What do get if you combine Justin Timberlake's choreographer, the same
animation techniques used to make 'Finding Nemo', Les Rythemes Digitales
and CitroŽn's latest model, the C4?



The answer is a viral advertising campaign that is sweeping through the
internet and proving to be so popular that it has crashed a few e-mail
systems as fans of CitroŽn's dancing C4 Robot send the advertisement to
their friends and colleagues!



Conceived by the CitroŽn creative team at Euro RSCG's London office as a
'teaser' campaign for the new CitroŽn C4, which is due in Australia in
March next year, the advertisement features a CitroŽn C4 Coupe that,
sensing it is alone in a car park, transforms into a towering robot that
dances to electronic dance-pop hit 'Jacques Your Body' before turning back
into the C4 Coupe as its owner approaches.

Advertisement




The advertisement brings to life the theme of the CitroŽn C4 which is that
it is "Alive with technology" thanks to features such a fixed centre
steering wheel, lane departure warning system, programmable speed limiter
and even an on board air-freshener that enables owners to vary the scent in
the car to match their mood. It is also a natural follow on from the family
of mischievous robots on the CitroŽn Xsara Picasso production line did some
extra-creative painting in the advertisement for the CitroŽn people mover.



Justin Timberlake's choreographer, Marty Kudelka, provides the moves for
the C4 Robot. He was fitted with a special suit with laser motion sensors
that enabled a computer to digitalize his dance movements and convert them
into the moves for the entirely computer generated robot. Equally, a
CitroŽn C4 Coupe was digitally scanned and the car in the mini-movie also
exists only in the computer's memory.



"It was certainly an unusual challenge," says Marty Kudelka. "I tried to
imagine myself as the robot with mechanical movements to capture how it
would realistically move, which parts of the car would bend and overlap and
then simply let myself go. Effectively I became the C4 transformer,
listened to the music and let the dance flow!"



The animation was produced by Spy Films in Toronto, Canada, with the post
production created by Vancouver-based video effects house, The Embassy. The
technology used is the same as that used by Finding Nemo creators, Pixar.



"Building a CitroŽn C4 transformer that moved believably like a dancer was
the ultimate animation challenge," says director Neill Blomkamp, who was
acknowledged as the best up and coming film director at the 2004 Cannes
Film Festival.



The CitroŽn C4 Robot may be viewed, if it hasn't already arrived on your
e-mail, at www.citroen.co.uk. For CitroŽn Australia, the advertisement is a
taste of things to come in March next year.



"It's the easiest advertising campaign in which we have ever been
involved," says Miles Williams, General Manager of CitroŽn Australia. "That
is, if 'involved' is the right word to use! We know that in Australia alone
it had been sent to tens of thousands of computers by e-mail within hours
of it hitting the internet in Europe. We have already been contacted by
people wanting to know not just about the CitroŽn C4 as a direct result of
the campaign, but also where they can get the dancing robot version! We can
help them with the first question, but as for the second one...."

And all we've got is a dancing banana...