With the turning of the Lunar New Year on Sunday, we enter a new Year of the Rabbit according to the Chinese zodiac. To celebrate this lucky animal’s reign over the year, studio Hornet has teamed up with Ogilvy Shanghai for the second Lunar New Year in a row to deliver a magical campaign for Coca-Cola, brought to life by director Yves Geleyn and a team of artists including celebrated character designer Peter de Sève.
Titled Celebrating Together Is Magic, the CG-animated piece is a poignant story about a family of rabbits who overcome their differences and unite for a holiday meal — complete with bunny-sized bottles of Coca-Cola and many other narrative details that augment the intimacy of the scene.
“A compelling narrative, cinematic whimsy, and rich textural details. It’s everything you could want in a film like this, and more,” says Geleyn.
Geleyn opted to heighten the film’s underlying message through contrast and a macro lens, shrinking the viewer down to the rabbits’ perspective while juxtaposing Chinese-inspired landscapes and details. The soft, organic look of the traditional family home contrasts with the stony, angular modern bunny apartments. The filmmakers helped tie these divergent locations together with warm, homey lighting.
Feature film character designer and illustrator de Sève helped give Grandma and Grandson Rabbit designs that showed a family connection, yet also expressed their distinct personalities. “Peter has an unparalleled ability to express emotions with the flick of a pencil’s line,” notes Geleyn. “His contours and features bestow a human-like manner that allows these anthropomorphized animals to carry the weight of this story’s dramatic arc.”
The rabbit characters also nod to old traditions with their fuzzy, felted look and red embroidered silk patterns. Their New Year’s feast also contrasts the them of “old” and “new” worlds uniting in the film; Grandma’s classic dumplings are served in a simple bamboo steamer, surrounded by an elegantly plated modern spread.
You can learn more about the making of Celebrating Together Is Magic and see a special behind-the-scenes video at hellohornet.com.