Category: Oishii Creative

18
May

Break Your Creative Bubble

 

 

 

zachary-nelson-192289 (1)Oishii’s Kate Canada Obregon was recently asked to talk about diversity for The Drum News. As you might expect from Oishii, she challenged peers to break creative conceptual bubbles, the safe zones for creating content for audiences. Audiences are tired of safe and simple recycled creative. Whether a creative advertising campaign or brand visual refresh, audiences want new ways of seeing their world.  Telling good stories means stepping into the many shades, values and geographies and telling our collective history. We’re not talking art or design that speaks from on high, tucked away in a museum. A successful promo can act as a window into the ways we are  bound together under a community, country, politics and culture while giving an unexpected burst of inspiration. Audiences will continue to ignore commercial creative work unless it can satisfy. inspire and sustain.  Here’s to crafting the art between story and design, telling poignant and diverse stories for us all.

 

24
Sep

What’s Your 30-Second Story?

In 2001, when BMW debuted its series of short films, The Hire, helmed by Hollywood directors including Guy Ritchie and Ang Lee and starring Clive Owen, customers and press alike went wild. The series set a benchmark for branded content and spurred the conversation about the importance of storytelling in advertising. At approximately 10 minutes each, the eight films exemplified the future of brand partnerships and the symbiotic relationship between advertising and entertainment; however, they weren’t seen as examples any brand could emulate. They should have been.

What drew people to The Hire and what makes it so memorable more than a decade later, wasn’t just the production values or the A-list talent, it was that at it’s heart, it was dynamic, engaging storytelling. Even if you don’t have the luxury of BMW’s budget and schedule for that project, anyone can tell a good story. And when you’re building storytelling into your ad campaigns, via branded content, promos or commercials, whether you’re selling cars, detergent or television, you need to keep in mind the four basic principles of storytelling: descriptive character, clear goal, meaningful conflict and a resolution that teaches a lesson.

Good storytelling isn’t about the length of the story, it’s about servicing these four core elements to create an engaging scenario. Novelists, screenwriters and even comic book scribes know that for a successful story, you can’t leave any one out. We need a character to identity with, whose viewpoint takes us through the action — for BMW, it’s Clive Owen, aka The Hire; a goal to show us what we desire and are striving for — a quick getaway in luxury, comfort and style; the introduction of conflict to make a case for our product — eccentric baddies in fast hot rods are chasing him; and finally, a resolution that teaches us that if a BMW can service a wheelman for hire, think what it can do for you.

Too often, brands devote their precious air-time to listing features or touting their position over the competition as stand-alone mini-segments of an already brief spot, when these selling points could be integrated into the narrative. Anyone can say a product is amazing, but if you tell your audience the story of your product, while offering a display of its worth, it’s going to emotionally resonate with them, even if you’ve only got 30 seconds.

To further illustrate this, let’s make up something far less action- (and budget-) packed — a detergent ad: A harried working mom (descriptive character) is prepping for her big dinner party (clear goal), when one of the kids accidentally spills juice down her cocktail dress (meaningful conflict). But, she is a savvy protagonist who uses our detergent client’s stain remover and gets the stain out just in time for the party (resolution with a clear lesson to always have our client’s brand on-hand.) It has a beginning, middle and end, showcases the consumer’s need and how the brand will fulfill it, all with no box-reading voiceover or side-by-side real-time stain removal comparisons needed.

As Jon Hamm (no, the other one), said in Adweek, “The most powerful way to persuade someone of your idea is by uniting the idea with an emotion. It’s indisputable that the best way to do that is by telling a compelling story.” It’s something BMW understood all those years ago, you may have great brand attributes, but it’s presenting them through the four storytelling principles that will tell your most compelling and memorable story possible.

27
May

A ‘Brief’ Encounter and Why Your Company Needs a Chief Creative Officer

brief-logo

We were recently featured in PromaxBDA Creative Brief, calling out our multidisciplinary talent.

You see, “Strategy” is more than a service offering at Oishii Creative. In fact, it’s so woven into our culture and business practices that you’re as likely to run into a political scientist here, as you are an accomplished creative director, animator or film historian.

Being a creative solutions partner to TV clients means more than having talented designers, directors and strategists. It’s pitching our tent outside the folds of “business-as-usual,” and building a culture of people who are empowered to think about the future today.

Imagine using design in new ways and always questioning everything we take for granted. Only you know what business model suits your particular strengths and capabilities, but we hope that a glimpse into the workings of Oishii’s business model and culture will illustrate a paradigm for success. It all starts with creative entrepreneurs. You can read more about this at the jump, and be sure to come back next week as we discuss the importance of building a brain trust and democratizing design solutions.

Start With Creative Entrepreneurs

hattrick

People start companies for a variety of reasons. Passion, purpose and profits motivate them to take huge risks.

Creative companies – just like us in the broadcast and design industry – are typically founded by artists who happen to be entrepreneurs. Harmut Esslinger describes it as ‘the designer who wants to use design beyond beautification.” Another way to look at it is, designers have a unique skill: creating a commercial enterprise through the mergence of design and art.

What distinguishes creative entrepreneurs from their counterparts is the ability to see the value of operationalizing creativity. After all, they’re running a business and chasing innovation.

After Harvard Business Review author and professor Jeffrey H. Dyer studied over 3,000 executives and entrepreneurs, he concluded that the most innovative leaders spent 50% more time on what his team called the “discovery activities of innovation: questioning, observing, experimenting and networking.”

This isn’t just a matter of “let’s think about television’s problems.” It’s systemic – and teams have to see how design and television are experienced through every relevant lens, whether it’s history, demographics, art, business or technology. It’s the ambient knowledge that everyone can tap into. This is how the truly creative entrepreneur wants people to find meaningful work.

01
Jan

Oishii Creative Interviews Vine Sensation Ian Padgham

At Oishii Creative, we believe design thinking can’t be constrained; it fuels innovation and helps us think big. In our Think Like A Tourist series, we explore life at the intersection of creativity, thinking and technology. We recently asked Vine artist sensation and Twitter animator/producer Ian Padgham about what inspires him, and how he makes six seconds feel so dramatic, engaging and big.

What artists or music inspires you in your work? Why?
Albrecht Dürer, M.C. Escher, Bill Watterson, Bob Ross.

When did you start working on the Vine platform? What attracted you to it?
The day it came out. I liked the ability to produce content immediately and share it just as fast. Nothing saps the creativity and joy out of a project like months of meetings and revisions.

How does Vine compare to other mediums?
While Vine is little more than animated GIFS with sound, there is something truly special about the platform. This is partly due to the community, and partly due to the fact that, at least initially, it was a production toolkit with incredibly limiting parameters. That has since changed, but I think the ethos of DIY ingenuity continues to set the tone.

Which project do you find most inspiring and creative?
Projects that have no precedent and no goal other than creating something delightful and different.

What inspires you as an artist? Where do you find your stories to capture/tell?
I’m not a huge fan of the word inspiration. It feels like it’s saying that something out there is giving us a hint of what is cool, like we need to find a muse that will show us the way. I think stories and ideas just come from letting our minds off their leashes and letting them roll around in the park.

In 2013, observers pointed out that Vine was built on “constraints.” It allows you make edits and stitch them together for a story. You’ve worked out Vine’s constraints and taken shots and motion into a new medium. What does your process look like?
It depends on the Vine. Some Vines I make up as I go along, literally letting the animation flow out frame by frame without forethought.

20
Jun

If You’ve Never Experienced Creative Nirvana, Go See Robert Rodriguez Speak Live

Robert RodriguezIf Robert Rodriguez is off your radar and like many, you don’t know what he does, that’s okay. You can look him up now and thank me later. He’s a fearless leader, passionate creative and dedicated family man (similar to our own Oishii Creative Founder, Ish).

Now that I’ve secured my employment, we can continue.

Lucky for you (and me), Oishii was a creative partner for the PromaxBDA Conference this year and of the few speaking engagements I experienced, Robert was one of them.

Here are my favorite quotes:

“Don’t look at what other people are doing. Think of what you’re doing as completely fresh, because if you imitate, you’re dead.”

“If you work creatively, there’s no wrong way.”

“I never stop being creative. I don’t say, ‘okay, time to sit down and come up with ideas.’”

“When you want to do something creative, you have to reduce your list of ‘I’ needs.”

“If you cannot get in a system that already exists, create your own system.”

So here’s my advice: consider hearing Robert speak in person if you ever have an opportunity. The guy is simply an inspiration. It doesn’t matter what industry you work in, he will undoubtedly inspire that creative part of you.

— Carlos Penny, Oishii Head of Business Development

 

30
May

Meet Carlos Penny, Our New Head of Business Development!

Carlos PennyWe’re excited to welcome Carlos Penny as our new Head of Business Development. He comes to Oishii with more than a decade of business development experience, including positions at TV production company SD MEDIA and digital content agency FILTER.

Bringing Carlos on board is part of our continued evolution by embracing strategic partnerships with a focus on multidisciplinary talent and investing in proprietary technology, mobile video and multi-channel networks.

What makes him right at home at Oishii? He’s passionate about emerging industries and technologies, he’s in tune with the future of our company and our industry, and he brings the same energy and ethos we do when working with clients. So everyone wins.

When he’s not surfing or cooking sliders on his rooftop deck in Venice Beach, you can find him supporting the local community, which he’s proud to call home (Oishii’s a close second, of course). Carlos also volunteers with the Surfrider Foundation and is working towards launching his own non-profit, Surfunite.

14
Apr

Design Thinking The Steve Jobs Way

Image via successfulworkplace.org

Image via successfulworkplace.org

Humans innovate. We are wired and curious seekers. And when it comes to work, we are, it seems, inexorably driven to tinker and improve the patterns, people and processes. We can’t help but seek out the novel ways to create and produce our services and products. Alexis de Toqueville in the 18th Century wondered about the “American” temperament of industriousness, what he and many after him, referred to as a resolved determination to seek more and more value in everything.

Interconnecting with what was thought to be a superficial “seeking of value,” is the active pursuit of innovation. It’s no small task to step back from habits and mindsets of work and build better products or engineer services people feel they must have.  Steve Jobs, heralded as the innovator archetype, embodies this philosophy and action, with his ambition and obsessive approach to product design.

But the way we frame Steve Jobs often overlooks his intellectual depth, passion and purpose. It’s an unconscious move, a mental shortcut really. It’s easier to evaluate successes backwards than it is to study the billions of people who almost succeed or fail any given year and to see what works.

Jobs’ many successes, the ones that matter to design thinkers, were his grit, systemic thinking, flexibility and originality. More than a leader of design-driven products, he drove businesses to understand the value designers bring to the bottom line and innovative company cultures. He taught us that design thinking is radical and cyclical. It seeks to outpace demand, and bring excitement to crowded and competitive markets. More than corporate value, thinkers like Jobs normalized the belief that designers were integral to business thinking.

There are plenty of books about Jobs, some good, but most unexceptional. I want to draw attention to a recently published book that isn’t about Jobs, but nonetheless carries his design-thinking legacy and places it firmly and realistically into our time.

The Rise of the DEO, Leadership By Design by Maria Guidice and Christopher Ireland is a how-to book that doesn’t promise you will become a design thinker — but you just might. By way of clear prose and case studies, the authors take you out of yourself and hold up a mirror of reality. Times are quickly changing; it’s no longer enough to think like Jobs. To stay relevant, firms need to find and retain talent who will work, experiment and work some more. Innovative firms are run with the help of innovative people who ask for help, make mistakes and do what scientists have done for centuries — laboriously use their minds to craft solutions. Take a step back and think harder and smarter for solutions. It’s the 10,000-hour rule with mind maps and directions.

So surround yourself with people who will push, challenge, instigate, and affirm (or not) your pursuit of becoming a design thinker.

 

14
Mar

Design, Strategy & Visual Thinking: Your How-To Guide To Thinking Differently

Image via thoughtleaderzone.com. Illustration by hikingartist.com.

Image via thoughtleaderzone.com. Illustration by hikingartist.com.

Design is not “gift wrapping,” but an integral part of any competitive business and strategic branding goal.  Those of us in the entertainment space are fortunate because we do not have to relentlessly “prove” the power of our creative departments nor do we usually have to fight for the right to be a part of the decision-making process.

However, in many industries, design talent is siloed into marketing departments. Here, far downstream from other decision makers, the visual and content creative teams only get meaningfully involved in brand work after management decides to launch or operationalize a particular initiative. This is the “design gift wrapping” approach. Thus, the power of innovative creative thinking isn’t really leveraged pointedly into business decisions, market research or strategic planning.

In this post, I want to talk generally about the competitive advantages of design; what is often referred to as design thinking. Whether you make decisions about marketing budgets in broadcast cable departments, generate content for digital campaigns, or lead initiatives about how to best spend creative resources, thinking about the strategic purpose of design benefits you, your career and the company.

One way to do this is to think of creative as a strategy role. What does this mean? We’re referring to when we look at consulting firms that help corporate clients integrate solutions into their company organization — whether it’s servicing their end clients or streamlining technology developments. It could be many things, but it’s simplest to think about their role as improving performance in targeted areas of the company.

The changing market landscape has meant many companies have been scrambling to make these changes, but without paying high consultant fees. In fact, in a recent Harvard Business Review piece, the consulting industry is going through disruptive times, forcing it to change how it helps companies make change.

Why not help your organization make change from within?

  • Do Your Research. Spend 30 minutes a day doing research about your company’s product, services and reputation. Look for social science research measuring sentiment and observing trends. Read what non-biased sources say about the space your company works in. Ask yourself what your company should be doing in 5 and 10 years.

  • Go To Emerging Markets. You may not be able to go to the outskirts of the globe and open up shop, but you and your team can take on an untested and unfamiliar initiative. You will gain experience and test your skills in ways you can’t imagine. The experience could dramatically shift your perspective about your work, projects, department and company.

  • Model. Design thinking emerges when doing things. Depending on your particular role, use your skillset, be it visual or writing, to push yourselves along. A good way to do this is to schedule short blocks of time with your team or others and begin talking about the newest trends or ideas that are already out there. Talk about what works and what doesn’t. In these conversations, you will find moments that will pique your interest, and take shape into a future project.

— Kate Canada Obregon, VP of Oishii Creative

28
Feb

Five Tips For Making Your Office A Creative Space

oishii-studio-pics-08Our VP, Kate Canada Obregon, wrote a blog post on “Five Tips for Making Your Office a Creative Space,” which appeared in The Agency Post today.

An excerpt:

Here are five elements that can contribute to making your space the type of generative office that supports and amplifies creativity:

1. Familiar People

Researchers have demonstrated that collaborative work environments create happier and more productive employees. J. Richard Hackman, one of the world’s leading researchers on organizational behavior, found group work, particularly a familiar group, to be more productive when compared to individuals who worked alone. When a familiar group is encouraged to share ideas, hear other perspectives and receive constructive feedback, they report greater satisfaction with their job, their peers and culture.

2. Collision Brainstorming

Writing in the New York Times, Greg Lindsay observes that successful tech firms know the benefits of people coming together for an impromptu brainstorm via happy accidents and aggressively seek what Google calls the “casual collisions” or Yahoo’s “serendipity” meetings. This is because research strongly suggests that structured group work has limits. In the new context of an informal chat, the brain has a chance to re-engage and renew a problem, and possibly come up with new approaches or ways of thinking.

3. Solitary Creativity

Most neuroscience studies on creativity and problem-solving demonstrate the powers of intermittent group work coupled with “incubation” or quiet time and solo work. This is where the lounge and reading areas and ping-pong tables that startups are famous for come in. After a group meeting, the brain needs some distraction and ambient activity to reassess a problem or create. Neuroscientists such as Rex Jung and others have studied the brain in “action,” and observed what is called fluid or dynamic activity in the brain during quiet times of relaxation and calm, which could yield high creative output benefits.

4. Tactile Engagement

If you consume lots of data everyday and need to recall information quickly, there’s new research showing that keeping information slows down our ability to remember and process. One powerful method for what is called “embedding” information is getting tactile at work. Embracing the old-school pen and pencil during a meeting, or taking marginalia in a book can code information into our brains in ways that author Clive Thompson suggests are deeper and more meaningful than on touchscreens. That’s why writable walls, movable whiteboards and active work sessions are excellent ways at getting the brain and body physically involved in learning and doing, fostering neuron activity in the brain.

5. Good Reading Materials

A well-stocked library in your office gives people places to relax between projects, but reading has other powerful cognitive benefits. Recently, researchers at Emory University observed changes in the executive functional part of brain in fiction readers. Participants in the study showed heightened neural activity in the part of the verbal and visual sections of the brain when reading. So, not only were subjects able to “imagine” a character, they were able to activate senses in their brains — deepening their awareness and imaginative capabilities.

See more at The Agency Post.


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