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Sunday, June 20, 2021

The ZOOZOO Effect

Seriously,who would have imagined that a bunch of little white eggheads scampering around,making no sense of the gibberish dialogue...

Written by Jaskiran Kapoor |
May 25, 2009 5:11:54 am

The little white curious creatures who are an international phenomenon now will be truly missed post IPL

Seriously,who would have imagined that a bunch of little white eggheads scampering around,making no sense of the gibberish dialogue they exchange (which really sounds like a re-run of a bad cassette) be catapulted to international stardom! Even the most hardcore cricket buff doesn’t mind their ‘nautanki’ between the overs. In fact,over the weeks,they’ve become bigger than the product itself capturing a huge chunk of the market space. Today,they have a dedicated Facebook fan club. Their ads and news hit the networking site and Youtube before the telly. E-mails are flooded with their making,pictures and genesis. They are the highlights of chat sessions. And now that they are focusing on merchandising too,Zoo Zoos,people,have turned into this unbelievable phenomenon. If Hutch made Pug the ‘national’ dog,Zoo Zoo’s are the new youth icon – one that will truly be missed after IPL’s grand finale. But trust us,it won’t be long before B-schools and media faculties across the world turn these into one of the biggest and most successful case studies. “To tell you the truth,we really didn’t expect this response,” gushes the brains behind the Zoo Zoo,O&M’s Executive Creative Director,South Asia,Rajiv Rao.

The brief by Vodafone,tells Rajiv,was to talk about the services and run it parallel throughout the IPL. “It was one film,one value-added service a day,” after months of toying with ideas and brainstorming,the team at ad agency Ogilvy and Mather,short on time,zeroed in on the Zoo Zoo. “It’s common for creative people to perform at the last hour,” laughs Rajiv,who finalised the look,packed their bags and shot the entire campaign in South Africa along with ad filmmaker of Nirvana Films,Prakash Varma and local production house there,Platypus. “We needed characters that had continuity in them,and Zoo Zoos fitted perfectly,” he adds. As for the name,it really has no logic. Like Rajiv says,it just goes with the character.

When it came to the making,animation was never an option. They shot real people and made them look animated. “Which was different,fresh and challenging,in a sense,it was ‘live’ animation!” Rajiv was open to experimentation and all set to change the mindset of people. For Varma,the toughest test was costume design and artwork. “How they will move,gesticulate,talk,emote…” Varma tried different looks and fabric for anything that wrinkled or shined would kill the illusion of animation. What added to the animated effect were big heads stuffed with foam outlined with a hard material called Perspex. “We kept the hands and legs thin,which is why we cast women – and occasionally children – wearing the costumes,” says Varma. The thin limbs,contrasted with big bellies and a bulbous head,gave the ‘small’ impression. Then came the sets – all in neutral greys,even lighting so that attention was on the Zoo Zoo. Varma then shot it in a high-speed format to make it look animated.

“Zoo Zoo pictures,e-cards,vote for your favourite Zoo Zoo,which friends looks like Zoo Zoo,group Zoo Zoo sms,wallpapers,desktop themes,videos….Zoo Zoos are a super duper blockbuster!” tells PR guy Sachin Khurana as he updates us on several other things in the pipeline like mugs and key chains. It’s great to be in Zoo Zoo land. Hope to see them soon after their South African vacation!

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