Patrick Marzullo & Mike Davidson — Co-Directors of Interactive Production, Wieden+Kennedy Portland
Patrick and Mike talk to TheNextGag about what excite them in the digital sphere, why they love Portland and what made some of their previous campaigns special.
Patrick Marzullo & Mike Davidson are the Co-Directors of Interactive Production at Wieden+Kennedy Portland in the USA.
They both have been part of some of the amazing digital projects that came from W+K in the recent years for clients such as Nike, Old Spice or Chrysler/Dodge.
THENEXTGAG: HOW BIG IS YOUR TEAM IN THE INTERACTIVE PRODUCTION DEPARTMENT ?
PATRICK MARZULLO & MIKE DAVIDSON: Our group is currently 13 producers deep. We’ve tried to build a strong core of mid-and senior-level producers that push the work forward across all our accounts. And we’ve focused on building a team that embodies the W+K culture, which is to say we try to fail harder every day.
TNG: CAN YOU TELL US A CAMPAIGN THAT YOU SAW LAST YEAR AND THAT YOU BELIEVE SHOWS THE WAY FORWARD IN TERMS OF DIGITAL ?
PM: I’m not sure there’s one definitive way forward in digital advertising. There is, however, a trend in that as people’s attention continues to be spread across the growing myriad of platforms and devices, audience sizes decrease. That sounds bad, but it actually presents an opportunity to create more focused and emotional engagement with the work. That’s why we see more investment in experiential initiatives, and that gets me excited about the endless possibilities with VR experiences.
MD: Also, moving forward it is increasingly more important that we prove value in the kind of work we want to do for our clients. How can we best deliver an active user engagement versus a passive one? How can we use the existing platforms in interesting ways to reach our audience where they already are, versus spending even more money trying to drive them somewhere? These are challenges for sure, but it’s an exciting time in our world.
TNG: WHICH ONE OF YOUR PROJECTS ARE YOU THE MOST PROUD OF ?
PM: I’m probably most proud of the work we did for Nike during last year’s World Cup. It was a truly global endeavor. The main digital/social component required us to extend the story of our animated film, The Last Game, into a conversation and keep it relevant for the duration of the month long event. With the help of some custom technology, we created animated videos, stills and live events that we featured in the right places at the right times throughout the tournament. Most of the work we did that month was written, produced and live within 12 hours or less. It was insane!
MD: For me, I’m always most proud of the content-heavy integrated work our team is able to bring to life. No matter the budget challenges, the technical impossibilities, etc., our digital producers find a way. Our recent Chrysler “Beneath the Surface” VR project is a perfect example of this, as is a lot of our recent work for Old Spice, “Interneterventions” and “Dikembe Mutombo’s 4 1/2 Weeks to Save the World” for example.
TNG: WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM PROJECT ?
PM: Anything involving space exploration and/or enabling dogs to verbally communicate with humans.
MD: Producing the World Series Championship parade for the Chicago Cubs in 2015 (or 2016…or 2017…)
TNG: IS THERE A TYPE OF TECHNOLOGY THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE WIDELY ADOPTED IN ADVERTISING (GOOGLE GLASS, SMARTWATCHES, VIRTUAL REALITY …) ?
PM & MD: We really try not to use technology for technology’s sake, unless that’s the ultimate brief. For us it comes down to how we can best tell a brand’s story in interesting and interactive ways. If it’s in a tweet, cool. If it means using drones to drop VR headsets to robots in the back of self-driving cars…also cool!
TNG: DO YOU FIND IT MORE DIFFICULT TO ATTRACT GREAT TALENT TO PORTLAND THAN ELSEWHERE ?
PM & MD: Not at all. W+K Portland houses the greatest creative minds in the industry, which in turn creates amazing ideas for us producers to dig into. If you are a producer that wants to make great work, there’s no better place in the world to be. That, and Portland is pretty cool too.
TNG: FOR PATRICK, I JUST SAW A VIDEO ABOUT THE ROVER SCOOTER AND I GOT TO SAY THAT I AM IMPRESSED. WHAT IS YOUR ROLE WITHIN THIS COMPANY ?
PM: Haha! Glad you like it. Works Electric is a project I cofounded with a good friend a couple years ago. I’ve always been interested in electric vehicles, so it has been a good opportunity to create something outside of the ad world. I remain involved when evenings and weekends allow, but the other founder, my buddy Brad, runs the day-to-day.
Co-Director, Interactive Production
Co-Director Interactive Production
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