Large-scale action: ESPN begins “Fight to the Finish” campaign for CFB season

As the college football season opens tonight with Ohio State at Indiana, ESPN has begun airing “Fight to the Finish,” a season kickoff-focused promo (see video at the top of the post) that is part of the overall “Who’s In?” campaign.

The spot, which also has an SEC-specific version starring Paul Finebaum (see below), takes a fresh, new approach with an animated world representing the biggest names and heavy favorite contenders for the 2018 College Football Playoff, all within a scale replica of the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, home of the 2018 CFP National Championship Game. Visit ESPN MediaZone for more information on the spots.

Producing the spots involved a unique process of custom animation and life-like modeling. Here’s a breakdown of how the creative was brought to life.

  • 47: number of craftspeople, including painters, modelers, costumers, and designers working to create the characters for both spots.
  • 26: unique puppet heads that were fabricated with difference expressions, complete with tiny 3D-printed eyebrows to match each expression. Each accessory (including glasses, microphones, shillelagh, whistles, etc.) was made in specific scale to the character and finished to match. The preparation took place over a 9-week schedule.
  • 80: total number of hours that footage was captured in pieces, on 7 stages, in sizes ranging from 20 by 30 feet to as small as 7 by 7 feet.
  • 14: numbers of schools represented the Kickoff spot.
  • 1: mini replica Olympic bobsled

Each character was modeled in 3D, printed in plastic resin, filed, primed, coated and painted, painstakingly finished, and costumed to specifications. Bevo the Bull was hand modeled and cast in a custom-built mold that took several weeks to complete.