RTO+P Welcomes New Creatives with Customized Pez Dispensers

by James Thompson

Santa Claus, Mickey Mouse, Spiderman – these are just some of the cultural icons that have had their images made into Pez dispensers. Now you can add RTO+P creative and art director Ron Villacarillo and associate creative director and copywriter Ben Levy to this select group of personalities. To welcome its newest hires, RTO+P 3D printed their likenesses into Pez dispensers, which is an immensely creative way to introduce new creatives to the culture at RTO+P.

RTO+P’s president and CCO Steve Red and developer/maker Brian McMicken were kind enough to take time to answer a few questions AdForum's James Thompson had about this unique way to celebrate the addition of new talent to the agency’s team.

AdForum: Every agency has a unique culture and creative philosophy that influences and, in many cases, defines its work. What about the culture at RTO+P led to the idea of celebrating new hires by turning them into Pez dispensers? That had to be quite a conversation.

Steve Red: The Maker mentality is a big part of our creative process and culture at RTO+P and is integrated into everything from pitches to proof of concept. The talent that we attract are hybrids and have personal interests in everything from animation to welding to watch modding, so we love the idea of welcoming them in to tap their Maker spirit from day one.

AdForum: Anything specific on why Pez?

Steve Red: Nah. Just because.

AdForum: RTO+P made the Pez dispensers using a 3D printer. What were some of the challenges of taking human faces, and heads, and bringing them to life using this evolving technology?

Brian McMicken: Modeling in 3D is challenging in and of itself. And of course you can't have a 3D print without a 3D model. Modeling for print is also a bit different than modeling for animation. We used maya to model the heads using the clandestine 2D reference photos of the guys. Some challenges we ran into were keeping the poly count low and combining the model of the head with the model of the mechanism that fastens to the dispenser so that everything fit and functioned correctly.

AdForum: Has RTO+P used 3D printing in other similar capacities?

Steve Red: The 3D printer is one of our favorite new toys, we have used it for a few projects including one very cool new business pitch.

AdForum: The Pez dispensers were made in the likeness of RTO+P’s newest employees, Ron Villacarillo and Ben Levy. What were their reactions upon being presented with the Pez dispensers, and which flavors did you use to represent them?

Steve Red: They were blown away. Cherry flavored, of course.

AdForum: This is an idea that clearly has a very human element to it. Who was the creative force behind the idea – and when, where, and how did this individual become so enamored with Pez?

Steve Red: We never attribute ideas to a single individual, but we do know that our ECD Steve O'Connell has always had an obsession for small fruity pellets being dispensed through a plastic character's neck.