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Partner Spotlight – Bonzai Intranet

The partner spotlight is a weekly series where we go behind the scenes with some of the companies that make VendorDB great. Next up is Bonzai Intranet. 

The Vitals

Name: Bonzai Intranet
Location: Canada
Year Founded: 2014
Specialties: Organizational communication, collaboration and engagement with Bonzai Intranet.

What inspired you to start your company?

A clear and obvious need for innovation in the intranet space. We identified a way to offer organizations well-designed SharePoint Intranets for a fraction of the cost, and implemented in half the time.

How did the partners meet?

Otherwise known as the four founders – two married vampires and two married werewolves (yes, female werewolves exist). They met on a foggy October evening at a Microsoft SharePoint event. The werewolf couple, Michal Pisarek and Denise Ching, began a heated argument with the vampires, Matthew Carriere and Shereen Qumsieh over delivery methods for custom SharePoint Intranets.

After a few growls and hisses, the couples came to agreement on one market gap in the intranet space—That custom built SharePoint Intranets did not need to take years to implement, and cost organizations into the millions. Recognizing that most companies were looking for the same features and functionality in their corporate intranet, they set out in the first ever vampire- werewolf business partnership in history.

What was the first job someone hired you for?

Matt – “I had a paper route…I delivered the Province. But when I saw raccoons I would abandon my cart and run home. My second job felt a bit safer at the good ol’McDs.”
Shereen – “I taught seniors how to use computers and at times…a keyboard. My second job was also at McDonalds.”
Michal – “Growing up in Australia, the first thing I was ever paid for was to pick up kangaroo dumping’s in my parent’s backyard”.
Denise – “Someone hired me to help kids out at an arts and craft festival.”

What is the most notable trend in your industry?

Smart machine learning for digital workplaces. Just like we are fed relevant content in our social networking environments, we will be fed relevant, timely and intelligent corporate content that will help us make better day-to- day decisions at work.

 

What is the smartest work you’ve seen in the past year that didn’t come from your shop?

We’re a bit biased but hands down Bonzai Intranet. Two years ago it was the first out-of-the-box intranet solution built on SharePoint. Something that hasn’t come from our shop within the past year, is machine learning on Microsoft Delve. Predictive algorithms help serve up relevant content for knowledge workers right in their digital workplace.

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-12-25-17-pm

How has the business changed since you started?

More and more companies are selecting turn-key intranet solutions. In the next 1-2 years, industry analysts expect that 80% of intranet purchases will be out-of-the-box SaaS solutions. Knowledge workers of today expect to work with best of breed technologies that offer seamless and intuitive experiences. Out-of-the-box intranets or “digital workplaces” like Bonzai Intranet make it a lot more affordable for companies to offer this.

What is your biggest challenge at the moment?

Tech trend—smart machine learning for digital workplaces. Just like we are fed relevant content in our social networking environments, we will be fed relevant, timely and intelligent corporate content that will help us make better day-to-day decisions at work.

Challenge—To be frank, keeping up with demand for Bonzai Intranet. We have an amazing solution delivery team and are currently looking for talented people to help us grow fast. If you’re skills are extra spicy, apply within! We’re currently looking for a Development Manager and a Full Stack Developer.

What is the best thing about working at Bonzai?

Delicious food…all of the time. And beer. Michal Pisarek, Founder and Product Director at Bonzai, is a former head chef that worked for Gordon Ramsay. Let’s just say food options are selected by that of a foodie with world-class taste. There’s an actual thing called the D.O. 10…most employees have had to hit the gym that much harder to keep it off. Others have said “**** it!” and invest in a jean-size up.

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-12-25-26-pm

You can learn more about Bonzai Intranet on VendorDB and at bonzai-intranet.com/.

Partner Spotlight – Wiivv

The partner spotlight is a weekly series where we go behind the scenes with some of the companies that make VendorDB great. Next up is Wiivv

3

The Vitals

Name: Wiivv
Locations: Vancouver, BC (Headquarters); San Diego, USA
Year Founded: 2014
Specialties: Fashion, Wearable Technology, 3D Scanning, 3D Printing, Customization, Computer Vision, Biomechanics

What inspired you to start your company?

Personally, a high-jumping injury in high school that introduced me to foot orthotics and the frustrating experience around it. But on a higher level, Shamil and I had been working with 3D printing tech and recognized the same opportunity to make custom goods for the body. Shamil was leading 3D printing strategy at HP, and I had a business 3D printing vintage car parts. Our idea for Wiivv was at the confluence of several trends for fashion, wearable tech, 3D printing, 3D scanning, and personalized health – the timing was perfect.

How did the partners meet?

We first met at the 2013 Inside 3D Printing Conference in New York. We found that we had a lot in common. We both attended Claremont McKenna College, but at different times, and our families originated from the same part of Tanzania.

Why Vancouver and San Diego?

Vancouver is a vibrant city with a good tech scene and the Pacific Northwest is ideal to build a tribe for an active lifestyle brand like Wiivv. In Vancouver, we have Lululemon, Arc’teryx, and RYU to name a few successful examples. It’s also where I grew up. San Diego has a strong ecosystem for 3D printing, so it made sense to set up our manufacturing there. Plus, let’s not forget the credibility the California-association gives our brand. We’re West Coast, from BC to SoCal!

What was the first job someone hired you for?

It was a campus job at Claremont McKenna College. We cold-called alumni and asked for donations to the college fund. Fun fact: Jillian, the wife of my co-founder, was my manager at that first job.

What was the most technically challenging work you’ve created?

The Wiivv team achieved a lot by building and shipping the BASE custom insole, our inaugural product. It’s the first of its kind for an end-to-end mobile solution to get a custom product. Being part of our platform’s development was the most technically challenging, but also the most rewarding. Our customers love the seamless experience.

2

Which project is your most underrated?

I think our work on biomechanics at Wiivv. Behind our cool technology and product is over two years spent carefully tweaking the design and validating the science to make BASE perfect for every individual customer. We have a team dedicated to biomechanics at Wiivv and a Science Advisory Board that includes luminaries like Dr. Jack Taunton, a pioneer in the field of custom footwear for athletic performance.

Who is your most interesting staff member?

We recently brought on Will Andrew to be our Chief Commercial Officer. He has decades of experience in the world of sports apparel and even won the bid for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games with Elevate Sport, a company he founded. We’re excited to be working with Will because of all the expertise he brings as we grow our distribution.

What is the smartest work you’ve seen in the past year that didn’t come from your shop?

The 3D Architech by UnderArmour. It’s a 3D printed shoe that isn’t custom for form, but is using 3D printing materials in a unique way to fit cross-training needs.

How has the business changed since you started?

We were fortunate enough to secure venture capital and that has allowed us to accelerate the growth of our business. Expectations are higher than ever because of the massive opportunity we’re addressing, but we’re up for the challenge.

What emerging tech trend will have the biggest impact on your business?

Consumers expecting personalization for everything they buy. People walking on their feet a lot as a result of Pokemon Go is also a factor.

What is your biggest challenge at the moment?

Continuing to build and optimize our tech stack. In the process, we’re also building a significant competitive advantage.

What is the best thing about working at Wiivv?

Our vision is compelling and great people from a bunch of different disciplines can rally around it and produce their best work. We’re changing how things are made and personalizing health – it’s difficult to not feel closely associated with that kind of reason for being.

1

Where is the best bar in Vancouver?

Well…the best juice bar would be Krokodile Pear. Our company is pretty health-conscious.

Any wild company party stories?

In our earlier days, we rented a house for a week in San Diego and had our whole team there. The highlight was a cook-off we had. In true Master Chef fashion, we had judges, secret ingredients, and the like. Our advisors and mentors judged the event. The founders, Shamil and myself, were assigned cleanup duty – an absolute nightmare. I think it took us 3 hours to finish.

Care to share a joke?

What does “foot pain” think of Wiivv?
>>> It sees it as its arch enemy.

What does the future look like for Wiivv?

We have big plans to conquer the world of custom footwear. We’ll expand our insoles line to address a variety of use cases, and also venture beyond insoles. We want to build a strong ecosystem where consumers see Wiivv as the choice solution to get custom gear for the body.

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You can learn more about Wiivv on VendorDB and at wiivv.com.

New Companies This Week – August 15, 2016

Image courtesy of Captacar.

Image courtesy of Captacar.

The New York heat wave only means more hot companies get added to VendorDB!

If you need to put on a serious show, your first calls should be to Bounce, LMG, Showcore and Production Club.

Ready to move beyond the screen?  Talk to CRAFTED IMAGINATIONHologramUSA or Ars Electronica Futurelab.

Advertise your brand on a Lambo in NYC?  Why not!?!  Give Captacar a ring.

Interested in being added to VendorDB? Submit your URL here.

24 Frames Cine
32Bits
4A´s
ABLAZE VFX
Adstream
Alldayeveryday
Ars Electronica Futurelab
Asahi Technologies
B3NET
Backlinkfy
BEN DOLPHIN PRODUCTIONS
Bentley Innovation Group
Bough Digital
Bounce
Broadcast 360
Captacar
Carnival Productions
Chicago Projection Mapping
Clavax
ClearTrail
CLM
Colossal
Conspiracy
CRAFTED IMAGINATION
DC Webcasting by Dudley Digital Works
Deerpark Productions
DERBY
Developmenticon
DHAP Digital
Digital DUMBO
Dimensional Studios
DNLC Technologies
Elite Magento Development
Endive
ESMI Productions
Eventage
ExpandTheRoom
Experiential Food Truck Rental
Fabrika
FilmOn HologramUSA
Fortune Softtech
Funktronic Labs
Granap Studio
Grayling
HA Digital Marketing
Harry Rules
Healclinic
Hey baby films
Hi Techsoft
High Beam
HireWebDeveloper
IC Media
iiD
Immersive
IMPOSSIBLE
Itera Research
ITX
Jacky Winter Group
Jukedeck
KB Production Canada
Letstrak
Lionbridge Technologies
LMG
Loki Creative
LOOKBOOKS
Lyda Interactive
MageBright
Magnetic Media Holdings
Marden-Kane
Maverick Events
MCN Interactive
MobApp Template
mobCONTENT
Mobile Studios
mobileAPPtelligence
Mobilmindz
Molly Duggan Associates
Moxie CCA
MySalesButler.com
Neurlabs
Nevessa Production Woodstock
Octal Info Solution
Octobot
Okular
OTTE
Pete’s Big TVs
Pixelhunters
PixFACTORY
Power Consulting
Processing
Production Club
Rayvat Engineering
RIGOR
Samuel Laseke
Satlogic Networks
Sentrien Systems
Showcore
Snapper Media
SolutionsPal
Spot MPG
Spread films
Streeters
Studio Boss
Sukle Advertising & Design
SutiSoft
Synechron
Synergy Technology Services
TeleNet Media
Terra Firma Media Group
The RRS Group
Tim Howard management
Trance designs
trenova
Triumph Leisure Solutions
Trunk Archive
Turner Duckworth
TV Pro Gear
United Talent Agency
Urban Projections
Vinegar Hill
Visionary Media
Webster Colcord
WonderMerk
WorkByRemedy
WOVA

Partner Spotlight – Free Association

The partner spotlight is a weekly series where we go behind the scenes with some of the companies that make VendorDB great. Next up is Free Association.

The Vitals

Name: Free Association (otherwise known as FA)
Locations: Brooklyn & SF
Year Founded: 2003
Specialties: We are a digital product agency. We are a new breed of agency built around a product team model. We work with ambitious organizations to envision next gen products & services, design elegant responsive platforms & applications, and optimize experiences towards business goals.

What inspired you to start your company?

Founding partners Michael Piliero & David Landa had been long time friends and collaborators before they founded FA. Meeting first night freshman year at Cornell University, they quickly realized they shared a similar creative spirit, drive and worldview. Throughout college and immediately after they played in a rock band together, started a graphic tee company, produced various musical & cultural events, and collaborated on a few short films. Amongst their flurry of entrepreneurial efforts, they started dabbling in branding & design and eventually got hired at Directors of Emerging Media and at a budding advertising agency.

Michael & David realized that it would be hard to live their values under someone else’s construct — to unlock their greatest potential they’d need to make their own way. Free Association was formed under the pursuit of excellence and meaningful challenge in a vibrant, soulful manner.

Why NYC?

We are headquartered in Dumbo, Brooklyn and have been here eight years. The area emits a certain creative energy which is harmonious with our general outlook and temperaments.

nyc

What was the first job someone hired you for?

Our first job as Free Association was web design, packaging and label design for Padilla Cigars, a boutique cigar brand out of Miami. Not long after we were doing a lot of work for Viacom creating digital ad products for their myriad platforms, especially for MTV & VH1.

Which work or brand are you best known for?

We are probably most known for our work on eBay. The FA team led the visual redesign of ebay.com, moving them from an aging design system to a modern visual language.

 

ebay

Which project is your most underrated?

We’ve been called, “NY’s best-kept secret” and “a secret weapon” by our clients. Admittedly, we tend to focus on client projects over promoting our business. But, we’d prefer the secret get out!

Who is your most interesting staff member?

We’re excited to welcome Andy Titus as FA Partner and Experience Director. Andy had collaborated with FA for many years on the client side as Creative Director of Digital at MTV and then Associate VP of Digital at Victoria’s Secret. At VS, Andy was responsible for user experience, creative, and brand across all digital mediums. Under Andy’s direction, VS consistently broke sales and engagement records, reaching annual online revenue of $1.8 billion.

After Victoria’s Secret, Andy spent a year traveling around the world. His last stop was FA where he currently leads our account with Nest Labs as we overhaul their online retail experience.

And

What is the smartest work you’ve seen in the past year that didn’t come from your shop?

We’ve been long time fans of now defunct Teehan + Lax. With most of the team product leads and design directors at Facebook, we’ve seen a lot of fantastic changes with their platform that could only be the influence of the T+L crew.

How has the business changed since you started?

13 years is a long time in the Information Age. We’ve seen the rise and fall of Flash, the rapid evolution of web technologies, and a huge shift toward mobile platforms. Each progression unlocks new opportunities to create better, more valuable digital experiences. The only constant is change. Not just change, accelerating change.

PayPal

What emerging tech trend will have the biggest impact on your business?

We think Augmented Reality will be a seismic shift. We believe it will be a boon for UX & interaction designers as, from what we’ve seen, AR means more interfaces, more ways to interact, more “virtual” screens, etc. It will also bring with it an explosion of creativity.

We think AI is another seismic shift. It’s hard to predict what it will mean — everyone has a digital assistant, freeing us for a life of ease? Hyper personalized targeted advertising and messaging follows us wherever we go? Collaborating at work with bots? The end of life as we know it? Whatever it is, it will change everything and it’s already happening.

UX

What advice do you have for agency producers or creatives?

Learn how to keep learning and adapt to the changing tides. And as the Greeks said “Know thyself.” Life is short, know what gives you fulfillment and pursue it with reckless abandon!

What do you make of the trend where brands are skipping their agency of record to work directly with production partners?

The trend reflects why we started FA in the first place, we were seeing little value being created by the AoRs in the digital realm. Digital just wasn’t in their DNA. We saw the potential to do better, if we could just get to the brands. So, we’ve spent about 10 years mastering our craft and getting to the brands.

Eventually we pivoted to fully focus primarily on product, which a traditional ad agency has little business getting involved in, so we are less concerned about the topic at this point.

Rex

What is the best thing about working at Free Association?

We are convivial. A life worth living is a mix of challenge, growth & celebration. We’ve built an environment and working construct that nurtures these dimensions. And we’ve attracted great clients who continually challenge us with ambitious work.

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 11.27.21 PM

Where is the best bar in DUMBO?

We love our office, our view of Manhattan is quite a sight to see at night. We host Whiskey Fridays here at the office weekly, after hours.

Any wild company party stories?

For a moment Michael & David were designers by day and party promoters / DJs by night. Under the moniker of International Disco Assassins (IDA), they would partner with renowned Tibetan monk turned furniture designer, Tucker Robbins, to throw epic bashes at Tucker’s workshop/showroom in Queens. The events were always themed and featured DJs, performance art, visual projections and way too many guests for the space.

The most raucous were the annual Halloween parties where thousands of people would pack into the sweaty warehouse, raging amongst Tucker’s masterpieces, priceless antiques, and deadly band saws. Despite all of the hazards no limbs or digits were ever lost to our knowledge.

What does the future look like for Free Association?

We try not to look too far ahead, things change too fast. We can say that, if history is any indication of the future, we will continue to hone our craft and apply it to new form factors and applications as they emerge.

dog

You can learn more about Free Association on VendorDB and at freeassociation.is.

101 Series – Banners

Welcome to VendorDB’s 101 series designed to quickly bring you up to speed on the essentials.

Our lead off topic is web banners brought to you by Candy Banners!

header

This post will cover:

Common Terms
Making Better Banners
Best Practices

Common Terms

Ad Banner

An ad banner is a digital ad that is embedded on a website or other device with the purpose of attracting visitor engagement.

Dynamic Banner

A live banner is a banner ad which is created dynamically (or whose content is created dynamically) at the time of display, instead of being pre-programmed with fixed content.

Ad Server

The ad server is where the banner will be hosted. Ad servers help with delivering the banner to their appropriate target space such as a website or app. Although varying in services from one to the next most ad servers also help with management of the banners campaign and analytics.

Ad Trafficking

Ad trafficking refers to the process of setting up an ad campaign. Its spearheaded by the ad trafficker on the ad server who monitors the campaign and provides status on your media buy throughout the process.

Impressions

Every time an ad is pulled from the server and loaded to be viewed by a user, that’s counted as an impression.

CTR (Click-Through Rate)

ctr

The Click through rate is used to measure ad success. You get the clickthrough rate by dividing the number of clicks by the number impressions.

For example, if you had 100 clicks and 1000 impressions, then your CTR would be 10.0%. Here’s how it’s calculated:

CPI (Cost per Impression) / CPM (Cost per Thousand Impressions)

Cost per thousand impressions.

Standard vs. Rich Media

standard_vs_rm

Another common question we hear is what’s the difference between a standard banner and rich-media? To break it down simply: 

Standard

Low in file size, more limited animation or even static

A single interaction of a ‘click’ to exit the banner

Ex. 300×250

Rich

Heavier file size, more sophisticated user-interaction, using video or advanced code

Ex. Youtube Masthead

Big Box, Leaderboard, Sky Scraper

Banners come in all shapes and sizes, however a few are more common than others. As the web, devices, and user interaction mediums evolve, banners will continue to adjust accordingly but these are three terms you will hear often. 

Desktop:

300×250 (Big Box)

728×90 (Leaderboard)

160×600 (Skyscraper)

Specifications (Specs)

Before development begins, the developer needs to know what the specifications of the banners are. Specs include but are not limited to: format, file size, dimensions, click tags, ad server, duration of banner.

Flash

flash

Flash banners are for the most part dead. Most modern browsers no longer support them.

Making Better Banners

It’s no secret, people don’t like ads. Recent data indicates ads have a user clickthrough of only 0.17%! That’s less than 2 people per 1000 impressions. So how do we make them better? Ads can be effective. Marketing strategy and proper execution are vital to distancing yourself from industry standards.

Strategically

The digital world is moving towards being fully personalized for its users. One way to improve conversion is through dynamic banners. Statistically they have a 2 – 4x higher click through than a traditional unit. 

Creatively

When coming up with your creative concepts, keep the following in mind:

1. Banner ads should be compelling, they should catch your eye with attractive animation, use of typography, colors and clear copy to make them stand apart.

2. A user’s attention to a banner will be brief. You have only a moment to catch their attention so make sure your message is concise. 

3. Clarity is the key. Make sure your message is to the point and simple. Avoid promoting too many products or ideas.

Best Practices

good_bad_design

Optimizing your banner process will be the difference between silky smooth production and a hellish inferno of banner rage. 

Here’s a quick checklist of items the developer will need

  • Working files (photoshop / illustrator / inDesign)
  • Fonts
  • Logo Assets (vector if possible)
  • Click-through URL (Wheres your banner clicking out to?)
  • Ad-Server specifications

Build with clean code!

There are a lot of tools out there to help build banners like Google Web Designer, Adobe Edge etc. At the end of the day though the best banners are hand-coded. The ad landscape is too vast for any one-stop tool to work well with all publishers, ad servers etc. What might seem like a time-save at the beginning has the risk to come back and haunt you when your banners aren’t compatible and need to be re-built. Coding from scratch offers the biggest creative flexibility for your clients, build clean!

Approve ONE banner

One of the best practices we recommend is to build a single size of a unit and then have that unit approved by all parties. Re-visiting multiple creatives with revisions later can be time consuming. By having creative direction locked on a single unit makes the entire process much easier down the road.

Specify Where to Test Your First Banner

The same applies to QA. For the approval process we advise that the browser, browser version and device  are agreed upon before getting started. By being clear on what the specs are on the first banner helps speed up the approval process. A full QA should typically occur towards the end of the process before delivery.

Clean & Prepared Assets

Make sure the designer creating the banner assets delivers them in photoshop or illustrator. All files should be properly layered & named. Our personal favorite are ‘layer comps’ as a way to organize your PSD for the animation sequence.

In Conclusion

Ad banners have always and will continue to maintain a large presence in the digital world. Thanks to the continuous technical pushes in the realm of code they have the ability to be even more effective for your user engagement. Using clean code, creativity, strategy and applying best practice during the development process, banners can be less of a headache and drive more positive results for you and your clients. Happy coding!

Need help making your first banner?  Reach out to Candy Banners or search VendorDB.

Would you like to suggest the next 101 topic?  Email: hello@vendorDB.com

New Companies This Week – June 20, 2016

Arcade

Image courtesy of Arcade

Let VendorDB help you see into the future with another batch of hot new companies.

Does your next project require a live video feed or broadband connection in the middle of nowhere? Talk to Satlogic NetworksESMI Productions or TeleNet Media.

Do you need to create an unbelievable environment? Look to Pete’s Big TVsBob Gail Events and Themendous.

And be sure to check out Radcon.ioLeap MotionLinden Lab and Fleet Hower for folks pushing the boundaries of product and virtual experiences.

Interested in being added to VendorDB? Submit your URL here.

15/40 Productions
6S Marketing
Absolute Web Services
AcademicAds
Agent Pekka
ARCADE
Arcana Academy
Asterisk Media
Big Guppy
Bob Gail Events
Brandmovers
Communication Strategy Group
Computer Lab
Conscious Minds
CoolGraySeven
CTRL LA
Cubeyou
Cyclops FX
DC Video Studio
DMNDR
DREAMTIGER
Dudley Digital Works
Elite Magento Development
Emagen
ESMI Productions
Fleet Hower
Forest
Former Company
Frost
Gary’s Loft
Global Image Factory
Go West Creative
High Fidelity
House of Greenland
IC Media
Island Film Group
Joy Yap
Kinney Group Events
Launch Consulting
Leap Motion
Linden Lab
LMG
Lounge Lizard
Matter of Fact
Matterport
MCN Interactive
Merge Labs
Merrick Towle Communications
Milkshake Media
Mindmaze
Mobile Studios
MojoTech
MONARC NEW YORK
My Friend’s Nephew
Nevessa Production Woodstock
NextVR
Nick Adam
Nine Hertz
One Glass Video
Pete’s Big TVs
Phoenix Infomedia
Popkey
Print Promotions
Processing
Production Glue
Production Resource Group
qa on request
QAtch
Radcon.io
Rayvat Engineering
RAZER
reflexgroup
Sabine Scheer
Satlogic Networks
Scentee
Sebastian Kauderer
Shine & Polish
Solomon Group
SolutionsPal
Sophoria
SpatialOS
Spot MPG
Stoked
Swivet
Techtic Solutions
TeleNet Media
Terra Firma Media Group
Themendous
Thunderbeast
Triggerfish
TV Pro Gear
Type/Code
W2S Solutions
Zach Lewis

Partner Spotlight – 6S Marketing

The partner spotlight is a weekly series where we go behind the scenes with some of the companies that make VendorDB great. Next up is 6S Marketing.

partners

The Vitals

Name: 6S Marketing
Locations: New York, Toronto, Vancouver (Los Angeles Coming Soon Q3 2016)
Year Founded: 2000
Specialties: Digital strategy, paid media optimization conversion rate optimization, analytics consulting, CRM, social media advertising, programmatic

What inspired you to start your company?

We started the digital agency because we saw a budget gap between what clients were spending in other channels and what was delivering results. We thought “Hey, we can do this” but never did we think we would be more than 4-5 nerds huddled in a corner office. We did it because we were passionate about the industry.

How did the partners meet?

The founding partners, Chris Breikss & John Blown, met on the monkey bars in elementary school and worked together at a few dotcoms prior to founding the digital agency.

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 4.39.25 PM

Why Vancouver?

The agency started in Vancouver which is an amazing city with easy access to ocean and mountains where the lifestyle has a relaxed pace. In order to work on bigger projects, the agency expanded to Toronto and New York.

What was the first job someone hired you for?

One of our first clients was a river rafting company and they had a miniscule budget but we took them on because we loved the owners and the passion behind the business. Outdoor adventure clients are still our favorites.

What was the most technically challenging work you’ve created?

Our work with Pirelli in 2015 was extremely challenging given its huge digital scope for the Highway Zero campaign.

highway

Which work or brand are you best known for?

We are most likely know for our #WeAre6S campaign where we put a billboard up in Times Square in New York trying to convince Apple to rename the iPhone. We were featured on mashable and MTV as well as 150+ other digital publications which gained us some notoriety and almost got us arrested in the process.

Which project is your most underrated?

I think that our work in Chinese digital media is still flying under the radar and specifically the work with Cirque du Soleil. Many people don’t even know that we have a Chinese digital division called Sheng Li Digital.

Who is your most interesting staff member?

Our new director of business development in Toronto, Doug Gorrie is a character. He is always on vibrating an extremely high frequency and plays in a rock band on the weekends.

What is the smartest work you’ve seen in the past year that didn’t come from your shop?

The #LikeAGirl campaign was something that resonated with our agency given that we are 70% female. It’s one of those campaigns that has the ability to change the way people think and have real-world long standing impact. And it sold a lot of pads too.

How has the business changed since you started?

When we started in the early 2000s the digital marketing business was shady with a lot of click fraud, pop up ads, and email spam. While there are still a lot of the same challenges in digital, the budgets have finally shifted and brands are now allocating significant budget to online campaigns which makes us happy.

What emerging tech trend will have the biggest impact on your business?

The millennial generation and how they use emerging platforms like Snapchat is going to shapeshift our industry. This generation grew up with the Internet and they see it very differently than the previous generations and we need to make sure that we embrace the change and evolve our agency and offering to coincide with these changes.

What is your biggest challenge at the moment?

Our biggest challenge is likely hiring and recruitment. We are always trying to find great people to work with.

What advice do you have for agency producers or creatives?

My advice to all agency folk is to spend time celebrating your work and helping your agency build kick ass case studies. Not enough of us are sharing our great work.

What do you make of the trend where brands are skipping their agency of record to work directly with production partners?

As long as brand are being strategic with their campaigns and have goals and targets I think they should work with whoever they want however they want.

What is the best thing about working at 6S Marketing?

While cliche, the best thing about 6S Marketing is the work/life balance. Its an agency where achieving your personal goals is just as important as achieving your career goals.

office dog

Where is the best bar in Toronto?

You can usually find members of our agency at ‘Bar Hop‘ in Toronto Friday after work taking down a frothy pint. Its around the corner from the office and has a great post-work vibe.

Any wild company party stories?

When we were smaller, we used to take the whole company snowboarding for the weekend every year. That usually got out of hand.

Which industry boondoggle is most likely to send your employees to rehab: Cannes, AICP or SXSW?

Even just thinking about SXSW makes my eyes water. One year we had trade show booth there and 6 of us went down for 8 days. We likey should have been hooked up to IVs after to re-hydrate.

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Care to share a joke?

What should you do if you’re attacked by a gang of clowns? Go for the juggler.

What does the future look like for 6S Marketing?

We just moved into a brand new shiny office in Toronto. We are moving 2 people from our Vancouver office to our New York office in each of April and May 2016. We are opening a new office is Los Angeles in September 2016 on Sunset Blvd.

6s-end

You can learn more about 6S Marketing on VendorDB and at 6smarketing.com.

Partner Spotlight – RADS

The partner spotlight is a weekly series where we go behind the scenes with some of the companies that make VendorDB great. Next up is RADS.

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The Vitals

Name: RADS, Inc
Location: New York, NY
Founded: 1 year ago
Specialties: Creative Studio for Digital Advertising (anything from banners to landing pages), Campaign Management (across media partners), Creative Automation Platform

What inspired you to start your company?

I’ve been in adtech for years and the whole process just feels slower and slower, more and more overly-complex. I’ve yet to see a single process shorten the amount of time it took to create compelling content based digital ads. Every week we see a new targeting technology and a new channel or even worse another new format! Knowing this I went to town complaining about how much I despise our chosen speciality and then – BOOM – bit of an epiphany – no one has ever effectively shortened to process with a tool that is ACTUALLY user-friendly, easy, and most important – FUN to use.

We decided to create a single creative studio that integrated everything. Obviously a crazy cool HTML5, Mobile, Rich Media Studio – but more so the integration platform which includes review & approval, audience management, campaign management and deep analytics & insights all into a single simple platform.

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Which work or brand are you best known for?

7 years ago I co-founded, developed and marketed SitOrSquat which was a smash success for Charmin who acquired the product for their direct marketing needs less then 12 months later – I always know where to go the puns are endless.

What emerging tech trend will have the biggest impact on your business?

I feel the market has become so immensely oversaturated with 5 companies for any and every function – in response I see a market contraction – however I see it less fiscal and more driven by best of breed integration – i.e. there are 10 photo sharing apps and if you put them together (with a bit of luck) you get the absolute pinnacle of features – enabling consumers to make fewer choices.

What does the future look like for RADS?

The potential to disrupt the digital creative process is huge & scalable to anything. First with advertisements, but even with entire webpages designed in the same way – there’s no stopping the limitless potential of an easy and insanely sophisticated creative studio. The goal is to give the creators and producers more time in their day and effectively create better, more engaging creative – if we achieve any little bit of our goal – well, it’ll be radical.

 

 

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You can learn more about RADS on VendorDB and at getrads.com/.

New Companies This Week – January 25, 2016

Image courtesy of brandnetworks

Image courtesy of brandnetworks

Snowpacolypse 2016 may have left New York frozen but it didn’t keep VendorDB from getting you more hot companies!

When it comes to amazing video content, hire the best, get the best. Try The DepartmentSupply & Demand or World Famous for your next project.

Looking to make social media waves?  Talk to 1000headsZach King Vine or Supercool Creative.

And when the world needs to know what you’re up to, talk to the best in PR.  Call on Bottle or Berkeley PR.

Interested in being added to VendorDB? Submit your URL here.

1000heads
Abacus e-media
Add Media
AIA Worldwide
Animax
Axonn
Ayima
BAE Systems
Bell Pottinger
Ben Jacks
Berkeley PR
Birdsall Interactive
Bottle
brandnetworks
Brass
Buzzsmith
CACI International
CDS Digital
Chandler Chicco Agency
Chubbard
Citypress
Click Consult
Fin
Flywheel Co
Food Story
Fueld Films
Hello Enjoy
JEAN
Latinbrain
Revolution Pictures
Rink Entertainment
Riotmaker
Robert Howell Productions
Stone Core Films
Subvoyant
Supercool Creative
Supply & Demand
TackleBox Films
Tendigi
The Bag Ladies
The Department
THEM
Third Story Films
TradeMarky
Trailblazer Studios
UDirectNYC
Vimby
Weilands
World Famous
Yada/Levine
Zach King Vine

New Companies This Week – January 18, 2016

Image courtesy of Robot Film Company

Image courtesy of Robot Film Company

VendorDB is loving the New Year! Check out our new pals:

PR party! Check out GOOD RELATIONSThreepipe & Wriglesworth.

Digital firepower! Call on valtechSplendid Communications & Rippleffect.

Production! TBG StudiosSpacestation & RuckusFilm.

Interested in being added to VendorDB? Submit your URL here.

A-MNEMONIC Music Productions
BIGPIE
Construction Marketing
G2G3 Digital
GOOD RELATIONS
Playup Music
Red Consultancy
Richmond Towers Communications
Rippleffect
Robot Film Company
ROGUE AGENT
Roshambo Films
RuckusFilm
Saarinen and Pico
Salmon
Say Design
Search Laboratory
Sense
Shane Mielke
Shine
SixDay Productions
Smith and Jones Films
Spacestation
Speed Communications
Splendid Communications
Stickyeyes
STRUCK
SummitMedia
Tangent Snowball
Tangerine
TBG Studios
TechMagic
The BIG Partnership
The BIO Agency
TheRealVentures Unlimited
Threepipe
TH_NK
TMW Unlimited
Tonic Life Communications
Total Immersion
Tribal Worldwide
Tudor Reilly Health
twentysix
United Talent Agency
Utopic
valtech
Vibes
ViewStart
Volume
Wayne Robins
WE
Wriglesworth

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