Issue: June 1, 2009


Branding. We all do it. How we dress, how we walk, how we talk… how we present ourselves is our own personal brand. When a network is tasked with getting its message out, it relies on professionals like the ones interviewed in our "Big Branding" feature.

Experts will be descending on the New York  Hilton June 16-18 for Promax/BDA. There are some great panels and speakers, and if you are anywhere near the Hilton during these dates, I would suggest you pop in; this show never disappoints.

Our feature talks about trends, and one person we spoke with is John LePore from Perception. "At Perception, we embrace trends in a sense that we do not work in a vacuum, however it is important to understand what is motivating these trends, how to reinvent them, and to understand what benefit there is [if any] for your desired message. Trends sometimes have an easily traceable origin such as a one-click software effect, the way Ambient Occlusion — a 3D lighting effect intended to make more realistic renders — has taken off as its own 'look.' In other instances they are the result of a single successful project being referenced by every client saying they want 'that look.' The film Juno was successful and memorable enough that its title sequence's handmade 'mixed-tape' aesthetic — with its own inspiration ranging from punk flyers to Pablo Ferro — is now applied to every teen-dramedy trying to project a breakout-indie feel.

"On our recent batch of Wrecked promos, we simulated the look of HDR photography, something popular within the photography community, but rarely seen in the animation world," he continues. "The way HDR photography is able to illuminate even the finest details gave us the opportunity to amplify the grittiness of our tow truck operators."

According to Jayson Whitmore, creative director of Royale, "The marketing landscape has changed dramatically in the past 10 years with an increasingly ADD world. Brands can live virtually anywhere and are no longer relegated to the :30 spot during commercial breaks. Video and print have become easily accessible, thus creating unique opportunities to get the message out about a brand. From viral video, mobile media, Web banner ads, moving billboards and Internet, virtually anything that has a screen can represent a brand."

Referencing a trend he is seeing in branding main title designs, Scott Williams, VP/creative director at Studio at New Wave, says, "With the rise of the DVR, we are being asked to create main titles that are no more than 10 seconds as opposed to the traditional :30 or :40. The challenge is to create dynamic visuals and musical mnemonics that become iconic to viewers. These shorter recognizable sequences are also crucial as shows move into mobile and digital platforms."