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Swarm

Client: Lexus
Brand: Lexus

CHI & Partners today announced the launch of ‘Swarm’, the second project in the Lexus ‘Amazing in Motion’ global brand campaign series.

‘Swarm’ is the result of a creative and innovative collaboration between Lexus, Director Sam Brown of Rogue Films and KMel Robotics. ‘Swarm’ takes existing quadrotor technology out of its typical engineering environment and moves it into real world settings and locations. The result is a playful story of quads exploring the city at night while we sleep.

The final film can be viewed at: http://youtu.be/uj0v1BgzUdc

The campaign will run globally across TV, cinema, print, outdoor, digital channels and social media.

The quadrotor technology developed by KMel Robotics uses innovative 3D mapping software, complex algorithms and motion capture camera equipment. Each quadrotor has reflective markers that respond to infrared light emitted by the cameras. Over 100 times per second each quadrotor is finding out where it is and working out where it should be, in order to achieve precise, synchronized and amazing movements.

The bespoke quadrotors created for ‘Swarm’ took design cues from Lexus vehicles, including the iconic spindle grille, LED headlights and LFA exhaust. The ambition was to bring warmth and personality to an existing colder technology, and the design brief was to balance both high-tech circuitry and aerodynamics with character animation.

‘Swarm’ was filmed in Vancouver, Canada at multiple city locations including a public swimming pool, local supermarket, a vintage barber shop, hotel and the famous Museum of Anthropology designed by Canadian architect Arthur Erickson.

Lexus commissioned Jonathan Goldstein to compose a cartoon-inspired original track, and this was recorded by a 56-piece orchestra in Angel Recording Studios in London.

Editor’s notes

Sam Brown of Rogue Films is one of London’s leading directors, awarded Gold at Cannes and Creative Circle. His commercial portfolio includes work for Virgin and Samsung, as well as music promos for artists such as Jay-Z which has marked him as a unique talent.

KMel Robotics was founded in 2011 by University of Pennsylvania graduates Daniel Mellinger and Alex Kushleyev. They are specialists in hardware design, high performance control and focused on developing high-end engineering platforms that push the limits of experimental robotics and unmanned aerial vehicles.

‘Amazing in Motion’ is an inspiring set of global projects, created by Lexus, to showcase its imagination, innovation and design excellence. It builds on the Lexus ambition to connect with the hearts, as well as the minds, of the progressive luxury consumer.

The ‘Amazing in Motion’ series began with ‘Steps’, a project that explored motion through two 11ft figures brought to life by the art of puppeteering. The figures were created from beautifully finished 3D printed shells married with carbon fibre skeletons. Set against the backdrop of a stunning nocturnal cityscape, we follow a figure on its journey, culminating in a grand finale when it finds what it has been searching for. The ‘Steps’ campaign can be viewed at: amazinginmotion/steps.

The car sequence features the Lexus LF-NX crossover concept car, which debuted at Frankfurt Motorshow, September 2013.

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