crowd replication software especially for this spot, which allowed Tagholm—who wanted to be able to shoot with multiple cameras in empty stadiums—as much freedom as possible during filming. By shooting 150 individuals against green-screen, the crowds could quickly be replicated, enabling us to add 5,000 people in days rather than weeks.
MPC Studio: London
Brand: Channel 4
Production Company: Park Pictures
Director: Tom Tagholm
Three | The Pony (2013)
If you want to produce a memorable ad, introducing a moonwalking Shetland pony is one sure-fire way to do it. The challenge? To create a photoreal character that moves in a way that no pony has ever moved before.
To pull off this mighty feat, MPC was brought in at the early conceptualization stage to offer specialist advice on how to make the dancing look completely realistic despite the fact that ponies never moonwalk. We achieved this by creating a digital double of the pony, which allowed us to cut between CG and real-life footage, requiring very precise attention to detail to ensure the matches were seamless. Our Furtility software enabled us to integrate photorealistic hair, fur and other details into the live-action footage.
MPC Studio: London
Production Company: Blink
Director: Dougal Wilson
Dell | Thomas (2013)
Populating the ordinary human world with whimsical anthropomorphic characters, Dell's "Thomas" follows a businessman on a journey to unlocking greater creativity through powerful technology. Featuring a grumpy commuter toad and a jittery hare in a trench, among other characters, this imaginative spot is a truly enjoyable watch.
One of our main priorities for the spot was researching anatomy to capture a perfect, believable look. There was huge attention to detail, such as giving the toad a nictitating membrane (a thin skin that covers the eye) to ensure that even his blinks are realistic. Once again, our Furtility software gave us a big advantage in this spot. Without it, we wouldn't have been able to capture the nuances of these characters as easily.
MPC Studio: NYC
Agency: Y&R NY
Production Company: Furlined
Director: Bjoern Ruehmann
Call Of Duty: Black Ops | Seize Glory (2016)
A live-action trailer for the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, this spot features a star-studded cast of Hollywood actors, including Michael B. Jordan and Cara Delevingne alongside ordinary gamer Kevin, who traverses different war-torn levels as an unlikely hero.
The collaboration between director Wayne McClammy and MPC took memorable performances and mesmerizing visuals to the next level by learning to allow VFX to support the story and reinforce realities rather than relying on them heavily. The result is a highly immersive, visceral and believable action-packed story.
MPC Studio: LA
Production Company: Hungry Man
Director: Wayne McClammy
Berocca | Be More Berocca (2017)
In introducing Roccy, the body-popping chameleon, MPC not only created a global superstar but increased Berocca's sales by 45 percent. Inviting audiences to "Be more Berroca," the lighthearted spot sees Roccy strut his stuff in a lush tropical rainforest, much to the shock of his onlookers.
In this end-to-end project, all characters were crafted entirely in CG and no detail left unconsidered, from every last scale on Roccy's body to the moss under his feet. The job required realism throughout to really be successful, and our expertise not only VFX but live-action production resulted in a completely believable and lovable character.
Due to Roccy's immense popularity, we created a bespoke piece of software to render him in real time, allowing us to extend beyond the traditional TV campaign onto social and other digital extensions, bringing him into people's lives and allowing Roccy to dance alongside them.
MPC Studio: London
Agency: J. Walter Thompson
Production Company: MPC
Samsung | Ostrich (2017)
A curious ostrich with sky-high ambitions learns how to fly in this brilliant ad for Samsung's revolutionary VR technology. Chosen for our specialist skills in creating photoreal and anatomically correct CG characters, we used a reference shoot involving real ostriches in South Africa for inspiration before bringing the digital version to life.
A photo-real ostrich was one of the toughest CG creatures we had faced so far, with insanely dynamic and fluffy feathers, not like any other bird we had ever created before. To deal with these challenges, we needed to completely upgrade our entire feather system, which helped unlock our potential for future briefs.
MPC Studio: LA & London
Agency: Leo Burnett Chicago
Production Company: MJZ
Director: Matthijs Van Heijningen
John Lewis | The Boy and the Piano (2018)
In this highly anticipated Christmas commercial, John Lewis turned back the clock on the life of Sir Elton John, highlighting some of his most memorable moments. Each scene of the progressively older Elton was created in VFX by MPC using CG face replacement.
This was no easy task. It is notoriously difficult to create a well-known human face in VFX, particularly if it is one people have their own clear memories of, and our brains are wired to spot imperfections in faces almost instantly. We had to ensure that this was executed perfectly in order to allow the story to be believable.
MPC Studio: London
Brand: John Lewis
Production Company: Academy Films
Director: Seb Edwards
Coca-Cola | Clay Dolls (2018)
Cementing our ongoing relationship with McCann since 2017, MPC worked on a signature campaign which sees two playful characters bringing the family together for Chinese New Year through Coca-Cola.
The iconic clay dolls, which have come to represent a cultural significance at this time of year, have reflected the spirit of the celebrations since 2001 when they were first introduced. Modeled on Chinese traditional folk dolls, in 2018 we helped give these much-loved characters an evolved and fresh new look using a highly technical and creative animation style, completely unique to what we have ever created before. Our innovation and past project successes have meant that we continue to work on these campaigns year after year, having also been called in to produce the 2019 ad last year.
MPC Studio: Shanghai
Agency: McCann Shanghai
Production Company: The Loft FIlms
Director: Pepe Puenzo
Lexus | LF30 Electrifed (2019)
This direct-to-brand project, creatively led by MPC, showcases innovation and incredible design for the stylish new concept car LF30. The sleek spot, shot around the beautiful coasts and mountains of Barcelona, was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show, and uses the power of cinema to fire people's imagination.
The real challenge lay in creating a vehicle that did not yet exist. For this, a real "donor" car matching the wheelbase of the LF30 was used and covered in tracking markers. By wrapping the car in CGI skins of the LF30, we were able to get specific details and compositions accurate.
Working very closely with the brand, we had a lot of creative control over the design and animation of the film. We used visual craft and realism to represent the technology, agility, power and handling of the car, while painting a picture of a futuristic world, in harmony with a vehicle such as the LF30.
MPC Studio: London (agency, production and post)