To promote their stadium-shaped pretzel platters, Auntie Anne’s called on Primal Screen’s experience making onscreen media events for leading brands. Working with the team from Auntie Anne’s and (parent company) Focus Brands, we launched Nugg Bowl, a multi-platform gridiron competition entirely populated by pretzel nuggets.
Nugg Bowl is a sweeping month-long campaign that coincides with pro football’s biggest game. We wanted to give fans the spectacle they expect from pro games. It’s funny when pretzels play football, but we were serious about getting the details right—from logos and uniforms to photography and action.
The four flavors of nuggets were photographed by the Auntie Anne’s team. We modeled and textured the characters based on that reference and even animated them to shed a little salt or sugar when hit. In addition to the players and announcers we created fans (for each team), coaches, cheerleaders, photographers and more. The stadium itself also plays a key role as it’s made to look like a real-world version of the product packaging, both in distant overhead shots and sideline closeups.
This marked the first time that Auntie Anne’s had assigned character traits to their pretzels, so a lot of decisions had to be made. To facilitate the vast production and its many components, we set up our pipeline for the Auntie Anne’s team to quickly react and evolve the work. Internally, we used Cinema 4D for modeling, texturing and lighting, as well as Redshift for rendering. Rigging, animation and simulation came from Maya. Primary composite took place in After Effects; and we used Pro Tools for sound design.
Leading up to the big game in the pretzel playoffs, we created a 15-second hype piece, along with three eight-second social media videos that each track the progress of the teams. The final 60-second spot plays like a highlight reel, exploding with hard-hitting action and stirring twists throughout its 25-plus shots. To support Auntie Anne’s own social media efforts, we built a toolkit which includes characters from every angle, the four team logos, dimensional and flat graphics, along with plenty of backgrounds.
Throughout production the clients have delighted in seeing their vision come to life onscreen. On top of that, the positive fan response has confirmed what we’ve always known: pretzels and football belong together.