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Category: Spotlight (page 1 of 6)

Partner Spotlight – Digitaland

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 Digitaland

The Vitals

Name: Digitaland
Location: Miami
Year Founded: 2010
Specialties: Turning digital display advertising ideas into launch-ready realities.

  • HTML5 standard banners
  • Rich media ads
  • HTML responsive emails
  • Game ads and 360 ads
  • Dynamic banners and campaigns
  • Interactive landing pages and microsites
  • Healthcare and pharma digital ads
  • Micro videos

What inspired you to start your company?

Adtech platforms were a game changer for the digital advertising industry. But when they first came on the scene, brands and agencies didn’t have the technical know-how to fully leverage the technology. That caused delays in launching ad campaigns. Which is a bad thing in an industry where launching fast and often is the key to success. We saw the potential to create these awesome brand stories. The technology, creative and data were all there. Brands and agencies just needed a production partner that could turn their ideas into reality. And that’s where we fit in.

Why Miami?

Miami is the unofficial capital of Latin America. And our first clients were Miami-based agencies that worked with clients in Latin America. So, it made sense to set up shop here. But, then we realized Miami enabled us to serve a broader market. Most digital production agencies are based in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. The competition is intense and the rents are high. Those costs get passed along to clients. Miami is still flying under the radar and that enables us to provide top-quality services at competitive rates.

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

When cross-screen experiences first became a thing, we built a high impact ad that connected users’ phones to their desktop. They could control the desktop banner from their phone. At the time (this was a few years ago), building that ad required every ounce of technical know-how we had. Now we’re building 360 experiences, game ads, interactive landing pages and more for our clients. But, we still remember that first high impact ad!

How has the business changed since you started?

Flash was king of the digital display advertising world when we started Digitaland. Now, with a few exceptions, the baton has passed to HTML5. The upside: HTML5 is more secure, has cross-screen capabilities and it lets brands tell better stories with more interesting (and interactive) ads. The downside: HTML5 is resource-intensive. Most brands and agencies don’t have the in-house capabilities to build out their ads, which is why a good digital production partner is crucial to building a successful, sustainable campaign strategy.

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

We hear it all the time (and you probably do, too):
“Advertising is dead.”
“Audiences are banner blind.”
“Creative doesn’t really matter. It’s all about targeting.”

But the pundits are wrong. Advertising is very much alive.
Consumers are just tired of low-quality, irrelevant and intrusive ads. That’s why we think a return to craft and high-quality creative will be the next ‘big’ thing in digital display advertising. Brand strategy that treats consumers as partners instead of data points will drive the next great wave of ads.

Digitaland

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

Brands are realizing their biggest asset – the thing that helps them stand out in a sea of competitors – is their voice. That can get lost as it passes through layers of approvals and bureaucracy within brands and their agencies. Working directly with production partners gives brands more creative control, conserves budget, reduces red tape and enables brands to rapidly test ideas. We think the real question is, why didn’t this trend happen sooner?

What is the best thing about working at Digitaland?

It may be cliché, but it’s the truth: our team feels like family. And that’s no accident.
We’ve worked hard to build a team of A players. Every new hire is schooled on the crucial role we play in helping our clients launch on-time, on-budget campaigns. We practice what we preach, so there’s accountability built into every facet of the production process. The pay-off is a tight-knit team of top-performers who know they can depend on their team members to deliver on every project, every time.

You can learn more about Digitaland on VendorDB and at digitaland.tv/

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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.

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.

6s-sxsw

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.

image01

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/.

Partner Spotlight – ATTCK

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 ATTCK!

ATTCK Company Photo

The Vitals

Name: ATTCK
Location: New York, NY
Year Founded: 2014
Specialties: Web Development, Design, and Staffing

What inspired you to start your company?

Dennis Plucinik: The challenge of creating the perfect shop. Chuck and I had been consultants for years (30+ combined) and consistently felt that there was something missing in our profession. There always seemed to be something obvious that could be done better.

Chuck NelsonWe wanted to be the development shop that we wanted to work for. When an agency gets too big, it seems they either start missing the details or stop caring. We wanted both the flexibility of a small shop and a powerful brand and process. We are constantly listening to our team who are in the trenches for ways to improve.

How did the partners meet?

Chuck: We met at a WeWork in 2011 sharing a coworking office. I was listening to the obscure Electro-Nintendo-rock band “Anamanaguchi

Dennis: …loudly in his headphones

Chuck: … you can’t play their music softly, not possible. He asked me if he was listening to Anamanaguchi. From then on, we were fast friends.

ATTCK-partners

Why New York?

Dennis: Because we live here.

Chuck: Aside from the obvious energy of the city, New York offers a wealth of support and community for the startup and media industry. Along with a very unique and eccentric artistic community, New York is unmatched in creativity and technology.

What was the first job someone hired you for?

Disregarding lemonade stands and paper routes, Dennis was hired by his father’s company in 1996 to design and develop their corporate site. If we’re talking about as a company—I think we had a WordProject or SquareSpace project on our first day of business

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

Doing architecture work for enterprise content/ecommerce sites with budget and time constraints is always challenging since early mistakes can manifest as major problems down the road.

Which work or brand are you best known for?

Each of us has worked with many well known brands in our careers. As a company we’re just getting started so our most well known stuff is through other agencies so we can’t discuss them.

Which project is your most underrated?

Chuck: One project, only used internally at the moment, is an app named “What the F*ck Should ATTCK Eat Today?” The office enjoys free lunches everyday, but sometimes we get stuck in a pattern of only eating burritos or at one specific restaurant. To free us from boring lunch choices, a team member created an app that works with the Seamless API to suggest new and different choices in our area at random. The forceful language helps push the suggestion along. Everyone is afraid of a hangry developer.

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

I really liked ANA Connections which was from Firstborn. It combined a beautiful 3D WebGL component and a unique and compelling narrative.

ATTCK-munny

How has the business changed since you started?

Chuck: Many things have changed since the beginning, and we made sure to allow for changes since the beginning; it’s a part of the culture. We’ve added employee driven seminars to be able to present development skills to their peers and made available tools for online learning. We’ve also added company happy hours to get away from a computer screen at the appropriately named hour of “Beer:30.” Constantly improving has been one thing that’s remained constant.

Dennis: It general there’s an increasing number of technologies being introduced. We will live or die by the success of those we choose to specialize in.

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

React Native.

What is your biggest challenge at the moment?

Finding the right talent. We are each multi-disciplinary and self-guided. Add the depth of experience required to actually execute the work and we’re talking about very rare people.

What advice do you have for agency producers or creatives?

Producers should understand all the moving parts with as much detail as possible. This means communicating your understanding of each stakeholder’s unique priorities to everyone on the team. Creatives and devs still just need to learn how to get along 🙂

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

I am obviously in favor of it. They pay less overhead and get to work more closely with the engineers and creatives behind the work.

What is the best thing about working at ATTCK?

Everyone works very closely because individual success is intertwined. We require autonomy and promote mentorship, focus, and ultimately mastery of skill. Also everyone seems to like free lunches, regularly shifting projects, remote working, and free beer.

Where is the best bar in Gramercy?

We drink at the office. Dennis has a great Japanese whisky collection.

Any wild company party stories?

Not yet but we’re setting our sights high.

ATTCK-office_web

You can learn more about ATTCK on VendorDB and at attck.com.

Partner Spotlight – Reddyset

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 Reddyset!

The Vitals

Name: Reddyset
Location: New York, NY
Founded: 2007
Specialties: Banner Ads, Motion Design, Animation, Development

What inspired you to start your company?

We really enjoyed creating motion design for the web, and we knew that most big companies needed banner ads. It became very fun to produce high-quality animations within the technical limitations of media buys. Having millions of people interact with your work is also a neat aspect of the business.

What was the first job someone hired you for?

A screensaver that searched Flickr for images of Converse and rotated them randomly in a continuous loop. This was a really quick job with a big impact. The code was concise, the animation was slick, and the client loved it. At one point it was running on everyone’s computer in the office and we were really satisfied with the results.

office

How has the business changed since you started?

We actually started with a lot of application programming. Our previous work included dashboards, widgets, editors and the like. When Flash began to wane, we focused heavily on banner ads because they were stylistic and profitable. It has been a welcome change, as we’ve become HTML5 animation experts through the process as well.

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

This one is pretty obvious for anyone in the advertising industry. The true end of Flash is upon us, which means that publishers, agencies, and developers need to reconfigure workflows for HTML5 banners. This is great in a lot of ways, including creating opportunities across the board, but the lack of standardization with the ad serving platforms causes plenty of tedious work that had been previously ironed out with Flash. Eventually this pain period will pass, though, and we’ll be back to focusing solely on making banners look great with HTML5.

What advice do you have for agency producers or creatives?

Talk to your developers about technical restrictions before showing anything to the client. Nothing is more stressful than making a promise that can’t be fulfilled. A quick conversation with the developers at the onset of a project can save a boatload of headaches later.

animation

Care to share a joke?

Why did the banner ad cross the road? Click here to find out more.

What does the future look like for Reddyset?

We’re going to remain focused on motion design for the web. There are a lot of upcoming technologies that developers will stretch to their limits and we want to be a part of that growth. Ultimately it is taste that creates good work, and technology is the vehicle, but we love that web animation capabilities will keep expanding.

branding

You can learn more about Reddyset on VendorDB and at reddyset.com.

Partner Spotlight – Fleava

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 Fleava!

fleava

The Vitals

Name: Fleava
Locations: Bali & Jakarta, Indonesia
Year Founded: 2010
Specialties: Website, Mobile Apps, Branding, Digital Production, Digital Marketing

What inspired you to start your company?

The rat race principle of Robert Kiyosaki, the hassle of waking up early every morning, the lack of good digital products in developing countries like Indonesia, but mostly coffee.

portfolio1

What is your most interesting case study?

A mobile app for a famous nightclub in Boston. The problem they had was for VIP members who suppose to be able to enter the club for free, but if they use a traditional VIP card, members can easily pass their card to other people so their friends can enter for free as well. So we created a mobile app for VIP members with a secure QR-code that will display your face and details to the security’s screen. Using this system, they can also track every statistic of each member easily.

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

Virtual & augmented reality, wearables technologies, Squarespace.

portfolio2

What is your biggest challenge at the moment?

Developing country will always be a challenge. The level of technological sophistication, infrastructure, economy conditions, resources, but mostly the slow Internet connection.

What is the best thing about working at Fleava?

Bali is one of the best vacation destinations around the world because of its nature and culture. Just imagine coding stuff while enjoying a breathtaking ricefield view, and the famous balinese coffee.

view-from-office2

You can learn more about Fleava on VendorDB and at fleava.com/.

Partner Spotlight – Pound & Grain

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 Pound & Grain!

Pound & Grain Team

The Vitals

Name: Pound & Grain
Locations Toronto and Vancouver
Year Founded: 2010
Specialties: We specialize in Branding, Digital Marketing, Website Design & Development, iOS Applications, Content Marketing, Social Media.

What inspired you to start your company?

Pound & Grain was born with a passion for digital, and its ability to strengthen the connection between consumers and brands with things people actually want and need.

arc'teryx footwear web experience

How did the partners meet?

We all worked together at a large multi-national agency. We’re thankful for the time we spent there, cutting our teeth on large national and global campaigns with huge budgets. It’s here where we learned that we had a common vision, worked well together, and had strong complimentary skill sets. But it was also where we watched budgets get eaten up in meetings, managing relationships, and slow moving teams. We thought we could build a better mouse trap.

Why Vancouver and Toronto?

We are in Vancouver because it’s our home, and we love it here. It’s a great urban environment, but also very close to mountains, ocean, and a lot of green space, even for geeks like us. There is also amazing talent here, both from a creative and technical perspective.
Our second office in Toronto made a lot of sense for us for many reasons. Several of our regional clients are growing, and have expanded into Toronto. So it made sense for us to follow suit. It’s Canada’s largest city, and the headquarters for most national marketing departments, so it made a lot of sense to be there from a business development and profile perspective.

team3

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

Recently the motion data visualization and infographics in The Fallen of WWII were such a beautiful and important piece of work it knocked us off our chair. The rise of data journalism means you can augment storytelling like never before – turning simple statistics into the story. It also interestingly enough runs counter to the micro content revolution, and the short attention spans of what we’ve been told users want.It’s unapologetically long, and works.

How has the business changed since you started?

We can remember the early days of digital, when digital had to be justified. In those days, more budget was allocated for catering services for the TV commercial shoot than on digital initiatives. It’s nice to see that those times have changed. More recently, the growing shift and blurring lines between product and marketing driven by digital makes it a very exciting time to be an agency.

HeadsUpGuysca

Where is the best bar in Vancouver and Toronto.

In Vancouver, we are partial to the Greedy Pig. Its our local. In fact, they even put a plaque with our name on our favourite table. In Toronto, we can’t get enough of the coffee and snacks at Bar Buca. The fact that you can occasionally get crazy good buffalo milk lattes along with an insane plate of goat meatballs just around the corner is pretty awesome.

Care to share a joke?

We thought you’d never ask! One of our partners, Graham MacInnes kicks off our weekly Monday Morning all staff with groan worthy “dad” joke.  Here’s one that went over really well:

Q: What do you get when you cross an elephant and a rhino?
A: El-if-I-know

You can find this ongoing terrible gag on our instagram feed as we post his “jokes” there every Monday. We apologize in advance.

pound & grain partners

You can learn more about Pound & Grain on VendorDB and at poundandgrain.com/.

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