Hilarious Ad About Dirty, Dirty Money (kinda NSFW)

(WARNING: Not meant for kids, or for adult viewing while in prudish work environments). This brilliant animated video ad for the German financial services firm Bontrust was produced by the creative firm Optix (Andreas Pohl, Creative Director). From the notes at a YouTube url where it's been reposted:

When the agency came to us with the idea to show the increase of money on the international market in connection with some kind of sexual relation, we were very enthusiastic. No doubt, we had to do this!

The goal was to create a world completely made out of banknotes and explicit characters that stood for themselves. So we spent many days and nights doing a lot of research finding the right objects such as furniture, buildings, bridges, certain landscapes, clothes, etc.

This procedure was followed by style frames in 2D to evoke the right feeling, tone and look for the film while having a special origami look in the back of our minds. After we were done creating rough animatics, we could start to fine tune our characters, as well as the different scenarios of the spot. Our final task was to blend all the scenes, camera tracks and sounds together.

All characters (Lincoln, Mao and the unknown lady) were created as 3D characters in Softimage XSI. Therefore, our designing team engaged in a lot of origami studying. To get used to the technique, we spent a lot of time with uncountable folding sessions. We took dollar and pound notes and folded Origami figures until our hands bled.

Then we were able to start with the digital modeling. Each character received an individual animation rig. With this digital skeleton we defined positions, rotations as well as the movements of the particulars.

Looks like there are a couple of related posts with more on the "making of" at Motionographer, along with links to Flickr sets of production stills: Making of "Geldvermehrung" ("Increase In Currency"), and Optix Digital for Bontrust and Inlingua (Thanks, Metzger!)