Guru Takes Teletoon on a Detour

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Animation and Design Studio Completes Broadcast Promo Campaign From Concept Through to Animation

guru animation studio announces the completion of a six-spot broadcast promo campaign for Canada’s Teletoon network. Produced in collaboration with branding outfit Fishdog, Toronto, with DJ/turntablist Kid Koala providing sound design and music, guru completed the spots from concept through to animation, to promote the network’s primetime young adult-oriented programming block, “The Detour.” Focusing on irreverent, risk-taking animated programs, “The Detour” pushes the envelope of political correctness, making the young—and young-thinking—guru animation studio a perfect branding partner.

guru has collaborated with Teletoon on over 25 award-winning identity bumpers over the past two years. When the tooncaster launched “The Detour” in September 2004 to reach a broader audience, it once again enlisted guru to develop the concept and story behind a new package of on-air promos targeting the teen to young adult set.

Said Renée Glück, Director of Creative Services, Teletoon, “We were looking for a fresh approach to marketing our brand to this challenging demographic. I had absolute confidence that guru’s creative team would be able to capture the imagination of this target audience. Despite having some arguably far-out ideas, guru knew the work had to remain relevant to the core viewership. We’re thrilled with the results.”

Fishdog and Teletoon Canada provided guru with an established color palette of warm reds and yellows and a clear mandate to create a fantasy urban psychospace that would entice viewers. guru decided to play on the “The Detour’s” transportation-themed name, and built a story around the campaign’s toon “mascot,” the geek-chic scooter-bound “D,” who, with his robotic pooch sidekick “B” (a pet that does triple duty as an all-in-one companion/GPS/PDA), inhabit a hectic city environment plagued by traffic and overly aggressive commuters.

“The environment and modern consumption are major preoccupations in this day and age,” explains Frank Falcone, guru’s creative director and co-director of the campaign. “It was natural that the subtext running through these promos should include the pressures the hustle and bustle can put on a downtown dweller’s daily life. I guess you could say we had a bit of an agenda here, but it’s very hidden!”

The animation, inspired by the frenetic energy of cartoons and cartoon culture, is modern yet 1960s mod at the same time, with kitschy typefaces and pop-art influenced characters. In each spot, “D” is always getting into a tight jam. Whether weaving his Lambretta precariously in and out of traffic and causing fender benders in his wake, chasing after a cutie zipping by on a pistachio-hued Vespa, or running into his own doppelganger, “D” does it with panache and style, his loyal companion “B” perpetually in tow.

guru took the initiative for the music by personally reaching out to Montréal-based DJ Kid Koala, who mixed and scratched the ID package’s soundtrack. Said longtime guru collaborator Mark Cutler, who co-directed the campaign with Frank Falcone, “We have always been fans of his music, and I had read his illustrated book ‘Nufonia Must Fall,’ so we knew he was also preoccupied and compelled by the urban experience. This collaboration resulted in a richly layered soundtrack influenced as much by hip-hop as improvisational jazz. Kid Koala’s unconventional music melds perfectly with the animation.”

guru used a software/hardware package consisting of Alias Maya for character modeling and rendering, Adobe After Effects for compositing, and Photoshop for paint work.

About guru

guru is an award-winning animation studio specializing in 3D character animation and design for television and film. The company’s credits include work for Leo Burnett, FCB, Ogilvy & Mather, YTV, Warner Brothers and Hallmark Entertainment. See the current reel and an archive of past work at For more information, please contact: Frank Falcone or Anne Deslauriers at 416 599 4878, frank@gurustudio,

Please Natasha Wang at Raz Public Relations, (310) 450-1482 for information, interview requests or artwork


Company: guru animation studio, Toronto, Canada

Airdate: October 2004

Client:    Teletoon Canada, Toronto, Canada

Title:    :13 “Pack of Wolves”

    :13 “Bike Shop”

    :7 “Doppelganger”

    :7 “Gas Guzzler”

    :13 “Boy Meets Girl”

    :7 “Highway Dance”

Agency:    Fishdog, Toronto, Canada

Creative Director: Gervais Vignola

Teletoon Team:     

Hillary Firestone Vice President, Marketing & Promotions

Renée Glück, Director of Creative Services

Genna Duplessis, Producer    

Production company: guru animation studio, Toronto, Canada

Creative Director: Frank Falcone

Exec Producer: Anne Deslauriers

Directors: Mark Cutler, Frank Falcone

Junior Producer: Holly Nichols

Animators: Dave Calder, Bryan Huo, Taras Primak, Allison Rutland

Lighting: Dave Calder, Tim Dormady, Bryan Huo,Timmy Kan, Taras Primak

Storyboard: Mark Cutler, Frank Falcone

Technique: Computer 3D, Maya, Photoshop, After Effects, Mental Ray

Sound Design: Kid Koala Productions Inc. Kid Koala (Eric San) Composer


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Natasha Wang
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