June 09, 2021

Join the Smart Energy Revolution with The Mill… and Albert Einstein

For the launch of Smart Energy GB’s latest campaign, The Mill’s VFX team created a digital version of Albert Einstein using performance capture and the latest CGI technology.

When Smart Energy GB decided they wanted Albert Einstein as the spokesperson for its latest campaign, Technicolor’s The Mill was eager to bring the genius of the past to present day life.

In ‘Einstein Knows Best’, developed by AMV BBDO, the father of modern physics encourages us to “Join the Energy Revolution” – a message he delivers while taking a bubble bath and posting selfies from his smartphone. The Mill’s VFX team created the photoreal digital version of Einstein using performance capture and the latest CGI technology.

The integrated campaign features a series of ads across TV, YouTube, social, radio and print, and has been picked up in the press including Adweek and LBB

In consumer research, Einstein was found to personify ‘smart’ and had the ability to ‘surprise’ while delivering a wide range of messages. “There is no greater ambassador for modern technology than Albert Einstein,” said Chris Taggart, Director of Marketing at Smart Energy GB. We hope the public really enjoy seeing his wit and humor touchingly brought back for this campaign.”

Visual effects artists at The Mill developed bespoke software and creative pipelines to ensure Einstein’s digital avatar was as high-fidelity and realistic as possible. The team used cutting-edge 4D volumetric capture technology to record the performance of an actor. Subtle facial performances and intricate details were recreated in CGI, then artists meticulously groomed each hair, wrinkle and eye detail on the CGI model.

“Creating full CGI humans is very challenging, and we were lucky to have The Mill’s magic to pull it off,” said Matt Swinburne, Creative Director at AMV BBDO. “We hope the charming genius will make people smile and make that call to their energy suppliers (to get smart meters).”

“Although we have tackled digital human creation in the past, it would be fair to say it hasn't been done at this level before,” said Alex Hammond, Creative Director at The Mill. “This project presented us with so many technical and artistic challenges…let alone doing it all remotely during a pandemic. We were lucky to have some of the world's most incredible talent working on this project — amongst the best in their field. We loved every minute of it!”

Go Behind the Scenes to see how The Mill’s VFX team created a digital Einstein for modern times.