Category Archives: Featured Articles

Scotty Iseri (right) and one of The Digits’ characters, Pavi, discuss a scene.

‘The Digits’ Blasts Off

Portland Filmmaker’s New Web Series Makes Learning a Digital Adventure

The school year has barely begun for millions of American children, but what bothers Portland-based Web series producer Scotty Iseri is that this means there’s also millions of homework questions floating around unanswered, especially about math.

Scotty Iseri

So Iseri conceived a new Web series designed for children 7-to-11 who are struggling with math comprehension. His series, The Digits, strives to make math learning cool through interactive storytelling. Now with a number of episodes already on YouTube for Schools, The Digits (www.YouTube.com/FUNDAwatch) is also available as a new app (or “appisode”) that launched to iTunes and Android Market in mid-September.

The characters of The Digits began asking kids and parents to submit their brain-stumping questions in episode four about right triangles. Want Pavi to answer about parallelograms? No problem. Want Gorgolax to field your long division quandaries? No worries. You can even ask the recycled robot Ray Ray or the airheaded The Galaxy Twins, Chad and Becky, their thoughts. Fire away in the YouTube comments section, and by subscribing to the channel, parents and kids are notified of a new episode each Wednesday.

Scotty Iseri (right) and one of The Digits’ characters, Pavi, discuss a scene.

Unlike the majority of educational apps and Web series, The Digits was created under the guidance of a curriculum designer and implemented by a 20-year veteran schoolteacher. Iseri strives to address a slightly older age group than most educational apps, aimed at later elementary students (third through fifth grade), which is a critical time in a child’s development. This is the age when kids are making affinity choices and they’re deciding who they are, what they like, and what they’re good at. It’s also when math and science start to get more difficult; math moves from simple arithmetic and into more abstract concepts like fractions, or geometry.

This non-traditional media product is also using a non-traditional funding model. The Digits is a start-up and is working with Angel Investors to create it. Iseri plans a suite of shows and toys focused on a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum.

“Television viewership is down and kids are more likely to have access to a smartphone than a desktop computer,” says Iseri. “Instead of fighting for limited broadcast bandwidth, we want to go where the audience is: on phones, tablets and YouTube.”

The Digits plays on mobile devices as well as on the web.

He continues, “Most children’s content (from TV shows to games) is funded by advertising, and the reality is that ad-funded programming does not have children’s interests at heart. This is a new business model for launching an entertainment product. We’re a company that wants to do well by doing good.”

The Digits began as a fellowship with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). Iseri set the Web workaday world on fire with Web series Scotty Got an Office Job in 2009, and before that led The Paper Hat project in Chicago. His long-touring comedy rock act “The Big Rock Show” also landed him on the Dr. Demento show.

OnTheRecord-graphic

On the Record: Blue Plate Digital


Media Inc.’s interview series, in which we discuss the latest and greatest with a different Northwest company each issue, continues with Blue Plate Digital.

The Seattle-based production and post-production company maintains an innovative, creative, and customer-oriented approach to their work, which has earned them a loyal, growing client base. According to the team at Blue Plate, “We specialize in productions that our clients can afford, and have developed a long list of raving fans that keep coming back.”

Here is Brian Pelzel (producer/director/owner) and Doug Cooper (director of marketing strategies), on the record:

How has the post-production industry changed throughout the years, and how has Blue Plate Digital been able to adapt?

Blue Plate Digital's edit suite.

Good question. The biggest change in post-production in the last 10 years has been in workflow. The old days of overnight or multi-day rendering projects are no longer an issue, along with digitizing tape. Today’s workflow takes advantage of faster processors and HD cameras recording to flash media instead of tape. This makes the post process more efficient, so we can pass that savings on to our clients.

What do you like best about your job?
Every day is different, and we get to bring visions to life, so our clients can reach their goals.

What is one recent project you are particularly proud of?
We recently won the Wild Waves account, and have been able to raise the bar on their television and radio production significantly.

Who or what inspires you, either personally or professionally?
How we approach creative, and how we execute the creative. It’s how we do it that sets us apart.

How important is it for your company to connect and engage with your surrounding community?
Very. We are very connected to the West Seattle community, as well as the rest of Seattle. We are active in the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Seattle Association, and the Seattle chapter of The Better Business Bureau.

What are some of your most gratifying professional accomplishments?
The fact that our clients keep coming back time after time, project after project.

If you were not in the production industry, what would be your dream job?
Being an innovator.

If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
Right here.

If a genie granted you 3 wishes, what would you wish for?
More office space, more hard drive space, and world peace.

The Benefits of Working With an Ad Agency

By Malania Calugas Guest Columnist

There is a method to the madness, a psychology, a formula, a science! A good agency is going to understand your product, target audience, demographics, and what type of advertising will give you the most success. We add the sizzle to your steak; create a plan, and execute it. Everyone knows advertising your business is important, but many don’t understand the true value. It is no secret how many millions are spent per minute during the Super Bowl in advertising. The real question is, what is the worth of a new customer? An agency will know the best strategy.

You can have the best products or services, but what if no one knows about them?

We “technically” work as an ad agency. You may have a consultation for a Web site, but you may need to crawl before you can walk. For Web design and development, we may have to begin at the branding or marketing plan before even getting to the technical infrastructure of the site. The four main components to any good Web site or ad campaign are: Business, Creative, Technical and Marketing.

Let’s build a Web site!

My favorite analogy to give clients is this: You wouldn’t have a decorator build your house, do the plumbing and electrical, and then sell it, too. Think of the business side as the blueprints and objectives. Do you have a business/marketing plan? Is this an addition, new location, service or product? The creative side is your branding: logos, marketing materials, writers and design.  Technical is the development, programming and functionality. This is where you benefit from having an agency involved; it takes a team to build a great site or ad campaign, and an agency acts as the project manager.

To market your Web site, the big trends right now are in social media and search engine optimization (SEO). Customers always want to know how to be in the top results of the search engines. This is a combination of things, starting with the coding of the site and searchable content; try to avoid sites fully developed in a video format. The more links you have coming in and out of your site, the better. And most importantly, keep your site up to date. Social media can be customized and integrated, feeding content to your site, which is also great for keeping things current. Imagine every time a change is made to your site, you get back to the front of the line.

So whatever your objective may be, a diversified agency will help you develop and execute your project!

Malania Calugas is president and CEO of Realite Networks in Seattle. Visit www.realitenetworks.com.

Photographers/Photography Studios

Please view digital edition of Media Inc. magazine for full contact information and list of services provided. This list can be found on page 68 of the digital edition.

If you would like to be added to the Photographers/Photography Studios list please email Katie Sauro at ksauro@media-inc.com for a survey.

Photographers/Photography Studios

Listed Alphabetically

aftertheimage

Allegory

Appeal Studios/Linna Photo

Adam Bacher Photography

Kate Baldwin Photography, Inc.

Gary Benson Photography

Bernstein Productions

Blackstone Edge Studios

Brofsky Productions, LLC

Bob Byrd Photography

Melanie Conner Photography

Conrad & Company Photography

Michael Craft Photography

Jared Cruce Studio

Rick Dahms, Photographer

G S DeBré Imaging

DeGabriele Photography

Flying Trolley Cars

Harper Studios, Inc.

Ben Kerns Photography

Lance Koudele Photography

KRAYS Productions Inc.

LensSmith Photography

Lommasson Pictures LLC

Don Mason Photography, LLC

McGowan Photography

Jeff Miller Photography

Rosanne Olson Photography

Timothy J. Park Photography

Parks Creative, Inc.

Pixel Light Studio

David Putnam Photography, Inc.

Redstone Pictures

Kenneth Benjamin Reed Photography

Jeff Romeo Photography

Smith/Walker Design and Photography

Straub Collaborative, Inc.

Studio 3, Inc.

Voda Brands

Wattsmedia, Inc.

Dean Zulich Photography LLC

 

 

Sockeye Wins Best of Show at Oregon ADDYs

Portland-based creative brand agency Sockeye was recognized with eight wins at the first-annual Oregon ADDY Awards, including Best in Show for its national, mixed-media “Re-Boot” campaign for client KEEN Utility.

An additional four Gold ADDYs were awarded for Sockeye’s work for University of Oregon, Metro, and Ruby Receptionists, as well as for the agency’s own self-promotion brand book. Sockeye also received recognition for its “Derrick Rose MVP” TV spot for adidas, an additional TV spot for adidas, and Dick’s Sporting Goods, and its KEEN Utility Sales Kit.

“These awards recognize a wide variety of work, including broadcast ads, viral video, print and outdoor, social media campaign tie-ins, interactive… the list goes on,” said Sockeye president Andy Fraser. “It shows how fortunate we are to have clients willing to let us bring big ideas to the table, and to tap the full range of creative resources we have to offer.”

The work will move on to be judged in the NW ADDY Competition in Seattle, alongside statewide winners from Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska.

For more information, visit sockeye.tv.

Ad Agency list

This list is ranked by 2012 capitalized billings. Please view digital edition of Media Inc. magazine for full contact information, billings, and a list of services provided. This list can be found on page 26.

If you would like to be added to the Ad Agency list please email Katie Sauro at ksauro@media-inc.com for a survey.

1.  Wieden+Kennedy, Inc.

2.  Digital Kitchen

3.  Draftfcb

4.  Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener

5.  CMD

6.  Hacker Group

7.  remerinc

8.  Wunderman

9.  Magner Sanborn

10.  HMH, Inc.

11.  Destination Marketing

12.  Copacino+Fujikado, LLC

13.  R/West

14.  Williams Helde Marketing Communications

15.  Wexley School for Girls

16.  North, Inc.

17.  Bradshaw Advertising

18.  Brandner Communications, Inc.

19.  Grady Britton

20 (tie).  Hodgson/Meyers Communications

20 (tie).  Jones Advertising, Inc.

22.  Gard Communications

23.  Coates Kokes

24.  Ad Ventures

25.  Hanna & Associates Inc.

26.  Sasquatch Agency

27.  Purdie Rogers

28.  Turtledove Clemens, Inc.

29.  DVA Advertising & Public Relations

30.  AHA!

31.  Hammerquist Studios

32.  The New Group

33.  Stanton & Everybody, Inc.

34.  The Maris Agency

35.  Fusionhappens, LLC

36.  Adlib Advertising Agency

37.  Stevenson Advertising

38.  The Garrigan Lyman Group, Inc.

39.  Hunt Marketing Group

40.  The Silver Agency

41.  B47

42.  Palazzo Creative

43.  Envision Response Inc.

44.  Golden Lasso

45.  DHX Advertising, Inc.

46.  Steenman Associates

47.  Mike Pursel Advertising

48.  Rusty George Creative

49.  Synchro Creative

50.  posterGIANT

51.  ioCreative, LLC

52.  Carole Berke Media Services, LLC

53.  Blu Room Advertising, LLC

NR.  Burrus Communications, Inc.

Client Meetings that Rock!

By Lisa Magnuson Guest Columnist

Most of us spend a good percentage of our business day in meetings. Some are good and some are bad, but client meetings should always rock. Each and every sales meeting with a client should be productive (moving the sales cycle forward) and reinforce the client’s choice to do business or consider doing business with you (differentiation).

A solid foundation will ensure you accomplish your first goal: moving the sales cycle forward. A firm foundation includes a clear agenda built after you’ve internalized the desired outcome of the meeting and the next steps that should be taken. In other words, back into your agenda. Many times, sales people skip an agenda for client meetings. A well thought through agenda is the map to ensure that all objectives, both yours and the client’s, are met.

Also, determine the open-ended questions that you would like to ask to progress the sales cycle. Where do they fit within the agenda? Write your questions down as part of your personal notes so you can reference easily during the meeting. All of this preparation will enable you to listen carefully and actively during the conference. Lastly, take notes and summarize action items and next steps at the meeting’s conclusion.

Now for the fun part. The second goal for all client meetings should be to differentiate both you and your company. Why are you different/better than the other options that the client has available? Companies always strive to differentiate themselves through superior products and services, but many times it’s the personal attention to detail that sets someone apart. Do you have a strategy to thrill your customer for each get-together? Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

• Bring an idea for cost savings.
• Supply a helpful analysis, report or case study.
• Deliver an invitation for an upcoming event which might be of  interest.
• Offer to introduce your client to another client to help them  network.
• Share a marketing idea for their company.

There are hundreds of proven and successful tips that will add value and delight your customers. Be creative and commit to client meetings that rock each and every time.

Lisa Magnuson, founder of Top Line Sales, LLC, helps high potential and top performing sales people and business owners land larger deals, improve close ratios and expand business. Contact her at Lisa.magnuson@comcast.net or visit her Web site at www.toplinesales.com.

Hiring Projections Highlight In-Demand Creative Roles

Provided by The Creative Group

The creative sector continues to be a bright spot for hiring in a still-uncertain job market. According to The Creative Group’s latest Hiring Index for Marketing and Advertising Professionals, a net 14 percent of marketing and advertising executives interviewed said they plan to add full-time staff in the first three months of 2012, which is up 10 points from the same time period last year. Further, 89 percent of executives said they are confident in their companies’ growth prospects for the first quarter.

For those employers who are eager to boost staff levels, recruiting creative talent with the right skills remains difficult: Nearly half (45 percent) of advertising and marketing executives surveyed for the Hiring Index, said it’s challenging to find skilled creative professionals today. Why? Many companies are looking for people with very specific, high-demand skill sets, and these individuals may be reluctant to leave stable positions or are courting multiple offers.
So what specialty areas are hiring managers looking to fill? When advertising and marketing executives were asked in which areas they plan to add staff, account services ranked first, with 24 percent of the response, followed by brand/product management (21 percent), and public relations (17 percent).

“Many companies are looking to refresh their branding to reflect new product and service offerings, as well as take their marketing campaigns to the next level in the year ahead,” said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group. “They also may have more budget dollars to invest with advertising and public relations agencies, driving demand for account services and PR professionals.”

Employers also are recruiting individuals for the following roles:
·    User experience (UX) designers – Demand remains strong for experienced UX designers who can create rich, intuitive online experiences that satisfy an organization’s unique customer needs.
·    Web designers/developers – As firms look to revamp the overall look and functionality of their corporate Web sites and social media pages, they seek professionals who can design appealing graphics that reinforce their brand’s overall look and feel, and develop and manage site architecture, functionality and data flow.
·    Online project managers – Individuals who can help plan, organize and execute multifaceted online projects are needed to help organizations build more integrated campaigns.
·    SEO/SEM specialists – Firms seek professionals who can optimize their online presence through link-building, content development, social media and vendor consulting.

Like the creative industry itself, the demand for certain skill sets is continually shifting. As such, it’s crucial to research employment trends, like those highlighted in the quarterly Hiring Index for Advertising and Marketing Professionals, on an ongoing basis. Not only will this help you identify “hot spots” in the market, but it will also help you map your next career or business move, whether it’s identifying a new skill to learn or candidate to watch out for when you get the green light to hire.

The Creative Group is a specialized staffing service placing interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals with a variety of firms. For more information, visit www.creativegroup.com or contact the Seattle branch at 206-749-9046.