2022 Ironman World Champion Gustav Iden and Olympic Champion Kristian Blummenfelt, the best-known, most photographed and fan-friendly tri-athletes in the world, are used to fighting. In On’s latest campaign, Iden and Blummenfelt are transformed into Norsemen of (Triathlon) legend and become the fearsome Viking warriors “Kristian the Unstoppable” and “Gustav the Great” in a short, Manga-style animation produced by Passion Pictures.
The project was led by Creative Director Simon Brotherson and Shanghai-born Yibi Hu (Future Power Station), who directed the film, which was produced by London’s Passion Pictures. The animation draws inspiration from 1990’s Batman and Robin cartoons.
The triathletes-turned-Vikings must find the flame burning within themselves to succeed in a fantasy realm that includes formidable opponents and obstacles. With Norse gods watching on, sea serpents and sirens try to lure Gustav and Kristian off the course, mysterious charioteers give chase, a living forest stands in their way, and a perilous run amid the clouds has the Tri-Kings pushing themselves to unknown limits in pursuit of victory.
“With Tri-Kings, we continue our tradition of distinction with a world-class animation and live-action storytelling cross-over”, On Sports Marketing Lead Gessica Giulini says. “We drew on all the epic drama of Norse mythology to create something that breaks free from the conventions of sports content, redefining the perception of triathlon through an authentic and fun perspective, hence captivating a much wider audience.”
“There was so much content out there about Kristian and Gustav, but most of it was scientific content – about their so-called Norwegian Method of training,” Creative Director Simon Brotherson explains. “So we said: ‘Let’s have some fun.’ Gustav and Kristian have been referred to as Vikings before – and they’re kind of fierce. So why not fully embrace that theme?”
Brotherson and renowned Animation Director Yibi Hu (Future Power Station) co-wrote the film and joined forces to bring their vision to life. The 2D animation process was combined with 3D motion capture technology to push the project’s technical and creative boundaries, resulting in a spectacular film. In the same innovative way, old Norse mythology and animation aesthetics were seamlessly merged with the topic of triathlon, resulting in a fresh take and artistic choices that appeal to young audiences.
In the end, Kristian and Gustav cross the finish line side-by-side… and are ready to go again, much like in real life. They have been training partners for years, share the same coach and hometown, and often go head-to-head in races. The idea was for the film to leave fans waiting to see what will happen at the ultimate showdown in Paris in 2024.
This professional campaign titled 'Tri-Kings' was published in Switzerland in September, 2023. It was created for the brand: On, by ad agency: PASSION Pictures. This Film medium campaign is related to the Sportswear industry and contains 1 media asset. It was submitted 3 months ago.
Client: On AG
Producer: Gessica Giulini, On
Executive Producer: Feliciano Robayna, On
Creative Director: Simon Brotherson, Brother&Son
Producer: Olivia Hirshberg
Production Company: Passion Pictures
Animation Director, Art Director, co-writer: Future Power Station
Producer: Louise Simpson
Executive Producer: Kitty Turley
Head of Production: Juliette Stern