Light as Air

Clif Thins video campaign launch assets.

A look at how we crafted a video marketing campaign to help Clif establish themselves firmly in the snack space.



Creative direction
Producing services


3D modeling
Video production
Reference photography


Video editing
Motion graphics
Color grading


Clif made a name for themselves selling energy bars made to be eaten while hiking, or after a workout. Clif Thins was a departure, meant to be a snacking product that tasted indulgent but didn’t come with the hit to your health like a lot of other products in the space.

The distinct form factor and health stats led Clif’s creative team to design a world around the theme, Light as Air.

The concept played up the thin form of the bars and metaphorically hinted at the light calorie count and sugar content by having the bars float as if weightless, twisting and turning in the air.

The challenge for us then, was to find a way to realize this vision in the most efficient and versatile way possible, while still allowing for the fact that the product was still in development and the final look of the real bars and packaging were still being finessed.


When we sat down to solidify our approach, two options came to the forefront. We would either shoot 360º photography of the real bars to create building blocks that we could use in the campaign videos, or we would create 3D models of the bars and wrappers to be used in  the same way, but might allow more flexibility if for example the packaging artwork needed changing. 

We ended up deciding on 3D models. We took high-resolution reference images of the pre-launch bars to match the texture on the virtual models. The shape of the bars wasn't finalized yet, so the Clif team directed us to use the packaging photos as a reference for how the production bars would be shaped.

While the 3D models were being finished, we had a studio shoot to capture the hand movements we’d need for the social videos. Once we had all the elements ready to go, we composited the real hands with the 3D bars and wrappers to recreate the scenarios in Clif’s storyboards.


The regional launch of Clif Thins was a success. When they decided to expand the product’s availability nationally, both the bars and wrappers looked different enough from those in our initial campaign to warrant modifying the 3D assets to more closely match the final look. 

This was when we breathed a sigh of relief having opted to create the assets in 3D rather than actually photographing them. Thankfully, all that was needed was to modify the existing models and replace them in our working files.

Clif Thins

Product Video

Chocolate Chip

Flavor Social Video

Clif Thins

All Flavors Social Video

Chocolate Peanut Brownie

Flavor Social Video

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut

Flavor Social Video

Huge thanks on this project to the wonderful creative team at Clif, our amazing partners at K8C Studio, and the always reliable, Fox and Lion Digital for making this campaign a success.

"Our go-to agency"
Axes is our go-to agency for a full range of video and production projects. They consistently deliver top-notch quality work and are a reliable, collaborative partner–like an extension of our internal creative team. They bring a calm, positive attitude to everything we work on together, and I know I can rely on them to solve any challenges that come up while always delivering on time and on budget.
Julia Mitchell, Creative Program Manager, Clif Bar & Co.


Mackenzie Mathis

Production supervision, video post-production

Ashley Andrews

Concept design, world-building, social strategy

Kate Chuang

Concept design, world-building, social strategy

Brian Ho

Art Direction

Julia Mitchell

Project management

Brandon Hall

3D modeling and texturing

Tony Hocevar

3D lighting and animation

Dan Juenemann

Studio lighthing

Alex Harvey


Natsumi Mori

Hand modeling

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