Brand Partnerships

March 21, 2013 by  Top Drawer Creative

In our business, we get to meet with a lot of great people. And we get to work with some really talented people; like our go-to director of photography, Jay Ferguson.

Jay and his team turn our concepts into visually gorgeous pieces of work. (See our Share The Road commercial and our 2012 holiday video, Water, for examples.)

Our Chief Creative Officer and Executive VP, Brian Gahan, recently had a Skype chat with Jay–who is also an acclaimed cinematographer and the creator of the hit web series, Guidestones. (Guidestones recently won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Original Program or Series produced for Digital Media, plus a ton of other awards.)

“You’re creating content that allows for brands, products–individuals–to weave into nicely. And that’s really ahead of the curve,” says Brian. He’s referring to the brand partnerships that Guidestones has made.  It’s not a coincidence that a character is wearing a Toronto Blue Jays cap. Nor is it by chance that you’re craving a slice from Pizza Pizza after the webisode.

Products and brands need placement that is as authentic as possible. Rather than those brands seeking out placement, groundbreaking productions like Guidestones are handing companies places to put those products and brands that are pre-filled with content; and those placements also act as means to drive traffic back to the brand sites. This is the kind of relationship that influences someone on an emotional level. And that is a key piece of the partnership.

Hear what Brian and Jay have to say:

Bikes Mean Business

March 13, 2013 by  Top Drawer Creative

On March 4th our CEO Howard Chang, joined Eleanor McMahon, Founder of Share the Road Cycling Coalition, at the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Summit in Washington, DC. The theme of the event this year was Bicycling Means Business. The goal was to persuade politicians, planners, developers, and business stakeholders to understand the positive financial impact cycling can have on cities, communities and local businesses.

Some highlights:

Greg Ballard, the Mayor of Indianapolis, a Republican, and 23-year Marines veteran, talked about why he’s investing in approximately 200 miles of bike trails over 12 years in the city. It’s not because he is an avid cyclist, but because research is showing that cycling infrastructure attracts talent–talent in the form of young families and young professionals that are critical to a city’s economic growth. And with 75 miles built so far, Indianapolis is already seeing results.

New York City Commissioner of Transportation, Janette Sadik-Khan, talked about how investing in over 300 miles of bike lanes since 2007 has lead to measurable benefits for the city. Local businesses, initially protesting the bike lanes, have actually seen their revenues grow! Cyclists and walkers–who fit into the AHAA consumer profile we understand very well–stay longer and spend more. And so do drivers (when they spend less time in the car). Due to decreased car traffic, the average commute time has come down. All of this has contributed to making NYC a model for how a large, modern city can continue to grow sustainably.

Part of a sustainable growth formula is the clear message that safety is paramount. Leaders need to be aware and accountable and aligned.

A big highlight:

The AAA, one of the USA’s largest advocates for responsible transportation, announced the stateside launch of the Share the Road public service announcement (PSA) thanks to the partnership with their Canadian counterparts, The CAA, and Ontario’s Share the Road Cycling Coalition–two of the collaborative forces behind it. We are proud to be the third: the creators of the TV campaign, made right here in the Beach.

When the video was shown, 800 attendees broke out in enthusiastic cheers and applause. “My pals at the San Francisco Bike Coalition told me there wasn’t a dry eye at their table,” said Eleanor McMahon. The spot resonated deeply.

Special thanks to Eleanor McMahon and Andy Clarke for inviting our CEO to attend the event and speak about the campaign.


Visit the AAA’s bike safety page, featuring their new Share the Road PSA:

Our CEO Howard Chang talks about the Share the Road spot and building a narrative for advocacy in this video:

Green at Work