2022 Ironman World Champion Gustav Iden and Olympic Champion Kristian Blummenfelt are featured in the latest campaign On that sees the pair 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”, said On Sports Marketing Lead Gessica Giulini.
“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.