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Kroger Campaign
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Kroger—the largest supermarket chain in the US—and DDB New York approached Hornet to aid in the launch of a massive company rebrand and continued campaigns thereafter. The goal was to solidify their branding and tell a more inclusive story about their commitment to food that’s “Fresh for Everyone.” Through our director-driven model, we initially enlisted the talents of César Pélizer to bring his one-of-a-kind authorship style to the Kroger ecosystem. From there, we built an iterative production pipeline centered around his vision, yet boosted by the creative support of various other members of our director roster. The result has been a sprawling mix of TV spots, digital campaigns, and in-store and out-of-home assets. 

CREDITS

KROGER: OCADO
Director Dan & Jason
Client Kroger
Production Co Hornet
Managing Director Hana Shimizu
Head of Production Karen Lawler
Head of Creative Development Kristin Labriola
Executive Producer Alex Unick
Production Supervisor Dez Stavracos
Producer Lauren DeFelice
Senior Editor Anita Chao
Assistant Editor Minseok Kim
Production Coordinator Nikki Knight
Pre Production
Storyboard Artist Camillo Clauser
Character Designer Anya Butler
CG
Design Direction César Pelizer
Art Director Angie Son
CG Lead Rich Kim, George Smaragdis
CG Generalist Natalia Perez Melendez, Angeline Rivera, Wenjie Wu, Christina Ku
Rigging Josh Planz
Light & Rendering Jeff Chavez, Ieva Callender, Alvin Bae
Compositor Matthew DeFranco
Animator Chris Mayne, Hee Jin Kim
Matte Painter Wing Luk

Kroger Secret Agent Man & Driver’s Duet

Director Peter Sluszka
Client Kroger
Production Co Hornet
Managing Director Hana Shimizu
Head of Production Karen Lawler
Head of Creative Development Kristin Labriola
Executive Producer Alex Unick
Production Supervisor Dez Stavracos
Producer Hanna Smith–Ide
Senior Editor Anita Chao
Editor Minseok Kim
Production Coordinator Nola Donkin

Pre Production
Storyboard Artist Steph Dere, Camillo Clauser
Designer Anya Butler, Ollie Scott
Production
Design Direction César Pelizer
Creative Director Corey Langelotti
Art Director Angie Son
CG Lead Natalia Perez Melendez
CG Generalist Angeline Rivera
Secret Agent Man
Modeler Angeline Rivera, Wenjie Wu
Rigging Josh Planz
Previs Hee Jin Kim
Animators Hee Jin Kim, Winnie Feng, Rob Sommers
Look Dev Wenjie Wu, Dan Lazaar, Ieva Callender
Lighting Dan Lazaar, Ieva Callender
Compositing Natalia Perez Melendez
Driver’s Duet
Modeler Constance Bensen, Enrique R
Rigging Josh Planz
Previs Chris Mayne
Animators Meg Oswalt, Chris Mayne
Matte Painter Wing Luk
Look Dev Ieva Callender, Jeff Chavez
Lighting Ieva Callender, Jeff Chavez
Compositing Ieva Callender, Jeff Chavez
Agency DDB New York

KROGER QUALITY MILK & A GAME

Director César Pelizer
Client Kroger
Production Co Hornet
Managing Director Hana Shimizu
Head of Production Karen Lawler
Head of Creative Development Kristin Labriola
Executive Producer Alex Unick
Production Supervisor Dez Stavracos
Producer Hanna Smith-Ide
Senior Editor Anita Chao
Editor Dylan Leslie
Editor Minseok Kim
Production Coordinator Nikki Knight

CG Lead Natalia Perez Melendez
CG Generalists Angeline Rivera, Natalia Perez Melendez, Wenjie Wu
Compositors Emily Mai, Matt DeFranco

KROGER CHEZ MOLLY
Director Yves Geleyn
Creative Design Cesar Pelizer
Client Kroger
Executive Producer Alex Unick
Producer Hanna Smith-Ide
Head of Creative Development Kristin Labriola
Senior Editor Anita Chao
Art Director Corey Langelotti
CG Lead Michael Lampe
Storyboards Steph Dere
Editor Matthew Sandager
Assistant Editor Minseok Kim, Olivia Sack
Animator Meg Oswalt, Jerred North, Joerg Volk
Particle Animation Dan Moreno
Rigger Ohad Bracha
Modeler Angeline Rivera, Constance Benson
Designers Ollie Scott, Alison Abitbol, John Nevarez
Lighting/Look Dev Will Atkin, Natalia Perez
Lighting/Compositing Cody Chen, Dragon Billon, Erik Rasmussen
Production Coordinator Nikki Knight

SHELL
Directors Dan & Jason
Client Kroger
Creative Design César Pelizer
Executive Producer Alex Unick
Producer Hanna Smith-Ide
Head of Creative Development Kristin Labriola
Head of Production Karen Lawler
Senior Editor Anita Chao
Art Director Corey Langelotti
CG Lead George Smaragdis, Natalia Perez
Storyboards Sami Healy
Editor Matthew Sandager
Editor Minseok Kim
Animators Hee Jin Kim, Tom Shek
Rigger Josh Planz
Modelers Angie Rivera
Lighting/Look Dev Chrisy Baek, Jamil Primas, Natalia Perez
Lighting/Compositing Cody Chen
Production Coordinator Nikki Knight

THANKSGIVING
Director Yves Geleyn
Creative Design Cesar Pelizer
Client Kroger
Executive Producer Alex Unick
Producer Hanna Smith-Ide
Head of Creative Development Kristin Labriola
Senior Editor Anita Chao
Art Director Corey Langelotti
CG Lead George Smaragdis
Storyboards Steph Dere, Peter Foltz
Editor Matthew Sandager
Editor Minseok Kim, Olivia Sack, Hyeseung Kim
Animator Meg Oswalt, Jerred North, Hee Jin Kim, Tom Sheck, Jeff Kim, Chris Mayne
Rigger Josh Planz, Ohad Bracha
Modeler Angeline Rivera, Constance Benson
Lighting/Look Dev Cody Chen, Natalia Perez
Lighting/Compositing Jeff (Dragon) Billion
Production Coordinator Nikki Knight

KROGER HOLIDAY WALTZ
Directors Yves Geleyn & Cesar Pelizer 
Client Kroger
Executive Producer Alex Unick
Producer Hanna Smith-Ide
Head of Creative Development Kristin Labriola
Senior Editor Anita Chao
Art Director Corey Langelotti
CG Lead Michael Lampe
Storyboards Steph Dere
Editor Minseok Kim, Olivia Sack
Animator Jordan Blit, Tom Sheck, Meg Oswalt, Rob Somers, Hee Jin Kim
Rigger Josh Planz, Ohad Bracha, Kathy Li
Modeler Angeline Rivera, Constance Benson
Lighting/Look Dev Will Atkin, Natalia Perez
Lighting/Compositing Ali Jamali
Production Coordinator Nikki Knight

ANTHEM

Production Co Hornet
Executive Producer Alex Unick
Head of Production Sang-Jin Bae
Development Producer Kristin Labriola
Producer Lucas Ajemian
Senior Editor Anita Chao
Assistant Editor Marianne Hill, Sam Stulin
Edit Intern Hyeseung Kim

PRE PRODUCTION
Storyboard Artist Andres Padilla
Designers Matt Herring, Milo Targett, Enrique Vazquez

CG
CG Lead & Art Director Corey Langelotti
Modeling & Texturing Angeline Rivera, Natalia Perez, Enrique Vazquez, Jamil Primas, Christine Kim
Rigging Jared Eng, Tyler Fotenos
Lighting & Rendering Jamil Primas, Natalia Perez, Christine Kim
Compositors Jamil Primas, Natalia Perez, Christine Kim, Chimin Yang, Emily Mai
Lighting and Texturing Linda Zhou
Animators HeeJIn Kim, Paolo Cogliati, Anderson Ko

AUDIO
Sound Design and Mix Honey Mix

AGENCY
Head of Account Management Jeff Prince
Account Director Jenai Richardson
Account Supervisor Madeline McDermott
Account Executive Danny Rodriguez
Chief Creative Officer Lisa Topol
Chief Creative Officer Derek Barnes
Group Creative Director Katie Jensen
Group Creative Director Ani Munoz
Creative Director Paulo Junger
Head of Art Cristina Rodriquez
Chief Production Officer David Fisher 
Integrated Producer Elizabeth Stebner
Senior Producer Bree Hopenwasser
Production Assistant Maya McGauley
Editor Melina Tenenzapf 
Editor William Zitser

CLIENT Kroger

HOLIDAY

Production Co Hornet
Executive Producer Alex Unick
Head of Production Sang-Jin Bae
Development Producer Kristin Labriola
Producer Lucas Ajemian
Senior Editor Anita Chao
Assistant Editor Marianne Hill, Sam Stulin
Edit Intern Hyeseung Kim

PRE PRODUCTION
Storyboard Artist Andres Padilla
Designers Matt Herring, Milo Targett, Enrique Vazquez

CG
CG Lead & Art Director Corey Langelotti
Modeling & Texturing Angeline Rivera, Natalia Perez, Enrique Vazquez, Jamil Primas, Christine Kim
Rigging Jared Eng, Tyler Fotenos
Lighting & Rendering Jamil Primas, Natalia Perez, Christine Kim
Compositors Jamil Primas, Natalia Perez, Christine Kim, Chimin Yang, Emily Mai
Lighting and Texturing Linda Zhou
Animators HeeJIn Kim, Paolo Cogliati, Anderson Ko

AUDIO
Sound Design and Mix Honey Mix

AGENCY
Head of Account Management Jeff Prince
Account Director Jenai Richardson
Account Supervisor Madeline McDermott
Account Executive Danny Rodriguez
Chief Creative Officer Lisa Topol
Chief Creative Officer Derek Barnes
Group Creative Director Katie Jensen
Group Creative Director Ani Munoz
Creative Director Paulo Junger
Head of Art Cristina Rodriquez
Chief Production Officer David Fisher
Integrated Producer Elizabeth Stebner
Production Assistant Maya McGauley
Editor Melina Tenenzapf

CLIENT Kroger

ZERO HUNGER ZERO WASTE

Production Co Hornet
Executive Producer Alex Unick
Head of Production Sang-Jin Bae
Development Producer Kristin Labriola
Producer Lucas Ajemian
Senior Editor Anita Chao
Assistant Editor Marianne Hill, Sam Stulin
Edit Intern Hyeseung Kim

PRE PRODUCTION
Storyboard Artist Andres Padilla
Designers Matt Herring, Milo Targett, Enrique Vazquez

CG
CG Lead & Art Director Corey Langelotti
Modeling & Texturing Angeline Rivera, Natalia Perez, Enrique Vazquez, Jamil Primas, Christine Kim
Rigging Jared Eng, Tyler Fotenos
Lighting & Rendering Jamil Primas, Natalia Perez, Christine Kim
Compositors Jamil Primas, Natalia Perez, Christine Kim, Chimin Yang, Emily Mai
Lighting and Texturing Linda Zhou
Animators HeeJIn Kim, Paolo Cogliati, Anderson Ko

AUDIO
Sound Design and Mix Honey Mix

AGENCY
Head of Account Management Jeff Prince
Account Director Jenai Richardson
Account Supervisor Madeline McDermott
Account Executive Danny Rodriguez
Chief Creative Officer Lisa Topol
Chief Creative Officer Derek Barnes
Group Creative Director Katie Jensen
Group Creative Director Ani Munoz
Creative Director Paulo Junger
Head of Art Cristina Rodriquez
Chief Production Officer David Fisher
Integrated Producer Elizabeth Stebner
Senior Producer Bree Hopenwasser
Production Assistant Maya McGauley
Editor Melina Tenenzapf

CLIENT Kroger

AEROBICS

Director César Pelizer
Client Kroger
Executive Producer Alex Unick
Producer Lucas Ajemian
Head of Creative Development Kristin Labriola
Editor Anita Chao
CG Lead & Art Director Corey Langelotti
Storyboards Stephanie Dere, Sami Healy, Ty Enos
Assistant Editor Dylan Leslie
Animation Lead Andrew Boccio
Animator Hee Jin Kim,Tony Treviaso
Rigger Josh Planz
Modeler Angeline Rivera
Layout/Look Dev Elizabeth Ku
Lighting/Look Dev Jamil Primas, Natalia Perez
Lighting/Compositing Christine Kim
Compositor Jeff Billon
Production Coordinator Lotty Vique
Production Assistant Riley Spencer

GET LOW

Director César Pelizer
Client Kroger
Executive Producer Alex Unick
Producer Hanna Smith-Ide
Head of Creative Development Kristin Labriola
Senior Editor Anita Chao
CG Lead & Art Director Corey Langelotti
Storyboards Sami Healy
Assistant Editor Olivia Sack, Minseok Kim
Animator Tom Sheck, Meg Oswalt, Andrew Boccio
Rigger Josh Planz
Modeler Angeline Rivera
Lighting/Look Dev Jamil Primas, Susie Hong, Natalia Perez
Lighting/Compositing Christine Kim, Rich Kim, Chrisy Baek, Michael Lampe, Ali Jamali
Production Coordinator Nikki Knight, Riley Spencer

PAUL TO THE WALL

Directors Dan & Jason
Client Kroger
Creative Design César Pelizer
Executive Producer Alex Unick
Producer Hanna Smith-Ide
Head of Creative Development Kristin Labriola
Senior Editor Anita Chao
Art Director Corey Langelotti
CG Lead George Smaragdis, Natalia Perez
Storyboards Gabe Lin, Sami Healy, Ty Enos
Editor Matthew Sandager
Editor Minseok Kim
Animators Chris Mayne, Meg Oswalt, Tom Shek
Rigger Josh Planz"Modelers Angeline Rivera, Constance Bensen
Lighting/Look Dev Chrisy Baek, Jamil Primas, Natalia Perez, Will Atkin
Lighting/Compositing Dragon Billon
Production Coordinator Nikki Knight

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Read Less-
Ocado - Directed by Dan & Jason
"Secret Agent Man" - Directed By Peter Sluszka
"Drivers Duet" - Directed by Peter Sluszka
E-Commerce "Aerobics" - Directed by Cesar Pelizer
A Game - Directed by Cesar Pelizer
Quality Milk - Directed by Cesar Pelizer
Shell Directed by Dan & Jason
Chez Molly directed by Yves Geleyn
Paul to the Wall - Directors Dan & Jason
Holiday Waltz - Directed by Yves Geleyn and Cesar Pelizer
Thanksgiving Director Cut - Directed by Yves Geleyn
Black Friday - Socks for Everyone - Directed by Dan and Jason
ChefBot How To - Directed by Cesar Pelizer
Value Get Low - Directed by Cesar Pelizer
Table for Nine - Directed by Cesar Pelizer
Anthem :30 - Directed by Cesar Pelizer
PR Stills - Directed by Cesar Pelizer
PR Stills - Directed by Cesar Pelizer
Signs by - Directed by Cesar Pelizer
Signs by - Directed by Cesar Pelizer
360 CAMPAIGN

In terms of propagation, the scope of the initial rebrand was staggering. There were in-store print materials, out-of-home billboards, rebranded shopping bags and employee aprons, social media assets, and a 30-second TV anthem spot. In later roll-outs, Hornet’s in-house team of CG animators worked tirelessly to deliver multiple 30-second spots with a wide range of initiatives and promos on display. Some have been holiday-themed like “Kroger Thanksgiving.” Some have been socially conscious PSA’s like “Zero Hunger | Zero Waste.” Others have ranged from Black Friday promotions to even a CG character and promo film for an interactive AI Twitter bot called ChefBot that can analyze food ingredients and spit out personalized recipes.

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KROJI'S

Cesar's commitment to capturing the diversity of Kroger's everyday customers led to the creation of a sprawling mosaic of CG characters. During pre-production, Hornet and DDB worked iteratively back-and-forth to land upon a set of characters that were completely distinctive, original, and lovable. These characters—these big, buoyant, beyond memorable characters—became affectionately known as “Kroji’s”, or Kroger emojis. Since the campaign's beginning, hundreds of Kroji's have been created.

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“The idea was to create a range of recognizable Kroger characters that would celebrate diversity in a strong, bold, colorful style. During pre-production, I took several trips to my local supermarket just to observe the people around me.”

-César Pelizer

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"We wanted to represent everyday people. Once the project was released, it was so fun seeing how people on social media interacted with the campaign by tagging one another and asking, ‘Is that you?!’. That, for me, is the best feedback I could have asked for."

-César Pelizer

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“The Kroji animation features a lovable cast of characters to represent Kroger customers, associates, and communities in an inclusive, relatable, optimistic, and fun way.”

-Kroger brand attributes

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