The Story Behind the 2015 Quinlan Show Reel

Sarah

Quinlan’s 2015 show reel consists of recent work we’ve done for clients like Apple Rubber, Trocaire College, Uncle Bob’s Self Storage, Northwest Bank, Premiere Consulting Associates, among others. Creative Director Frank Conjerti and his development team work closely with our staff writers to create original scripts, mesh live action with custom animation and tell the stories our clients want to share. The new show reel captures the colorful storytelling ability that defines our best work.

“Our show reel represents our past success but also our capabilities for the future.” Frank, says.  “It shows a conceptual theme of examples we can present to the public about who we are.”

Sharpening the show reel

Frank spent a significant amount of time honing this year’s show reel because, he explains, he wanted the work to pop off the screen both visually and audibly. “The most time consuming piece of this project was editing,” he says. “Each still needed to match the music to keep it smooth, which can take time.” Our work and quality has improved and increased dramatically, and we wanted to use industry-leading editing techniques to achieve something greater.”

Check out the animation in the new show reel—that’s the work of MacLaine Russell, Quinlan’s VFX producer. MacLaine partnered with Cinema 4D Studio to achieve the precise, eye-catching animations showcased in the reel.

What are Quinlan’s video design goals for 2015? “To win the Addy award!” Frank laughs. “We have already won a Manny award and our next goal is to win an Addy award in years to come. Of course, our ultimate goal is to bring in potential clients and show our existing clients that we are capable of doing more for them.”

Tell us what you think! Tweet us @QuinlanCompany.  You can also follow us on Facebook to see more of our teams work.

 

Delivering the goods: Our own MacLaine Russell rolls out mobile video game

Kristin

“When I have an idea,” Quinlan VFX producer MacLaine Russell says, “I tackle it.”

This seems to be a guiding principle for MacLaine, who, as a grade schooler, put together a list of projects and individual goals he wanted to achieve in his future.

Last week, he was able to cross a pretty big accomplishment off his list.

As of Friday, February 13, MacLaine’s new mobile game, YOFi Delivers – featuring energy-powered robots and secret agents – is now available for purchase on iTunes.

Design and Development

“When I was younger, my neighbor had a television with an old gaming system, and there was a game called Happy Trails,” MacLaine remembers. “I was addicted to it. When I recently started playing games on my phone, I couldn’t find it. So I thought to myself – ‘I bet I can make it.’”

In August 2013, the development began. With the help of some research and how-to articles, he found a free and relatively easy-to-use platform called Unity that allowed him to combine script with 3D aspects.

“I had some familiarity with JavaScript from my development days, and I ran into a team of developers who were trying to break into the app market,” Maclaine says. “We partnered in this game and they assisted on the development side.”

MacLaine believes the software played a big part in the success of the game.

“The community was so helpful,” he says. “If you’re successful with the app, Unity will actually send you a bill for their software. They’re encouraging their users to be successful.”

iTunes also allows Mac to view his metrics. From this past weekend, he already has several downloads from the Asian market – including China, Vietnam, South Korea and Japan.

Navigating the game: Yofi Delivers

“I was doodling one day, and I drew a robot,” MacLaine notes. “My daughter, three at the time, named him YOFi. I thought it was hilarious that she named him that, and I decided to make him the main character of my game.”

YOFi serves as a secret agent who has to deliver packages from one agent to another. His goal is to make it from point A to point B – and in order to get to his destination, he has to traverse through a maze.

Yofi Delivers Puzzle

“The user’s job is to move blocks and paths around to help Yofi get to his destination,” MacLaine says. “He also runs on limited energy, so the user has a certain amount of time before YOFi will run out of it.”

The goal? Make the delivery, get paid, and use the currency to buy more energy for YOFi.

Moving forward: What’s next?

While the iOS game is now available on iTunes, Mac has already started two other games, with one in an alpha testing phase. He enjoys the hobby, but enjoys the learning experience, too.

“My original intent for this was to develop the game for fun,” he notes. “I wanted to play the game, so I found a way to develop it. But if I can make money from it, why not? It has even helped me learn more about this market. Many people are oblivious when it comes to marketing and advertising for games.”

Although the project was not affiliated with Quinlan, MacLaine believes that having knowledge and experience in this area can help the digital team down the road.

“Moving forward, maybe it would make sense to offer these services,” MacLaine says. “I’ve put quite a bit of research into the advertising and monetization aspect, and I can use this as a case study to figure out what works and what doesn’t work.”

Ready to play? Check out Mac’s game in the iTunes App Store.

Valentine’s Day: Share the Love for Ads

Sarah

When you think of Valentine’s Day advertising, do any digitally savvy content marketing projects leap to mind?  Here are two examples that we think are especially clever:

1. Starbucks and Match.com create ‘World’s Largest #StarbucksDate’

This Valentine’s Day, Starbucks is teaming with Match.com to get true love brewing across the United States.

The two brands make a nice couple! Match reports that over 3 million users of the online dating service name “coffee and conversation” as an interest.  Match’s app users can now access a “Meet at Starbucks” feature that allows members to connect with potential soulmates and initiate the first coffee date.

The romance doesn’t stop there — on Friday, Feb. 13,  Starbucks and Match will host the World’s Largest #StarbucksDate. Couples are invited to head to their nearest Starbucks, order from a special $5 menu of coffee and treat pairings, enjoy romantic music and utilize “photo props to document and share your #StarbucksDate.”

This is the latest in a series of innovative mobile moves by Starbucks. AdWeek notes that the coffee giant — whose CEO was on the cover of TIME Magazine this week — “already has a mobile payment app that brings in about 15 percent of the company’s U.S. revenue (and) was one of the first brands to strike a deal with Uber, allowing customers to order car service from the Starbucks app.”

“There’s no better time to celebrate meaningful moments of connection, and encourage new ones, than during Valentine’s Day,” Sharon Rothstein, Starbucks global chief marketing officer, was quoted as saying in the #StarbucksDate press release. Indeed, Sharon.

2. Coca-Cola’s Digital Vending Machine

Another interactive promotional campaign tied to Valentine’s Day that caught our eye was Coca-Cola’s 2014 virtual vending machine.

The virtual machine was installed to only appear when couples would walk past it, leaving singles left alone to stare at an empty brick wall.

The vending machine enticed couples to stay long enough to interact with the machine, which would ask the couple their names, then create customized Coke cans.

This clever concept garnered tons of earned media around the globe, and sparked the fully-engaged snark of Ad Week writer Gabrielle Beltrone.

“(R)efusing to even show the new machine to solo passersby is really just an extra twist of the knife,” Beltrone wrote, tongue firmly in cheek (?). “ Seriously, just look at the poor chump staring at the blank wall, at the end (of the video). No soda for you, lonely boy.”

What are your thoughts? Tweet us at @QuinlanCompany

Meet Grace Gerass, our new digital content coordinator

Sarah

We are excited to welcome Grace Gerass as our new digital content coordinator.

Grace is our new digital content coordinator, a position she comfortably trasitions into after interning and freelancing with Quinlan for the past nine months.

“We’ve been very impressed with Grace’s work,” Ben Kirst, Quinlan’s director of digital content, says. “She has proven herself to be a strong writer and sharp thinker. She’s also very well-prepared for all of her work, and brings a great positive attitude to the office. We’re glad to have Grace on board.”

Grace’s responsibilities as digital content coordinator include copywriting, social media and content marketing for our clients.

A recent graduate from the State University of New York at Fredonia, Grace holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and served as president and treasurer of the SUNY Fredonia Chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America from 2012 to 2014.

Grace currently resides in Wheatfield, New York.

To hear more from Quinlan’s digital content department follow us on twitter @QuinlanCompany and find us on Facebook.

Quick view: Quinlan’s latest digital development work

Kristin

Over the last quarter, our digital designers and developers have been hard at work building websites for three of our clients: National Equity Recovery Group, Apple Rubber and Premier Consulting Associates, LLC.

All projects couple simple and refreshing design with interactive components that fit these very different clients’ specific needs.

The Quinlan Dev Team

Our team consisted of UI/UX Developer Michael Belfatto, Vice President of Operations Ryan DiMillo, Director of IT Greg Croniser, Digital Designer Brandon Stenzel and Digital Develepor Drew Celestino.

Project 1: National Equity Recovery Group

There were two goals for the NERG website: 1.) Showcase the client’s main services, and 2.) Simplify the site. Belfatto’s design emphasized large, scenic background photos, minimized content and ensured that National Equity’s services played a central role.

Who is National Equity Recovery Group?

National Equity Recovery Group (NERG) is a Buffalo-based consulting firm specializing in recovering funds from class action litigation and business overcharges. They have recovered more than $57 million for thousands of clients, including some of the largest companies in the world.

Here’s how it was done:

  • Better contact forms. Contact links that open an outgoing message in the user’s email browser leave opportunities for a potential customer to abandon the contact process or provide less-than-clear data. This can be frustrating for both the recipient — who isn’t sure how to help the person asking for info — and the user, who is forced to do the bulk of the outreach work. The contact forms on the National Equity site require users to provide customer-specific information on a clean, easy-to-use interface that actually prepopulates with the appropriate service requiring further explanation.

nerg

  • Beautiful imagery. National Equity is Buffalo-based, but nationally recognized. To touch on both of these aspects, the site displays large, artistic background images of well-known Buffalo landmarks. This helps retain the company’s Western New York feel with specific, recognizable images while crafting a metropolitain image that relates to clients across the country.
  • Responsive client map. Instead of featuring a long list of clients, our dev team made the decision to utilize an interactive, high-definition map to easily display locations where National Equity had secured successful settlement payments for clients as well as regions served by the company. The map is also mobile-friendly.

client map

Project 2: Premier Consulting Associates, LLC

Who is Premier Consulting, Associates LLC?

Premier Consulting Associates, LLC is an independent consulting firm that partners with employers of all sizes in managing their healthcare benefits. Premier maintains over $1 billion in healthcare claims and market over $10 million in stop loss premiums.

Here’s how it was done:

  • Simplicity. Similar to the National Equity project, the design for Premier Consulting Associates’ website is simple. Rather than a content-heavy layout, white space and background images dominate the homepage. As Belfatto notes, less can sometimes be more.
  • Internal Pages.  Since Premier offers so many specific services, our team needed to concentrate on site navigation that was intuitive without being overwhelming. They got the nav down to four selections: users can choose from About, Plan Management, Self-Funding Services or Insured & Other, according to their needs at the moment. “We put a heavy focus on their main services,” Belfatto says. “It allowed us to simplify the homepage so customers could find exactly what they needed.”

Premier

Video. It’s one of our specialties. With the help of outside cinematography and on-screen talent, our team developed a one-minute introductory video for the Premier homepage that combines live action and custom animation .The brains behind the operation were Digital Creative Director Frank Conjerti, Producer MacLaine Russell and Digital Content Director Ben Kirst.

“We shot the video on a RED Scarlet camera, which shoots in 4K,” Conjerti says. “This is double the pixels of regular HD and it really gave us flexibility in framing the scenes and finishing up details in post-production. It allowed us to present some complex material in a simplified, entertaining manner.”

Project 3: Apple Rubber Products

Who is Apple Rubber?

Apple Rubber is a leading designer and manufacturer of seals and sealing devices serving the needs of countless industries — from automotive and aerospace, to pharmaceutical and medical devices. The company has introduced O-Ring advancements and developing expert engineering services for customers around the globe.

arp website 2

Here’s how it was done:

  • Engineering Tools: The new website provides quick access to popular engineering and design tools — like the O-Ring Calculator, Material Selection Guide and the Seal Design Guide — right from the homepage. We put the redesigned focus on areas that users were accessing more often, so they can now utilize the most relevant content and products.
  • Responsive Design. Our team combined the separate desktop and mobile versions of the website into one fast, fully responsive website. Users can access support forms from any device — like desktops, tablets and smartphones — which were previously only available on a desktop computer.

Apple Rubber’s website redesign centered primarily on increasing conversions and improving the user experience.

From December 1, 2014 to January 30, 2015, the website experienced a 17% increase in conversions and a 40% improvement in average page load time – as compared with the same period the previous year.

“When executed properly, responsive design can dramatically improve all key metrics of a website,” says Ryan DiMillo, Vice President of Operations. “By providing a higher level of technical customization that caters to both the multi-device human and the search engine spider, this positively effects conversions and search rank.”

Congratulations to the entire digital team for a job well done on these projects.