Although animation has been a part of Nepali commercials, they have been quite primitively done. This was Nepal's first fully animated, indigenously- crafted one.
"We came up with the concept of using a rhino and built on the idea to create something that represented the bank," says Kiran Joshi of Incessant Rain, the company Ace hired to make the commercial.
An ex-Disney animator, Joshi thinks that animated advertisements, like that of Ace, offer a lucrative marketing alternative to companies not just because of their appeal but also because of their longer market life.
"The response to the commercial has been absolutely great," beams Siddhant Pandey, CEO of Ace Bank, "the rhino is now our mascot and we look forward to coming up with a series of such advertisements."
At Incessant Rain computer animators are already hard at work for their next projects for Mercantile and the UN's World Food Programme. The company set up shop in Nepal and have outsourced animation deals from US studios like Disney and Columbia Pictures to Nepal.
The trend for animated ads is yet to really take hold in Nepal, although budget may be a limiting factor. But with Ace's rhino making a mark, more companies are likely to follow suit. The good news is they no longer have to run to India to produce 3-D animated commercials.
"The market has opened up since then," says Prabhakar Chettri of Firefly, "we now have more people approaching us for animations." Firefly's work also includes the liquid animation for Chocofun's advertisement and for U&Me Cheese rings.
"There is an increased interest among the youth to get into animation," says Indra Lal Balami of Maya Animation Academy, "there are many self-taught independent artists?the market needs to tap into their talent." But animation is yet to be taken as a serious career option here and for that to happen, the business has to grow.
"Animation is an expensive and time-consuming process," explains Suyogya Tuladhar of Transcube International, a computer graphics and animation company, "but the companies here want fast results at low prices." He says that given the time and the budget, Nepali animators can produce work that is at par with international standards.