Will they have your back? The right creative agency will keep your brand’s best interest in mind.
When it comes to choosing a creative agency for your advertising, branding and design needs, personality fit counts for a lot. After all, you’ll be working closely with these people in high stakes, deadline-driven situations. The fit can be determined almost instantly when you meet them in person, but in the mean time, how do you narrow your search? Keep in mind the following:
1. Size vs. Value: The bigger you go, the more cooks you get in the kitchen. This can be a good thing: many of the large multi-service advertising agencies have a team of strategists and creative directors that can provide great ideas and insight. You’ll be paying for that expertise and it takes time to get your message heard by a large team. Keep in mind that even the large agencies usually still outsource the animation work, so you’ll be paying a mark-up on those services. You can go directly to an animator to get the work done, but generally you’ll be providing a lot of the prep work, from strategic planning to copy writing and audio. Medium-sized creative firms generally offer strategic branding and campaign services, experienced producers and a team of creative minds who are all used to delivering the whole enchilada quickly and to budget. Smaller agencies may impress you with lower pricing, but beware they have the adequate resources to handle the full project. They often outsource much of the work to keep overhead costs down, and can get caught if their go-to partners are busy with other projects.
Do you want to be the first? Your project could be a win/win or a big mistake.
2. Guinea Pig Pitfalls: It’s easy for creative companies to become experts in a particular style or step in the creative process. After all, doing good work leads to more of the same work. So when you’re shopping around for a creative partner, make sure they have a solid track record of doing the kind of work you need. They may lower their bid for the project because the work would provide a nice addition to their portfolio or could be a strong case study for them. Maybe this is a win/win. Or maybe you’re gambling with your limited marketing dollars.
The best creative agencies don’t just tell you what you want to hear.
3. Timing is Everything: Is your timeline realistic with the expectations you’re setting for the work? This question is valid when planning any project really, but in the creative world, a misalignment in timeline expectations happens a lot. A creative agency can turn around a really complex project quickly, but not if you need time for them to incorporate your notes and test it with a market sample. They’ll likely say yes to the project, but be open to considering any recommendations you get regarding adjusting the scope to maximize quality and effectiveness. The best of the best pride themselves on making great creative work for their clients – that also drives bottom line results.
Start shopping around early so you’ve already vetted creative agencies before your boss drops that fantastic ‘we-can’t-afford-not-to-take-advantage-of-this-opportunity!’ campaign idea on your desk. You’ll be glad you did.
Started shopping already? Watch this.
Adventure Tale Paying it Forward to Help Support Literacy
Vancouver, BC – With the launch today of “A Sweet Story,” local company Sweet Story Entertainment Inc. jumps into the world of digital literature. “A Sweet Story,” a book for children aged 4-8, is available in the iTunes Store just in time for parents and grandparents seeking the perfect holiday gift.
Early reviews are looking good. Novelist, Globe and Mail columnist and parent Russell Smith had a sneak peak and had this to say: “A delicious and fast-moving little story about a brave boy and the food he hates. Best of all, it reads just like a real book.”
“A Sweet Story” follows the imaginary exploits of young Oliver Pumpernickel, who likes treats so much he wants to be their best friend. Readers swipe and tap to help Oliver pogo-stick with a piece of cake, go sledding with a cookie, and swim with a pool party of jelly beans in his richly coloured inner world. But before Oliver can enjoy such sweet pursuits, he has to get past the childhood gatekeepers of dessert – that’s right, the much-dreaded vegetables.
Sweet Story Entertainment Inc. is a partnership between veteran children’s writer Jono Howard and creative studio Global Mechanic Media. Parents themselves, the book’s creators were concerned with the glut of low-quality interactive books that distract from learning and parent-child bonding by focusing on aimless gaming rather than story. They set out to make a beautiful book to be cherished like other children’s classics.
“Games and electronic versions of classic kids’ books have been around for a few years and they’re being embraced by kids and parents,” said “A Sweet Story” author Jono Howard, “but we’ve seen these stories before. Original books with interactive elements created specifically for digital media are a fairly new idea. Early research shows that kids prefer digital versions to printed versions, but don’t retain much of the story. We think we know why. So we made this one to encourage literacy and ignite kids’ imaginations.”
“Literacy is a cause close to our hearts, and we recognize that, while growing, access to digital books is still a privilege,” says Executive Producer Tina Ouellette. “We saw an opportunity to do some good with this book, and are happy to announce that partial proceeds of “A Sweet Story” will go to ABC Life Literacy Canada.”
“A Sweet Story” is available for the iPad now at the App Store for $3.99. For more information visit: www.sweetstorybook.com or follow @ASweetStoryInc on Twitter.
- 30 -
About the Developer
Sweet Story Entertainment Inc. is a joint venture between Jono Howard Productions and Global Mechanic Media to bring new, original kids’ books to life. With a focus on providing strong digital content that mirrors traditional story time with its educational and social benefits, Sweet Story Inc. welcomes interactive functionality when it enhances the story and experience, without distracting from it.
Global Mechanic Media has been a fan of Chicago artist Marko Markewycz for some time, as evident by the pieces of his we have in our studio.
His art is beautifully complicated and masked in a simplistic style. Playful with an ominous quality to it, Marko invites colour and lines of light to pour through his pieces.
His work tends to feature portraits, animals and everyday objects. The faces are familiar and reveal the depth of character for people living turbulent, complicated lives, yet seeking connection with the audiences in which they’re intended for. Every portrait tells a story, but they work nicely as a collection as well. I especially love his use of creative mediums like books, and his collection of patterns, which defy tradition and don’t repeat exactly the same way in any place.
I can’t help but wonder, is this how I saw the world as a child? It may the pencil drawing, the familiar mediums – like cups and wood – or Marko’s particular style, but his art makes me feel like I’m living in my 10 year old self again. Life was still full of mystery and excitement, but I knew there was danger out there and I had begun to suspect it in certain people and experiences. His work inspires me to take pencil crayon to paper again, hoping I could unlock some hidden truth within my subject.
Global Mechanic Media is working with Marko right now on a collaborative project we can’t wait to share with the world. Stay tuned for something beautiful to come…
Written by Ash, October 4th, 2012
We are working on producing an enhanced, interactive e-book that doesn't take away the linear nature of storytelling and its immersive experience
Reading and what it means to be “literate” is being redefined due to advancing technology that is putting electronic devices into the hands of readers. This has spurred discussion about the physiological effects of reading online and electronically versus opting for reading traditionally.
Some people are skeptical about adapting to new technologies when it comes to reading; others, are still more skeptical about having reading not evolve with the times. Read more about how content and media are affecting reading, and where GMM fits in in this ongoing debate.
Meet David (except his name is now Oliver!), the main protagonist in A Sweet Story.
We love experimenting with new media and applying some of our specialties, like animation, film production and design, into projects that push boundaries and break ground with innovative ideas and tool kits. We’ve delved into mobile games and now we’re delving into ebooks – specifically, enhanced ebooks with animated illustrations.
We are currently in the development stages of an enhanced ebook for the iPad called A Sweet Story, by Jono Howard (you should really click on his name!), which is a quirky and imaginative story about a boy and his relationship to food.