Work culture : we put the Fun in the Fundamentals

Whoever said ‘Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life’, clearly didn’t know his coffee from his lighter fluid. Just like how love is not enough for successful marriages, being passionate about your work is not enough for a successful career. Shocker! Success demands passion that encompasses perseverance and constant learning. That takes a lot of work and effort (and is a mouthful).

At Mypromovideos, we are passionate about telling stories. And in our efforts to keep that passion burning, we come up with activities in the studio, every now and then. On the serious side, we have organized debates, courses, and presentations. On the fun side, we have had games and frolics, cook-outs and movies screenings. We squeezed in these ‘sprint’ activities between regular ‘marathon’ projects and managed not to get dehydrated in the process.

Here you can find the choicest picks from our activities in the last few months (don’t worry, we keep the violent stuff behind closed doors). Check them out.

Animation for Dummies:

Every time I watch my script come alive during the animation stage, I feel two things simultaneously – satisfaction and pride in seeing the fruition of my labour and a pang of disappointment that I can’t animate my script.

Writers, Illustrators or Creative Directors, everybody had faced the same problem at least once before. We decided to change that. Animation would no longer be the mysterious, Area-51 territory. Whoever finds animation interesting can join the bootcamp, learn the basics and sharpen their skills. The gates were thrown open.

Equipped with Flash and blind guts we stepped into it. There was a strong back-to-college vibe every time an assignment was given. Once a week, we would meet and peer review our animated videos. We would critique them based on the 12 principles, creativity, and execution. Soon enough, with practice, we were able to speak the language of animation, understand how the principles were interwoven and even learn some nifty shortcuts!

It’s been two months now. In these 8 sessions, we’ve learnt how to animate a bouncing ball, a pendulum, a flying bird and many other exciting things.

animation bird gif
We did a pretty good job, eh?

Art vs Design:

Yep. We did it. We got into the great debate of the Titans.

On the red team, we had the Legend, the renaissance-revolutionary – Art. And on the blue team, challenging Art, was the latest, the leanest and the meanest – Design.

We gathered around the table, feeling frisky and ready to put the two to a spirited challenge. We pitted Art against Design in various categories: Purpose, Aesthetics, Influence, Skills and Lucidity. Things got heated up pretty quick and then the real fight was on! Questions were fired from every direction and one question in particular, the big daddy of them all, ‘Can Design exist without Art?’, got the two groups arguing over the origins of design for a long time.

We learnt a whole deal that day. And we also understood that, as an animation studio, we can’t lean on one side too much. We were the bridge that connected inspirational art to intelligent design.

artndesign-10

Movie Screenings:

What’s the dullest part of a work week? Saturday afternoon. What better way to spice it up than a matinee show, right here at the studio?

Pixar’s shorts are a treasure trove. They are packed with treats that can inspire artists, writers and animators for at least another decade. All of us were left with goose skin after watching this iconic short. We watched many international films which were revelations to us. Studio Ghibli’s ‘My Neighbour Totoro’ used animation in its most natural form to tell children’s stories. ‘Fears of the Dark’ was one of the first movies in which we experienced animated film noir. We imbibed many things from the movies we screened: variety and richness of the visuals, international movie-making styles, character mannerisms, lighting, humor, and other storytelling techniques.

All of us would look forward to that Saturday and finish the day’s work by noon. Soon as lunch is done, we would kick back and relax with a movie, and let the subconscious mind do its thing. We are sure that the things we’ve absorbed and the inspirations we have taken, will subconsciously trickle out in our future work. We have exposed ourselves to so much of this ‘gamma rays’ of animation movies that you shouldn’t be surprised if one day, we emerge as a gigantic, green, invulnerable superhero.

Adzap:

It was the time when protests against the ban on Jallikattu were making the rounds in the news. As a media house and animal lovers we couldn’t let this slip by while we remained silent. So…

One hour. 7 teams. Brilliant ideas.

We got everyone from the project manager to the sales team involved, because you never know what brilliant ideas are hiding in their minds. Sure enough, they came out with some funky concepts and interesting designs. All but one of the entries were against the ban. Not surprisingly, that one team had a beef lover who had turned bitter. To each his own, I guess. By the end of the hour, the winning entry was chosen. Tell me if that poster didn’t send shivers down your spine. You can also check out the other top poster designs here and here.

There are at least a dozen other activities – treasure hunt, cooking competitions, random discussions on feminism, ice-cream outings, word games, Dumb charades, jungle trips – which if I start ranting about I’d never stop.

Activities like this are like our lifeline. Working on projects on a regular schedule can take a toll on your creative side. Deadlines, fixing errors, and production processes take priority on a daily basis. Every now and then it’s good to let our mind monkeys loose. Who knows where they’ll find a wild, succulent banana (in case it isn’t clear already, the banana is a metaphor for an idea). An office culture should make room for these vent-outs. It helps generate new bana…erm..ideas, un-glues people from Facebook and gives the monkeys a refreshing break. And in the end, without even knowing it, you’d have gained a lot of knowledge.

Image credits: Antony John
This blog was originally published here.

The art of Branded content

What is Branded content?

Branded content is the actor who gets up on stage just to perform – true to her art and true to her audience. She stands out from other fellow actors whose stage acts are cloyingly fake. While other advertising strategies constantly try to convince you of their worth, she’s the passionate one who enjoys her art. She’s not trying to sell anything. The audience is not forced to buy, consult, click, call, respond or take action immediately. They can leisurely contemplate her act and appreciate it in their own time. If they like her performance, they can share it with friends. And if she does a good job, people remember her performance.

Branded content is content in any form that companies create to build brand awareness, improve recall and create a positive brand image. It can be on print, TVC’s, movies or reality shows. But predominantly, they are videos, specifically on various social media platforms.

It employs a reverse marketing method that begins with what brands are made up of – the stories of people.

What stories are people telling each other ? What kinds of videos are people watching online? What connects emotionally with people? What type of content do people enjoy and come back to? What do they often talk about? What are they sharing? What cause do they want to be part of? These questions are research points that form the foundation for this marketing strategy. Once you get this blueprint done, then you figure out a creative way to fit your brand into their stories.

With a blueprint like that, brands can build massive pyramids.

How is it different from Traditional advertising?

Clocks in more:

Permanent Roommates Season 1 had CommonFloor as its Brand Partner. It was an instant hit back in 2014 when the first episode was launched on YouTube. It garnered 12 million views for all five episodes of Season 1. Now, The Viral Fever (TVF) has started Season 2 in association with Ola Cabs.

Did you note that the episode length increased double fold by the end of the series? S1E1 was 14 minutes long. But the final episode was 37 minutes long. In S2, every episode averages at 52 minutes!

Brands in association with successful web series have two advantages: a) They get a large block of time from their audience b) They create expectations in the minds of their viewers.

Stays Mum:

Unlike traditional marketing, brand integrations don’t even mention the features or benefits of the product. They simply entertain the audience.

Look at the number of views on that video!

We are presented with the story of the fastest man alive. Folks at Gatorade have not called attention to their product, except for a brief five seconds. This is Usain’s story. This is a story for the fans of Usain. This story is for achievers and champions-to-be.

The key takeaway is – Gatorade understood their target market right.

So, who are the targets?

Everybody. No, seriously! The whole world can be your audience, if your content is good enough.

Yet, we see brands choosing their target segment very carefully. They find overlaps in their target segments and those of existing popular content creators and draw up a partnership. Collaboration is a great way to get a variety into your content marketing. Take for instance, this video by AIB: An ode to the woman who trudges along on her ‘Walk of Shame’, presented by Truly Madly.

AIB and TM Venn

 

Truly Madly figured out that the majority of their targets were youngsters who would also be fans of AIB. As a viewer, the familiarity of one brand (AIB) is subconsciously connected to the other (Truly Madly) when you take in content that you enjoy. That’s what I’d call a WIN-WIN game.

Branded content gives you powerful and extensive reach.

What are its advantages ?

Back to the stage performance. It is evident that the performer who loves her art is loved by her audience.

Branded content is your company’s way of showcasing your art.

It tells people you care deeply about some cause, that you are passionate about things, that you are not always looking to make big bucks. It gives people a reason to google you and seek you out.

It gives people a reason to love your brand.

This blog was originally published here.

Marketing dot mp4

I got good news, bad news and some great news.

Good news: Rambling prose, the Ramsay Bolton of marketing, is dead.

Video-Heavy-Text

Companies, from startups to giants, have opened their eyes to the astounding potential of a good video.

Businesses are hosting explainers on their landing pages and creating quick, bite-sized content for social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even Pinterest have included native video players on their platforms.

We’ve done away with heavy-text content. And by nudging static ads out, content marketing has stepped into the future.

But along with all the great videos, video marketing dragged in every mediocre, substandard video, bringing in the most dreaded zeitgeist of the current age – a glut of videos.

That leads me to the …

…Bad news: Winter is here. And it brought Ice Zombies

Great-Content

The online marketing rush is amassing video creators, big or small, good or bad. Content is generated in staggering numbers (link to a legitimate site with statistics that show incredible numbers).

When you click on one video, you practically open up the floodgates for an army of related content to pour through. This is being orchestrated by algorithms that analyse your past searches and promote similar content.In the 1900’s that was creepy and unwarranted. In 2016, it’s called personalisation of your newsfeed.

We are facing a massive brain-freeze in terms of consuming curated content. We’re consuming too much, too quickly.

Watch one video about Brexit and get 30 more ‘related’ videos in your YouTube home screen. Watch those, and before you know it, you are learning about the mating patterns of ostriches.

This army is big. Videos, videos are everywhere.

Great news: You can sit on the iron throne.

As the Master of Online Marketing, Bringer of Leads and Keeper of Client relationships, you, of all people will appreciate the importance of Seer. (Seer = a foreteller)

This blog, right here, is your harbinger. Because we have some interesting predictions for the future of video marketing.

Let me usher you in.

You sell energy drinks? Great. Create a video anyway.

Red Bull gives you more than wings.

Red Bull has a content arm, called Red Bull Media house which has been producing video content from the start.

They target the adventurous demographic – guys and gals – who need that extra boost of adrenaline. Now, Red Bull is synonymous with gaining power, energy, skills and of course the proverbial sprouting of wings.

Every company will become a media company in the coming years. So, what you should be doing NOW, is concentrating on building an audience who are not just customers but are also evangelists.

Don’t stop with one.

Nykaa, a one-stop online shop for beauty products, has pulled-in ‘beauty gurus’ of YouTube fame, to create How-to’s, Challenges, List videos and many other types of engaging videos.

Nykaa has nearly 44k subscribers on YouTube and 109k followers on Instagram. That kinda fan following doesn’t happen with just one video.

Home Depot has more than 122k subscribers on Youtube. Their YouTube channel has hundreds of How-to videos, Expert’s opinions, Challenges, and other home-repair related content, in neatly organized playlists.

These companies are not aiming to produce one mega-hit, super-viral video.

Instead, they try to build audiences beyond their current circle, by producing useful and entertaining content. It helps if this content is continuous, episodic and well, available online.

Every video counts.

Jumping on the bandwagon is all fine, as long as you can create great videos every time.

Bad quality videos can have two results: a) It can go viral for all the wrong reasons or b) it can vanish. It’s going to hurt your brand if your target is to hit the one-hundred-video-mark on your YouTube channel. Bad videos fill your channel but in the end, they really give you a sucker-punch when it comes to Branding.

This can help:

Good video: Replaces content
Great video: Enhances content

A good video has good execution but disregards the content. A great video always, always adds to the script or idea behind it.

Content is most definitely King.

The future of Video marketing is already here.

Online communities and content creators have experimented with a lot of trends in videos in the past 6 months:

  • Facebook introduced autoplay and suggested videos
  • Facebook launched live streaming
  • Businesses make explainer videos and demo videos (this is my personal favourite)
  • Individuals create homemade videos for personal branding
  • Companies use short and sweet animation videos for processes like employee on-boarding, CSR formalities, fire drills etc. (another favourite)

And that should tell you a lot about what the future holds for videos.

Video marketing is at the cusp of a major explosion. They are going to be ubiquitous. Soon, when you think of press releases, sales emails, reaching out to leads, running event campaigns, or branding, you will think of videos.

Thanks for sticking around till the end, even if this post didn’t have any videos for you.

I’d like to thank Vidyard for the reference. And Game of Thrones for the gifs.
This blog was originally published here.


Other blogs:

Behind the scenes: Toastmasters – Ovation 2016 video

“And now, I call upon ( fill in your name ) to deliver the address”

Has this line ever brought nightmares to you?

Public speaking. It can be terrifying.

But a bunch of people from an organisation called ‘Toastmasters’ are arguing otherwise. Ask Sundaresan, and he’ll tell you how thrilling it is to stand in front of an audience and deliver a speech.

Well, Sundar, my answer to you is, OF COURSE, speaking comes naturally to you! You are equal parts Toastmasters and Sales Expert – you are hardwired to talk relentlessly!

Now Jayan, who was an experienced speaker, was no stranger to us. We’ve done projects for him in the past. So we already had this good bromance-type of relationship going on with him.

It so happened that Jayan was selected as the Conference Chair for Ovation 2016 – the biggest annual event of District 82 Toastmasters. He wanted to do something creative for the revealing the event. That’s when we came into the picture – as humble video makers.

You see, until then all Ovation conferences would have videos, no doubt. But they didn’t capture the essence of Toastmasters.

“We could double up as capturers of essences”, we offered.

And there we were, Creative Partners with Toastmasters of District 82 for their annual conference.

Continue reading

Adding Chemical X to an explainer – HR Cube

“Sugar, spice and everything nice – these were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect little girls.But Professor Utonium accidentally added an extra ingredient to the concoction —

Chemical X. Thus, The Powerpuff Girls were born.”

Ah! What an awesome title sequence! The Powerpuff Girls were my heroes, cute and tough at the same time.

I wish every project of ours was this awesome.

You know what? One did come very close – HR Cube.

 

Our experience with this hiring portal based out of USA, was similar to the title song of The Powerpuff Girls. Suddan and Pritha from HR Cube managed a satellite base, here at Coimbatore.

At the onset, they asked for a marketing video that would target 3 heterogeneous groups of people (do you know how strenuous it is to capture ONE type of audience? Now multiply that by 3) They requested us to use only the 3 colors from their logo. Aaand finally, our deadline was just 3 weeks away.

A challenge from the start. We loved it!

These were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect little video:

  • 3 target audiences,
  • 3 colors,
  • 3 weeks

(Sugar, spice and EVERYTHING ELSE that was nice came later!)

Sugar, spice and everything nice

 

What…? Oh, you’re wondering what Chemical X was?

Patience. I’m getting to it.

We had the brief from the client and we had the vigor for a new project. Now we needed a style. Udhaya, took up the role of the Creative Director. Prof.U’s (yeah, Udhaya became our ‘Professor’) instincts pointed to Motion graphics. He wanted to create something utterly new.

 

Professor U had a formula – “Elegant and Smart. Yet, minimalist.”

Confused much? I assure you, that’s how we felt too.

A little unsure but a lot daring. Eeeks!

 

Scary, I know. But we consoled ourselves that scientists also felt the same way most of the time. It was like the perfect opportunity for us to don white coats and turn into researchers.

Shareef was incredibly supportive for this ‘trial run’. He had to manage our resources, making sure that everyone was on the same page. That goes for the client too. I mean, how else could we convince HR Cube to trust us with something this vague? Shareef made it easier for us to concentrate on our production, while he handled any questions HR Cube posted.

By this point, we had it in our heads that we were scientists. So, it was upto Shareef to change the MPV studio into the perfect lab.

The Laboratory:

Initially, it was all abstract. But Vimida, picked up fast. She even took it further and scripted an emotive story.

Motion graphics are a way to talk about the bigger things in life; social, corporate and economic issues. In this case, it was about what Enterprises thrive on – their people.

It’s no surprise that Enterprises are built from their employees. Vimida wanted this to be the core of the script.

So, she chose to narrate the story of two people – Mark and Eddy – enveloped in the story of Enterprises.

Writing scripts for a motion graphics video, was already a Herculean task. Now imagine writing one with a storyline – it was Super Tough. She handled it brilliantly.

Even though this was only a branding video on the surface,(and branding videos are generally boringggg bullet points), she took up the dare to use the underlying story of enterprises.The script didn’t stop with Mark and Eddy; it went further and tied their stories with that of Enterprises, making it a grand Story of Success in the end.

We knew that this slightly intense project needed more than your regular animation treatment. So likeProf.U ( the real Prof.U this time ) we began experimenting, tweaking our traditional ‘animation process’ in the affair.

Udhaya…sorry Professor U…decided that character design would come later. First, he wanted to set the tone and style of the video.

So, he designed the first few seconds of the video. Only after seeing that shot our confidence level rose. The cloudy abstractness became clearer now.

 

Collaboration – An Artist, a Designer and an Animator :

It was an odd combination.

What were you expecting? Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup?! 😛

Nanda, our artist, was bubbling with excitement (bubbling…Bubbles…teehee 😉 ) He was soooo into the idea of a story-based motion graphics that he volunteered himself in.

Now, Nanda usually is a high-spirited and vibrant artist. This time, he was even more so! Everyday, he would pitch in his ideas for each style frame of the video, and everyday the trio moved a little closer to a rough storyboard.

Let me tell you a little something about Motion graphics – it is like a cheetah-set-on-fire-and-running-at-supersonic-speeds.

Blink. And you miss it.

You would see lots of movements and transitions and things whizzing past you. So, Nanda had to create characters (human characters!!)  that could keep up with the pace of these movements.

Man, he NAILED IT !!

HR Cube character design

He came up with characters that were made from only strokes and negative spaces. That was some Ah-maze-ing stuff, Nanda *applause, applause*. You took character design to another level.

Ahh..delightful Bubbles! So who comes after Bubbles? Buttercup, right?

Well, our Designer, Antony showed us how much of a Badass he was when he gave the characters some sass.

Yup, he LITERALLY defined the skeletal characters, adding a stethoscope here, and a toque there and……

Voila!

HR Cube metaphor

 

You’d begin to see a doc, a chef , an engineer…

It was simply superb!

Antony was also the one who came up with the idea of using a metaphor for the candidate selection process, which is the crux of HR cube’s brand. How did you come up with such an abstract concept, dude?

 

Using arrows to represent candidates!! Now there’s something we have never heard or seen before!

 

Arrows representing candidates

So while the characters were blowing our minds, there came the next powerpuff superhero.

 

As were the characters, so was the animation:

 

Blossom. The sensible, ‘self-proclaimed’ commander and leader… Sara extended this “Strokes Theme”  to the animation. If you think about it, it does make a lot of sense to adopt the style of characters for animation. Logically, aesthetically and obviously – as were the characters, so was the animation.

Sara did a couple of whishy-whooshy animagic for the motion graphics – so that all the elements felt like they were whishing-in and whooshing-out from the viewer’s point of view.

Here, let me give you an example – in one scene, the stroke for ‘TRUST’ comes from outside the frame – this was to subliminally show that the viewer is extending his own trust. Whoaah, that was some deep thought, Blosssss…err..Sara. Kudos!

Trust gif

I feel that the music deserves special mention. The energetic and peppy music added life to every second of the video. Arielle, the Voice over artist, gave a pleasant and sophisticated narration that blended in perfectly with the tone of the video.

I could keep talking about the little animation technicalities that made this video interesting – the teeny-tiny sparks, the action-packed centre of the frame, the subtly gradient background, the fixed camera, the motion-centric storytelling et cetera, et cetera but I won’t elaborate. I’ll let you experience it.

Note: You will have to be ultra-observant if you want to grasp them.

 

Positive results:

 

Not every experiment ends in positive results. We were a lucky bunch. *happy dance*

This project really proved worthwhile of all the man-hours and brain juices we put it.

The support and enthusiasm from our clients during the production was immense. Actually, we had our doubts when we gave Suddan and Pritha a short demo. But their positive feedback encouraged us till the end.

Scientists (that’s us!)  are usually not spokespersons. Our Project manager, Shareef, was again, the man of the hour. He conveyed our thoughts and ideas to HR Cube, who graciously accepted the changes, and gave us enough freedom to explore this path.

Also, Shareef’s best dreams came true – HR Cube agreed to extend the deadline (sleep easy, Shareef). The little extra time worked to our advantage.

Naturally, we are elated about our project with HR Cube as it was one of our creative best in recent times.

Thankfully (read, shockingly!!) we didn’t burn any hands or scorch any hair during the process. So yeah, we will always remember this project as that which pushed our limits.

text poster

Fun fact: Looks like Powerpuff Girls is making a re-entry – to make our lives awesome again!

Check it out.  

My gut feeling told me that CN would bring them back 😉 😉

 

IMG-20160313-WA0009

The making of an intergalactic explainer video – Almamapper

Heeblue wavegy!

I just said ‘Heya People!’ in alien. Bet you didn’t know that.

I couldn’t speak alienese either until Xeno came by to our studio. Yep, I’m talking about this swole triangular alien-guy-person.

Almamapper's Xeno

Pankaj and Chandra are earth-borns who were looking to skyrocket their website/app Almamapper. The duo contacted Vibin and what do you know, they instantly connected.

 

Being Bro’s from Pune and all.

 

Shareef co-ordinated a call with the friendly folks, and we got to know that they were scouring outer space for video makers who can give them an offbeat video.

 

Heyyyy that’s us!!

 

We’re wacky,

we’re itching to add weird-ity to our work

AND we’re great video-makers (their words, not ours).

 

Udhaya, Vimida, Vibin and I sat down for brainstorming. We didn’t have to think for long, because Vimida pitched an idea – an alien who wants to study on earth – and it stuck.

While writing the script, I was fully engrossed in telling the story of Xeno, the quirky, tech-savvy alien. Vimida suggested that I use a repetitive (anaphoric) rhythm with the words ‘Enter…’. And as you can see, that created a nice tippy-tappy pattern in the script. After a while, even you’ll start guessing where the narrative will say the next “Enter…”

Yep, that was rad.

Doing the visuals was great fun. We were given COMPLETE creative freedom from Pankaj (I’m still stumped. Full freedom? Does it taste better than Dum Biryani?!) We imagined intergalactical worlds and how everything would be shaped differently, even the characters!

 

Ganesan and Mahesh took it up from there and came up with the entire storybo….

OMG – brain flash – I think this is the first time we got THIS excited about shapes after kindergarten!!

…with the entire storyboard in a couple of hours.

 

Ganesan withdrew into his artist’s corner – an unofficial corner at the office where he goes to get inspiration ( btw it only works for him. I checked) – and brought out the four main characters – fully formed and ready-to-rock.

Almamapper character

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Xeno, Prof.Bree, Peter and Inya were born out of the sweet marriage of geometry and art.

His illustrations also brought crazy-amounts of details to the frame with only the basic shapes and minimalist characters.

 

Exhibit A:

Almamapper style fram

 

 

Mahesh and Dinesh drowned the video in a full 2D render, although parts of it were composed of 3D elements. Dinesh spent hours pouring over “particles simulation” in After Effects for the first few seconds of the video – woaaahhh…the galaxy scene blows you away right from the start, doesn’t it?

When Mahesh was handed Almamapper and a tight deadline, of course he came up with stunning animations that left us in awe. Pankaj loved the style frames and the demo we sent him and told us he was excited for the full video. Let me tell you, it’s not easy animating sooo… many characters ( nearly 4 full-length characters and several other bust-length characters ) especially when Mahesh was hard-pressed for time. Besides, the quality of the video could get affected if we hastened production.

We were petrified; like seriously, nail-biting, hair-pulling kinda scared about the deadline. That’s when Shareef jumped in and spoke to Pankaj, explaining our need for extra time. His assertiveness convinced Pankaj and Chandra and they extend our timeline.

Bahhhh….now you know our secret weapon 😛

Prasad killed it in the music segment. His use of sci-fi sounds in the scene where Xeno is comparing colleges is bang on! Chelsea was our first and only choice this time, because duh, voice acting is the main spaceship that carries this narrative. And she did a splendid job.

Now for the solo rant:

It has been a while since we added to our list of zany productions ( FunMango, Wizzki, Vizdesk ). Almamapper proved a worthy challenge, because we had only 10 days – 10 FRIGGING DAYS – to do a full on CREATIVE project.

I mean no disrespect, but Creativity is a Bi..ahhh…BIG RESPONSIBILITY, yeah, ahem, that’s what I meant.

So trying to rope in Creativity in such a short time is next to impossible – but we pulled it off with style! Can I get an Amen? Thank you.

*drops mike hard on the floor*

Overall, Almamapper is the kind of video that you have to watch twice – once for understanding the content and the second time to discover all the bonus easter eggs 😉 Needless to say, we are extremely happy for the opportunity to make an avant-garde branding video for Pankaj and Chandra.

P.S. And to answer your question, yes. Full freedom does taste better than Dum biryani – by a very small margin.

 

The Karo Mutterfly Recipe

Roughly 25 years ago, all ad-breaks on television were filled with reallllyyyyy catchy jingles.

Remember them?

Ahhh!  Wonderful nostalgia.

Our latest video for Mutterfly is going to bring you truck-loads of nostalgia – pukka – 100%.

Akshay came to us with a clear proposal. He was impressed with our Stayzilla musical and wanted a video that was just as ‘zippy and addicting’. Possibly with a 90’s touch-of-magic.

Sundar understood that the founder of Mutterfly was looking for a musical/commercial/branding video.

He duly handed it to production and this was our first thought:

“A jingle?!  Just like in the 90’s ?! JOLLY! JOLLY! JO….LLLLLLY! ”

Udhaya decided to go with a concept that connected to our nativity. We’d show the core message – an app that used food-sharing to bring neighbours closer – with a lovable character. This concept covered all kinda folks, from bachelors to home cooks.

Vimida listened to the good ol’ jingles for hours and then finally hit upon a suave granny character. You guessed it 😉 Nikki’s granny was the perfect mascot for Mutterfly. She was charming, kind to her neighbours and reflected the yester-generations.

Mutterfly grannie
Nikki’s granny

 

But a jingle is supposed to, well, jingle, na?

The scripter dropped some food references and small servings of hindi phrases here and there to make it more rhythmic. Vimida’s brain was buzzing along to a rough tune, while she wrote this down. And as she sang the track, you could almost hear Nikki’s granny giving her ‘the seal of approval’.

Prasad drew out the MOST pumped up, foot-tapping jingle, specially made for Nikki’s Granny. Akshay loved the sub-urban, folksy feel that this desi-number was spreading.

Then, it was time for storyboarding and animation.

For Ganesan, who loves sketching scenes from the country-side in his free time, this project was really exciting. He sketched Nikki’s granny and her younger self – a cute little girl with pigtails; I HAVE to talk about Ganesan’s ingenuity here: he actually created all the styleframes (even the period ones) in color, in advance. And then applied a filter on top to give it that ‘sepia’ look – “just in case the client requests them in color”. Props to him on his futuristic thinking.

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Sara, our animatron is a quiet interviewee. Ask him what part of the video was challenging and his reply is a calm smile. But after a lottttt of pestering questions, he finally hinted at struggling a little for the dance scene. (Rumour has it that he choreographed the moves himself and then taught them to his animatables. *insert impressive emoji*)

Thanks to Ganesan and Sara, this video turned out to be visually enticing in places like the logo entrance and the transition from our granny’s past to her present – WAH!

 

Nikki’s granny is soooo adorable – whether she’s young or old – whether she’s eating parathas or pizza – she’s got great gusto. And that just makes me wanna give her a BIGGGGGG hug 😀

Pretty soon, we began humming lines from this upbeat musical. I bet you won’t find a single Indian who can resist saying ‘Hai, hai’ and ‘karo Mutterfly…karo Mutterfly’.

As always Shareef was a constant support to us in every phase, be it getting the music from Prasad or shuttling ideas with Akshay, he kept up the spirit during production. Going in, we had great expectations for this project, given its zany composition and the funky animatables. And all that work truly paid off when we heard the good news.

Sundar was ecstatic when he shared the stats of this video; our video had grabbed 707 views in the first week that it was uploaded on our YouTube channel –  that is more than 10% of our subscribers – yayyyyy! It even scored a tremendous 6.7K views on Mutterfly’s facebook page.

I’m telling you, dancing grannies are all the rage in 2016! 😉

With Mutterfly we kickstarted 2016 in a HYPER-JOLLY mode.

Mutterfly is truly one of those tracks you really can’t stop mid-way. You HAVE to finish it.

And a 5, and a 6, and a 5, 6, 7, 8….

“When Nikki’s granny was very very young…neighbourhood was verrrrry fun….mmmm….”

Dharmalife – Not the ‘usual’ Explainer video

If you had an app that could literally change lives, what would you do? Well Sasidhar, our client, had a clear idea of what HE would do.

Sasidhar approached Mypromovideos with an unusual request – make an explainer video that does not explain the product. Yes, that does NOT explain the product. His app, Dharmalife, was set to change lives of those under the influence of the most dangerous of villains – our emotions.

So we started off with the problem that even the best of us face – Emotions out of control. How many of you have gone ‘Arrrggghhhhhh’ with smoke coming outta your ears when you have slow internet ? Me…me ….me!!

Guilty!!

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The making of Micrograam – Explainer Video

“Life is a circle”, begins the video. You witness the seed sprouting into a young sapling and growing into a big strong tree. With this ebb & flow of nature, the story of Maya unfolds. It is a story of the determinate Maya, who wants to educate her 3 children, with her meager income from selling nuts.

This story speaks to all you Humanitarians out there.

Would you like to know how this video took shape ? Read on…

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