We got some love from the Wichita Business Journal!
McCormick Company, an advertising agency with locations around the world, selected us to produce a thirty second television commercial for Channel® Seed Brand, which falls under the parent company Monsanto. Channel® Seed Brand specializes in corn, soybeans, sorghum and alfalfa and focuses on the relationship with their farmers. The spot will air nationally.
The commercial was shot at various farms across northern Iowa using an elite Alexa – a camera known for capturing incredibly high quality images. So we assembled a crew of more than 20 people from different parts of the U.S.; the three actors were cast out of Chicago and the crew originated from parts of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Los Angeles. McCormick Company’s Senior Art Director Patrick Sheridan and Senior Writer GB Caedo created the spot while our newest hire, Producer/Project Manager Patti Broyles Harper, used her comprehensive film and video experience to help make a project of this size and grandeur come together flawlessly and without a hitch. (Thorough list of credits below)
Post-production was completed in our Wichita office, while motion graphics and visual effects were seamlessly integrated out of our Kansas City studio. Operating at full tilt from both locations, our creative collaboration throughout the making of this mammoth commercial showed off our production and post-production skills in storytelling, motion graphics and visual effects!
Advertising Agency: McCormick Company
Client: Monsanto – Channel® Seed Brand
Senior Art Director: Patrick Sheridan
Senior Writer: GB Caedo
Production Company: Intake Studios
Executive Producer: Troy Lott
Producer: Patti Harper
Post Production Company: Intake Studios
Audio: Wheeler Audio
Music: Beacon Street Studios
Visual Effects: Intake Studios
Proud of our work! Proud to be on the front page of a Sunday edition of The Wichita Eagle! Full Story Below.
Posted On Sunday, July 08, 2012
Source: Wichita Eagle
Fidelity Bank aims high with new Wichita commercial
By Roy Wenzl
The Wichita Eagle
There’s this television commercial, “Bravely Onward. New Day.” It is an unabashed weeper.
Troy Lott and other people who shot the video or edited the scenes or paid the multiple millions of dollars for producing it say that they teared up openly when they saw the first storyboards, then later in production, too.
They used four helicopters in the shoots, spent 137 hours of shooting time with the world’s fanciest cameras. They worked straight through five weekends, produced 33 hours of video … to make what so far is only one minute of commercial.
“Bravely Onward” is about us, the people of Wichita, and it says we should love ourselves. And only in the last couple of seconds, when the Fidelity Bank logo appears on the screen, do you realize who paid for it.
And they paid a lot. Including for one-minute spots on local network and cable prime-time television time, every day for months to come.
Which raises the question: Why?
• • •
“It’s a new day in Wichita,” the narrator intones.
Music rises. In scenes that flash by in microseconds, we see, among other things, a thick yellow sunrise, lace curtains blowing in a quiet morning breeze, a boy running with a model airplane in Riverside Park, the Kellogg flyover at dawn, a shot of a runway racing underneath a plane taking off.
Images flashing of things we Wichitans see every day and never quite see in the sentimental and near-sepia tones of this commercial.
“And with each new day, we are reminded of a promise: to ourselves … to each other. To our children, our grandchildren and especially … especially to the great ones that built this city.”
Not once does it mention the recession, or Boeing walking away from the Air Capital of the World, or layoffs at the other aircraft companies, or how all our 401(k)s since 2008 shrank like ice cream on July pavement.
The secret power in the commercial, Lott says, is that it was made by Kansans and others who lost savings and lost neighbors and friends to layoffs. And so for those of us who live here — who lost savings and lost neighbors and friends to layoffs — the message hits hard — THUNK! — in the gut.
Whatever the message is, that is.
“The integrity, creativity and fortitude that defines us was purposed into our character by those who came before us,” the commercial says.
It doesn’t even say we should dump our accounts at other banks and take our money to Fidelity because of an attractive new interest rate. In fact, Cindy Claycomb, a marketing professor at Wichita State University who first saw the commercial Friday, says “it is definitely not designed to get people to come into the bank immediately, and that is usually what retail bank commercials do.”
It appears to be designed not so much to get customers in the door right away, she said, but to win them over with a courtship lasting years.
“It is our way. And our immutable, undeniable, unstoppable history of success gives us more than hope. It gives us confidence. And purpose. For our future,” the narrator tells us.
What does that mean? And how much do four helicopters and hundreds of person-hours cost?
Fidelity CEO Clark Bastian on Friday, trying to explain what’s happening here, said with wide eyes that he doesn’t know how much his relentlessly upbeat commercial cost because his key Fidelity staff members — including those sitting with him at that moment — “haven’t told me how much it cost.”
He also appeared to be surprised – taken aback, in fact – when he learned Friday that his commercial involved four helicopters.
“Really?” he said, looking askance at staff. “I knew only of one.”
He was joking with all of this, probably. But he also said that when they all started work on the commercial, there was this moment, “my deer-in-the-headlights moment,” when he realized how much this effort was going to cost. (Millions, plural, though he won’t give specifics.)
And that the cost gave him cause to wonder whether what he says is an unusual commercial and even more unusual branding effort is worth the cost.
The commercial’s last words, just as it cuts to the Fidelity logo, are: “It’s a new day in Wichita and together we move … Bravely Onward.”
Bastian said he authorized this in part because he, his son, his brother, his father and his grandfather comprise collectively four generations of bankers who love Wichita, support the community with giving and good business practices and grieve with us over our recent losses.
And he wanted to say something potent. A poem to all of us really, telling us it is a new day.
But the banker in him wonders.
• • •
Fidelity Bank: second-largest locally owned bank in Wichita (behind Intrust). $1.5 billion in assets. More than 400 employees. Seventeen retail locations in Wichita and Derby. Since 2004, five branches in the Oklahoma City area, with two more scheduled by 2014.
The Oklahoma branches are run by Aaron Bastian, Clark’s son, who last fall was only 29 years old. Last fall, Aaron Bastian, concerned about how the Oklahoma branches were doing, called Paul Brothers, who runs Brothers & Co., an advertising agency in Tulsa with a new branch in Wichita.
The younger Bastian said he wanted Brothers’ help creating new branding ideas for the Oklahoma branches. They were not becoming as well known in Oklahoma City as Bastian wanted. Brothers had done marketing and advertising for Fidelity for 10 years.
Paul Brothers, also his company’s creative director, is a pilot who has flown a Cirrus, a Bonanza and a Cessna. He’s never lived in Wichita but says “pilots have a unique view of the world,” and his view is that Wichita — whenever he drove through or landed here — “felt like home.” Every time he came here after the recession started, his heart ached for us.
And when Boeing announced its Wichita divorce — that hurt him bad.
“And yet I’d come to Wichita and see all these signs about new developments going in, and other developments going on … I could see that in spite of all the losses, people really were fighting to come back,” he said.
Even before Aaron Bastian called, Brothers wanted to do something for Wichita. To say something.
Not long after Bastian called, Brothers called back with a plan that he and the marketing expert Claycomb and the Bastians themselves said is unusual. He had created the idea quickly and with passion, with one of his senior people, Dave Thomas, who runs Brothers’ Fidelity account.
It started with the thought to help Aaron Bastian with Oklahoma City, but that quickly changed.
Brothers, with Aaron Bastian cheering him on, went to Wichita, to Clark Bastian, who wasn’t asking for a commercial, or a campaign, or a branding campaign. But Brothers sat down with him, with storyboards for a branding campaign he’d cooked up with Thomas called “Bravely Onward,” and presented it. In it, he and Thomas had channeled all their love for Wichita and their grief for our setbacks.
Then they had more meetings, to ask the opinions of more Fidelity managers. It was all presented with rough paper storyboards, with crude animatics and with Brothers reading stirring words from a script. It had some of the rousing words of the final edit. It had the soul of the idea.
They noticed: Around the table, with each new meeting, some of the Fidelity staff members got tears in their eyes.
“And that’s because those Fidelity people love Wichita,” Brothers said.
Clark Bastian, who was as deeply stirred as the others, told them to go do the commercial. This was not an advertising campaign, Brothers told him. “Think of it not as a campaign but as a promise to Wichita.”
Bastian told them to do it, he said, because it was a promise to business and family customers of what he wanted his bank to be. That’s worth substantial spending, he thought, though he was later taken aback somewhat by how substantial.
• • •
With the Bastians on board, Brothers needed a creative crew of shooters and producers to make the storyboards become a commercial.
He went to Intake Studios, a Wichita outfit run by Lott. Lott and his staff listened as Brothers read the idea from the script … and saw some of the Intake people getting tears in their eyes.
In March, Lott said, as the trees in Wichita blossomed with unusually early flowers (perfect for filming), the Intake people and others — four helicopter pilots among them — went to work. Nobody got a weekend off in March; no one worked much less than 12-hour days. Lott said all the walls in the conference room at Intake were covered from floor to ceiling with Post-it notes, each containing an idea for the storyboard for the commercial and the sequels.
The Bastians weighed in at one point. Looking over the first drafts, one of the family members turned to Clark Bastian and warned him: Part of the commercial, at that point, could be interpreted as having a slight political tilt in favor of Republican political thought. No one intended it that way, but there was that possible interpretation.
The Bastians ruled that out, Clark Bastian said. They wanted all Wichitans, liberal or conservative or anything else, to see the commercial and to think it was done for them. After that, he said, the commercial makers ruthlessly scrubbed out anything that tilted politically right or left.
They made a separate commercial for Oklahoma City; they started planning for sequels of “Bravely Onward. A New Day,” drawing on the library they now had of 33 hours of footage. Its creators say we will see Bravely Onward and its sequels for months, if not years.
Brothers said his good idea would be a colossal dud if it had been made by any other people. Those Wichitans and Kansans and their non-Kansas friends at Intake and from other companies happen to love their town. They poured their souls into their work and made that commercial sing, he said.
• • •
That didn’t necessarily relieve Clark Bastian of his anxiety about the cost.
He works in a business, after all, where people make their living literally counting pennies. So as much as he loves Wichita, he has to ask himself, he said: Will there be a return? Will business customers realize that Fidelity — with all its years of loving Wichita, supporting charities and serving people — is the place to bank?
That’s an apt question, said Claycomb, the marketing expert from WSU.
“It’s really fun to watch,” she said of the commercial. “And … it is risky, when you spend that much money.”
Branding — which is the goal of the commercial — is really hard to do well, she said. Branding is not advertising, not anything that specific and targeted. Branding is a long-term thing in which you try to repeatedly teach a population “who you are, and what you stand for. And you want your brand to set you apart from your competition.”
It takes a long time, she said. Years, perhaps, of repeating the message, and with variations so people don’t get tired of it.
“If the commercials run for just a little while, I don’t think that’s going to make much of an impression on people,” she said.
She said it was amazing to her that Brothers talked Fidelity into doing it.
“Pretty impressive, really, to sell them on the idea. And the commercial is well done.”
Reach Roy Wenzl at 316-268-6219 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2012 Wichita Eagle and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved. http://www.kansas.com
We were mentioned in the Wichita Business Journal for our work on Brothers & Co.’s Fidelity Bank campaign!
Film crew hits runway
Oct 10, 2011
Source: Pratt Tribune
The plane belongs to the Commemorative Air Force and was returning to its home base of South St. Paul, Minn. after attending an air show in Midland, Texas over the weekend when it stopped in Pratt to refuel.
The film crew, from Intake Studios in Wichita, was filming in several locations in Pratt Monday as they produced 30-second and 60-second commercials educating the public about the benefits of oil and gas production in Kansas and at the same time weaving a story together that promotes the essence of Kansas in this area, said Heath Kennedy, account supervisor for Brothers & Company that handles marketing and communications for the project.
The promotional spots carry the theme “Kansas Strong” and are designed to give viewers a flavor of folks who live and work in the area.
The spots also feature the benefits of oil and gas production in the area including more taxes in local coffers and the creation of jobs, Kennedy said.
Producer Nicholas E. Vedros, of Vedros Motion traveled over 1,400 miles to find location for the promotions and chose the area in Pratt, Medicine Lodge and Kiowa for the beautiful scenery. He likes the small town feel and has found nice people to work with during his filming in Pratt.
Besides the B-25 arrival, the crew also filmed a flag raising at sunrise at the B-29 Memorial with retired Army Master Sgt. David Stitt and retired Army National Guard Command Sgt. Major George Stevens.
2010 Existing Business of the Year
March 16, 2011
Source: Kansas Small Business Development Center
The decision to move forward and turn a passion into a business reality for three individuals was based in-part on their belief that a real void existed in the industry they wanted to target. For Troy Lott, Todd Schwartz and Heath Balderston, their belief that there was an opening for a video production company that could emphasize a strong creative design was their driving factor to begin that pursuit. Their diverse backgrounds became one of their main strengths that they have been able to rely upon for their success.
The trio contacted the KSBDC before starting their business. Their KSBDC consultant, Frank Choriego, advised them step-by-step through the development of their business plan. Troy said, “Without a doubt, this was key to helping us initiate a strategy to get our business started successfully. The KSBDC has continued to play an important role in our expansion and success since we opened the doors in 2004. It was during our strategic planning session two years ago that we cast the vision of expanding to another market.” That is now a reality with their office in the Kansas City Market.
In a talent intensive industry, accumulating a full palette of offerings is a major challenge. They overcame this challenge by putting together a team of talented people that were passionate about their work. “With the right team in place, we have found success by continually pushing the company forward and staying fresh, competitive, bold and more creative than the next guy,” says Troy.
Making informed decisions prior to starting and while operating your business is recommended by the trio. Troy says, “I always tell people to go for it.” However, diving deeper into the conversation you hear a balanced approach seems to be the framework for success. Creativity coupled with business management while maintaining happy customers seems to be the successful combination for Intake Studio.
They believe that being a successful part of their community’s economic engine, is one of the best things about being an entrepreneur. Along with their found success, Intake Studio has made it a part of their company policy to reach out to their community to support various organizations that could benefit from Intake’s assistance. They believe that their involvement has helped to define them as successful members of their community.
Enjoying success within the confines of a fun place to work makes for a very happy team of owners and employees. As Troy puts it, “All in all, I don’t believe there’s anything that we would rather be doing.”
Intake Studio to receive state award
January 12, 2011
Source: The Wichita Eagle
Intake Studio is one of eight small businesses in the state to be recognized as an Existing Business of the Year, the Kansas Small Business Development Center announced today.
The company – owned by Heath Balderston, Roberta Feist, Troy Lott and Todd Schwartz – will be recognized at an awards ceremony on March 15 in Topeka.
“The businesses were selected after careful consideration by our consultants,” Wally Kearns, KSBDC state director, said in a news release. “During the last year, the overall economic situation has created opportunities and obstacles. The determining factors in selecting the businesses included looking at how the businesses maneuvered through the obstacles and how they shifted priorities or operations to remain profitable.”
Intake, a video production company, is a former Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce Small Business Award winner.
Intake Studio wins Small Business Development Center award
January 12, 2011
Source: Wichita Business Journal
The businesses are part of the KSBDC’s 2010 Emerging and Existing Businesses of the Year awards.
Each of the eight KSBDC regional centers, including a site in Wichita, chose businesses for the awards.
Intake Studio is a motion graphics and production company. It is owned by Heath Balderston, Roberta Feist, Troy Lott and Todd Schwarz.
Here’s more from the KSBDC on its 2010 awards:
The 15 Kansas small businesses will be recognized at a ceremony on March 15 in Topeka. The businesses were selected from nearly 2,300 entrepreneurs that received KSBDC services in 2010.
“The businesses were selected after careful consideration by our consultants,” said Wally Kearns, KSBDC state director. “During the last year, the overall economic situation has created opportunities and obstacles. The determining factors in selecting the businesses included looking at how the businesses maneuvered through the obstacles and how they shifted priorities or operations to remain profitable.”
During the last two months, business owners participated in video interviews, which will be presented at the awards ceremony. In addition, state legislators will present the award recipients will be presented with a plaque.
The keynote speaker for the event is Dave Dreiling, owner of GTM Sportswear, a Manhattan-based company that he and a partner founded 21 years ago after he graduated from Kansas State University.
GTM sells customized imprinted sportswear to athletic teams, booster clubs, corporations, resorts, outdoor enthusiasts, cheer and gymnastic squads and other related markets throughout the United States and abroad.
In 2007, Dreiling was named Ernst & Young’s entrepreneur of the year for the central Midwest region, and GTM was placed on the Inaugural Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing privately owned companies.
He was named young entrepreneur of the year by the Small Businesses Administration for the state of Kansas in 1992. In 1994, he was named a finalist for Inc. magazine’s entrepreneur of the year for the states of Kansas and Missouri.
Recently, The Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce awarded Dreiling the Lud Fiser Citizen of the Year Award for 2009 for his outstanding and repeated contributions to the community.
The awards ceremony is open to the public.