Cactus reimagines CommunityAmerica Credit Union campaign featuring Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes

Denver-Based Creative Agency pivots to animation with the help of Nexus Studios for new campaign breaking during NFL Season opener

LENEXA, KS (September 17, 2020) — Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and 2019 Super Bowl MVP, is known for his risk-taking play on the gridiron, but he wasn’t taking any chances with Covid-19. That included a scheduled live-action commercial shoot for Kansas City-based CommunityAmerica Credit Union. That’s why Denver-based creative agency Cactus made the pivot to animation, bringing in Nexus Studios, Los Angeles/London and director Robertino Zambrano to help reimagine their creative concept as an elegantly illustrated look at the evolution of Mahomes as a player and Kansas City region writ large.

The spot, entitled “Rising Into Something Greater,” will be airing throughout the NFL season. Watch it on YouTube here.

Inspired by the look of the Academy Award-winning short “Dear Basketball,” directed by Kobe Bryant, the 30-second black and white 2D, pencil sketch animation style, imbued only with red (the Chiefs’ color) and the CommunityAmerica logo, communicates elegance, beauty and power all at once. The copy, voiced by Mahomes, connects the narrative dots between his rise with the Chiefs to the rise of the people and community of Kansas City.

The shift in strategy, however unscheduled it was, actually helped make the work better, says Brian Watson, Cactus’ Executive Creative Director. “We were already at the point where we had our original batch of live-action concepts ready to present the client when Covid-19 shutdown hit,” Watson says. “At that point, no one knew what the next few months would hold, but we knew we needed to develop a contingency plan. We created an entirely new batch of concepts but ultimately ended up going with the same script from our original idea, but with a completely reimagined way to bring it to life visually. As much as we liked the original vision for the spot, we ended up feeling like the animated version of the spot was even stronger.”

Watson adds, “It’s about the power of what can happen when people come together and support one another through life’s changes and challenges because that’s exactly what CommunityAmerica exists to do for their members and their community. I can’t imagine a more powerful and important message to be putting out into the world right now.”

Creative Credits:

Client: CommunityAmerica Credit Union
Project: “Rising Into Something Greater” (:30)
First Airdate: Sept. 10, 2020

Agency: Cactus, Denver, Co
Executive Creative Director: Brian Watson
Art Director: Page Halter
Copywriter: Will Patterson

Production/Animation: Nexus Studios, Los Angeles
Director: Robertino Zambrano
Executive Producer: Juliet Tierney

About CommunityAmerica Credit Union

CommunityAmerica Credit Union is a full-service financial institution with more than 260,000 member-owners nationwide and more than $4 billion in assets, ranking it among the nation’s 100 largest credit unions. Based on deposits, CommunityAmerica is among the top 10 Kansas City-based financial institutions and the #1 ‘Best Place to Work’ in Kansas City, named by the Kansas City Business Journal in 2020. There are more than 30 CommunityAmerica branches in the greater Kansas City metro area, and one in St. Louis.

CommunityAmerica serves individuals and businesses, providing a full suite of financial products and services ranging from checking and savings to a variety of loan products to commercial banking. They also offer wealth management, retirement planning, private banking and insurance. CommunityAmerica is among the top mortgage providers in Kansas City based on loan volume. Its commitment to state-of-the-art technology enables a seamless banking experience for members, whether banking in branches or remotely. As a not-for-profit financial institution, CommunityAmerica offers highly competitive rates on deposits, loans and fees with fewer, lower or none at all. Other convenient products and services include Sunday hours, a network of more than 30,000 ATMs, 24-hour online banking and a top-rated mobile banking app. Want to become a member? You simply need to live in the Kansas City metropolitan area or have family members who do. For more information, visit

About Cactus

Cactus is a Denver-based creative agency that’s dedicated to growing the brands that help people thrive. With a staff of 50, Cactus is built on the belief that small agency creativity and ingenuity can actually help solve the world’s biggest problems. Our size gives us the freedom to work only with the companies, causes and products we truly believe in – the ones that make the world a better place to live, work and play. Celebrating 30 years in June 2020, Cactus has developed deep expertise in the area of shaping consumer belief & behavior – combining principles of behavioral psychology with creativity and innovation to design for clients’ desired business outcomes.


Amanda Turk
Manager, Corporate Communications

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