Patrick Mahomes quarterbacks animated spot for regional credit union

Pencil-sketch technique replaces live-action footage due to COVID-19.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the star of an animated spot for CommunityAmerica Credit Union -- even though he never appeared on set.

Mahomes was rendered in animation using a pencil-sketch technique inspired by the short film Dear Basketball, which won the late Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant an Academy Award. Denver-based agency Cactus created the CommunityAmerica spot. 

The firm had planned a live-action shoot, but as COVID-19 stalled ordinary life, the ad was reimagined in animation. 

“We were already at the point where we had our original batch of live-action concepts ready to present to the client when the COVID-19 shutdown hit,” said Brian Watson, Cactus’ executive creative director, in a statement. “At that point, no one knew what the next few months would hold, but we knew we needed to develop a contingency plan. We created an entirely new batch of concepts but ultimately ended up going with the same script from our original idea, but with a completely reimagined way to bring it to life visually.”

The animation follows a football scene-to-scene. Then the action settles on places of business helped by the Lenexa, Kansas-based financial institution. The concept suggests community pride, continuity and economic and personal development. 

The animation is starkly expressed in black, white and splashes of the Kansas City Chiefs’ signature red. It first aired during the world champion Chiefs’ NFL opener against the Houston Texans on Thursday night. 

Mahomes, who has appeared in live-action spots for CommunityAmerica, does the voiceover in the spot. 

Nexus Studios provided animation services and Robertino Zambrano directed.

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