M&Ms debuts live-action motion capture Green M&M

NEW YORK M&Ms and advertising company BBDO, New York, have developed a new technology that will allow an actress wearing a motion capture suit to be interviewed live as an animated character.

The Green M&M will make her debut Wednesday, with a Valentine’s Day tie-in for the product, appearing on 25 national and local talk shows, interacting with and being interviewed by hosts in a unique combination of technology and media. The satellite media tour, in which Green appears with presenters alongside Chris Harrison, host of The Bachelor, will begin in the morning and run until noon. The holiday push also will include bags of all-green M&Ms emphasizing the candy maker’s claims of the color’s long-time rumors of being an aphrodisiac, and a Web site.

“The technology can put the character in any live situation, walking the red carpet, into the pit of a NASCAR race,” says Mars North America spokesman Ryan Bowling. “We don’t have to worry about free rendering the character; this technology allows us to take advantage of short lead opportunities as well as putting the character in environments we couldn’t before.”

Bringing the Green M&M to life are a proprietary, Mars-owned motion control system, voice recognition and Bluetooth technologies. Mars’ icon—an actress wearing a motion capture suit and a headset—will work alongside an animator manipulating the character’s facial expressions with a joystick. That footage will at some point be joined via satellite with the main feed and broadcast as a whole. 

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