Motion Theory: Triple Threat

Spring is here, and I’m falling in love all over again with Motion Theory. They’ve recently released a bevvy of projects that show off their incredible diversity as image-makers and storytellers.

Royal Bank of Canada “Anthem”

First up is a charming character-driven animation for Royal Bank of Canada and agency The Buntin Group.

The spot’s seamless transitions are not only visually pleasing, they actually reinforce the underlying messages of interconnectedness and diversity. Coupled with the retro tinged palette and illustration work, the spot is smile-inducing even on the third or fourth viewing.

NCAA: “Ambidextrous” and “Boundaries”

And now for something completely different. “Ambidextrous” and “Boundaries” try to broaden the image of the NCAA through cleverly subtle visual effects. Neither spot socks you in the gut with eye-popping imagery—rather they take reality and augment it.

Again, this sober approach is consistent with the messaging crafted by agency Young & Rubicam SF: You think you know the NCAA? Think again.

Sara Bareilles “Gravity”

Lastly, put on your headphones and dim the lights for this Sara Bareilles promo directed by MTh’s Mathew Cullen. (This was actually released about a month ago, but it fits nicely in our round-up.)

The deceptively low-fi aesthetic pulls you in (no pun intended) and before you know it, you’re caught in the majesty of a lush universe seemingly built from little more than streetlights and umbrellas. The arc of the song’s intensity is beautifully mirrored by the visuals—a feat difficult to pull off in the span of several shots, let alone one long shot.

And therein lies Motion Theory’s power: weaving technical mastery with solid storytelling. Head and heart working together as one.


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.



I agree this is some awesome work. I remember seeing the NCAA commercial during some college basketball games and thinking how cool. I especially liked the soccer/violin player.


That girl can sing and the visuals for the music are fantastic. The ncaa commercials are really nice as well… Motion Theory rockin out once again


The Sara Bareilles video is fantastic. And I love the subtle nod to Charles and Ray Eames at the beginning (the checkered picnic sheet).


The first one is just more nice graphics. The second one made me stop and rewind a few times when I saw it while watching TV. The last one is really special, and is probably the only one of the three that won’t be forgotten within a few months.
Wonderful work all around!

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