Getting Caught Up With Motion Theory

In the flurry of activity surrounding Inspire (not to mention this ramshackle mess I call my life), a couple new projects from Motion Theory slipped by the old radar.


The first is a another spot in the successful HP Hands campaign, this time featuring Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho. My favorite moment in this one is definitely the water sequence; it’s a beautiful idea and nicely executed. The rest of the spot uses some of the same tropes seen in the rest of the campaign (books opening, cards flipping, etc.). I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it is a sign that the series may be filling out linguistic repertoire.

The next spot is a Budweiser Select ad starring Jay Z and some old dude who I’m sure I’d know if I watched any football at all. From the dialogue, I can deduce that he’s a coach who’s won a few Superbowls, and that’s good enough for me. (Okay okay, it’s Don Shula.)

I’m posting this spot because I have a weak spot for imaginative interfaces and/or bits of data floating around in space. Again, because I know nothing of football, I can’t tell you that what’s on screen is accurate, but I love the way it all works. Because the hand movements are so natural, the graphical system seems organic, but because it’s representing scads of data, it seems mechanical, creating this compelling tension between improvisation and control.

I also think the idea of a data cloud is intriguing. MTh has been doing great things with motion tracking for a while, but the first time I remember seeing the data cloud concept in their work was for the Nike “One” campaign. Data clouds (when done well) are a clever way to represent complexity while maintaining a sense of sophistication and sexiness.

Watch the Paulo Coelho HP spot | Watch “Just a Game”

About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.



Nice subtle interaction between actors and elements. I agree my favorite moment in the HP spot is the water moment. It’s nice to see something more organic from the campaign.


The second one is nicely done. But i’m not so impressed by mt’s cg work on the first one. The tree and sheets look like plastic.


Oh man, I just saw a promo on FOX NEWS showing Sheperd Smiths hands doing the same thing as the HP spots. At the end, he is holding a “You Decide” Logo in his hand….What an OBVIOUS RIP-OFF! How sad.


“The game is called domination…” Appreciate the nod to Never Say Never Again in the Budweiser spot. It’s interesting to see how much our business is getting embraced by a larger audience nowadays. it’s a good sign for the health of the industry.


i have to use a HP desktop for work and it is just about the most plasticy, cheap, clunky, underpowered piece of rubbish i have ever had to use. just takes the edge of these ads for me.


The rest of the campaign is as impressive

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