Whether training for a cycling World Championship or in the trenches concepting design and illustration for iconic animated commercials like Coca-Cola’s “Happiness Factory” or “Heist,” Psyop director and co-founder Kylie Matulick is all in. She and her directing partner Todd Mueller have breathed life into many intricate productions, including groundbreaking spots for Coca-Cola, Nintendo, Nike, Twinings, Bombay Sapphire, Cricket Wireless and more, all of which standout for their entertaining stories, cascade of colorful graphic action and undeniable ability to make viewers feel.
Kylie grew up in Australia and studied at the Swinburne University School of Design in Melbourne. She ventured to the states in the ‘90s, was part of the creative juggernaut of MTV and freelanced at various design studios in New York before moving into storytelling and motion. In 2000, she was one of five co-founders of Psyop which started in a small storefront in New York’s East Village and became an industry-leading integrated production company with offices in both LA and NY. Kylie has been instrumental developing Psyop’s globally renowned aesthetic and culture of collaboration, team effort and longstanding relationships.
Among the first to break through in commercials as a director/designer, her work combines live-action, design and animation to create magical worlds. Recent highlights include Travel Oregon’s “Only Slightly Exaggerated,” via Wieden + Kennedy Portland. The ad highlights the natural wonders of the state while ‘slightly’ exaggerating reality to depict a fantastical destination where whales swim through clouds and a caterpillar rides a bike on a trail in the woods. In Aldi’s Christmas spot via McCann Manchester, a photo real carrot wants to meet Santa, so we watch his journey traversing a beautifully filmed Christmas feast. He finally stops to catch 40 winks then wakes up to his dream come true – he’s the Christmas carrot dangling from the harness of the head reindeer who flies Santa’s sleigh on Christmas.
While her work has been a key piece in accolades including Clio, Annie, AICP, Ciclope and D&AD honors, it is perhaps Kylie and directing partner Todd’s ongoing collaboration with W+K and Coca-Cola that has drawn the most attention. Coca-Cola’s “Happiness Factory” (2007) is the journey of a Coke bottle making its way through a Coca-Cola vending machine into a fantasy land full of wondrous characters and spectacular landscapes before coming out the other end. It was nominated for an Emmy Award and won a Cannes Silver Lion. And Coca-Cola “Heist” (2009) features the insect kingdom banning together to perform an elaborate heist of a Coke from a napping picnicker, with memorable moments like the picnicker reaching for his Coke and finding it’s actually a flock of butterflies mimicking the bottle so he doesn’t suspect the real one being lifted. “Heist” won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Commercial.
With a motto of “work hard and enjoy what you do,” Kylie’s career epitomizes the limitless potential of a passionate and focused creator.
She is based in Los Angeles and recently became a Gold Medallist, 2 Silvers and 1 Bronze at the Masters Class Track Cycling World Championship in 2018.