The VFX Evolution of a Brand:

From Scientific Stimulation to Heroic Engagement

When Wrigley’s introduced their newest 5 Gum flavors in the form of RPM, Energy BBDO enlisted director Jon Favreau and Mirada to help reframe and update the shocking-scientific-experiment motif that had marked their previous 5 Gum spots – from “passive shock and awe” vignettes to a full-on, active, user-engaged experience.

To bring this new Choose Your Energy spot to life, Favreau and Mirada created an epic spectacle of kinetic art: a massive, futuristic Parkour playground that showcased an astounding physical tour de force by world-class free runner Daniel Ilabaca.

Mirada worked with Favreau from conceptual development and previz right through to post to achieve their vision. Stunt coordinators were brought into the process to help craft the choreography and design the Parkour course itself: an interactive moving matrix of luminous, orange, metal pillars whose emergence and behavior are activated by Ilabaca himself via a high-tech wristwatch-like device...

Ilabaca launches himself from his self-generated precipice, and leaps, dives, and pivots his way, in a miraculous upward acrobatic trajectory, through a constantly evolving, towering-metropolis-like Parkour course-in-motion. When he reaches the peak, he pauses for a euphoric moment; a climactic shift then takes place—a conscious decision to now “change his flavor”—and all the mechanical polished steel columns transform into organic, stone-like, glowing, cool-blue megaliths. He dives/rolls into them, head first, as they collapse and flatten out around him, and lands on his back in the center of their soft, radiating silver-and-blue mesh.

On set, Ilabaca worked meticulously with Favreau and cinematographer Matthew Libatique to block and stage these incredible athletic feats across large-scale green screen elements—some of which reached 30 feet high—built on a stage at Universal Studios.

Each set element was then digitally replaced in post to expand the scope and energy of the dark industrial space housing the reactive Parkour course. The team worked to refine the look of the futuristic arena and enhance Ilabaca’s incredible athletics. Extensive animation testing ensured that the environment‘s mobile architecture responded authentically to Ilabaca’s activating gestures and white-knuckle vaults and impacts – from the imposing gleaming orange pillars that support his ascent, to the refreshing sapphire landing pad he splashes down into at the end of the journey.

Energy BBDO also collaborated closely with Mirada to expand on 5 Gum’s existing visual language—to subtly shift their branding—pushing the design, color choices, lighting, and in-camera action to a new dynamic level. The result represents a smooth, natural leap forward in what has become a signature of the brand: the marriage of real-world performance and larger-than-life experiences that leave audiences enthralled, craving more, and wanting some of that mojo.