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Variety: UTA Marketing Ups Sundance Game With Private Residence, Programming

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Talent agency hospitality is a mainstay at the Sundance Film Festival, be it in swanky lounges on Park City’s Main Street or private chalets in nearby Deer Valley.

United Talent Agency, whose talent roster and independent film group always come in force each year, typically throws a brunch for friends and press — but will significantly expand its footprint this year, in the form of a private residence with several days of programming.

Clients and guests of UTA Marketing — which reps global brands including Cover Girl, Delta Air Lines, Google, and Lyft — will be invited to a private residence tucked away the center of festival madness for key events and refuge from the snow.

Issa Rae, repped by the agency, will throw a party in honor of creators of color in conjunction with UTA’s own head of diversity and inclusion, Shanique Bonelli-Moore. Women in Film will hold its annual Sundance panel and reception at the space, with speakers including director Haifaa al-Mansour, Hello Sunshine CEO Sarah Harden, actor and producer Emily Mortimer, Macro executive Poppy Hanks, and producer Effie Brown.

UTA Fine Arts will share a special pop-up exhibition of the artwork of Kwame Brathwaite and host an intimate conversation with Brathwaite’s son, Kwame S. Brathwaite, and writer and critic Antwaun Sargent. Harlem Field Trip chef JJ Johnson and Lyft social impact head Mike Masserman discuss food accessibility and inequality.  Hollywood’s favorite Italian spot, Jon & Vinny’s, will cater dinners to celebrate “Six Feet Under” creator Alan Ball’s new film “Uncle Frank,” and the department will host a brand leaders dinner with the Atlantic, Snap and Tastemade.  A surprise performer from UTA’s music roster will also go up for a late-night set.

Bird’s eye view of the UTA House at Sundance

“Sundance is more than a film festival, but a destination that brings together a diverse set of independent voices and storytellers across the spectrum of culture,” said UTA Marketing co-head Julian Jacobs.

“We are excited to unite so many clients and partners for what has become a key moment on the cultural calendar,” said fellow co-head David Anderson.

Sundance kicks off on Thursday.

See the full article at Variety.com

Billboard: Inside Mac Miller’s Circles Pop-Up Listening Event in Los Angeles

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On Thursday (Jan. 16) the Mac Miller Estate opened its arms for a preview of the Circles: Til’ Infinity listening event for Mac Miller’s first posthumous album, Circles.

Held at the revamped D.O.M. Gallery at the busy intersection of West Hollywood’s Melrose and Fairfax Avenue, the brightly lit, two-room Mac Miller museum pop-up glowed from blocks away on an otherwise quiet, rainy evening in Los Angeles. Organized by Warner Brothers Records, Mirrored Media, and Mac Miller’s family and former management, the minimalistic event was first advertised on social media five days ago as “Circles: Til Infinity. Intimate front-to-back listenings of Circles by Mac Miller. Art by fans and friends. Exclusive merch at all locations, with all net proceeds going to The Mac Miller Fund.” 

Upon entering the venue, attendees are met with a space resembling an art gallery, with a square, barbed-wire-enclosed merchandise station in the center of the room under a strikingly tall ceiling. Fans are given the opportunity to purchase over a dozen styles of shirts and hoodies, all of varying colors, with a Mac Miller logo and various phrases decorating the clothes. As mentioned on the “92tilinfinity” Instagram page, all sales’ proceeds are funneled to The Mac Miller Fund.

This first room tells a condensed tale of Miller’s life via visual mediums: Floor-to-ceiling windows take up one of the walls, while the other three are adorned with photos, paintings, posters, and personal polaroids (from Miller’s own cameras) of the late artist. A common theme among the photos is a smiling Miller, either at the studio, with friends, or in the midst of a carefree activity such as bike riding, portraying the Swimming MC as most fans and loved ones remember him.

While a majority of the photos depict the rapper as an adult, several childhood photos are also included, showing Miller with his mother and other family members. On the largest wall in the back of the room hangs a collage measuring over 40 square feet, boasting dozens, if not hundreds, of fan-art pieces — the fans’ devotion and love palpable. To the left of the collage is a placard listing the social media handles of the collage contributors. Glass cases with cartoonized Mac Miller POP! figurines by Bram Valure & Thomas Wadtke stand at one side of the room, emblematizing Mac as a pop culture fixture for this generation. 

The room had a pacified atmosphere as attendees moseyed around the crowded gallery, reading placards and examining photos. Most notably, Karen Myers and Mark Mccormick, Mac’s mother and father, and Miller Mccormick, Mac’s brother, were present. The late rapper’s immediate family remarkably did not formally address the guests, but rather nonchalantly socialized amongst the crowd, as strangers and friends alike approached the relatives to exchange greetings and pay their respects. The room buzzed with somber conversation and friendly chatter as a quiet playlist featuring the likes of The Eagles, John Lennon, The Rolling Stones, and Mazzy Star filled the background, with the tracks said to be selected by the estate as some of Malcolm’s personal favorites.

Through an entrance to the gallery’s side is a black-and-red decorated, dimly lit, sitting area intended to be the listening room. This second room is smaller in area than the gallery, with a bar on one side of the space. Couches, chairs, and other lounge furniture fill the room, inviting attendees to sit and take heed to the Circles album, which is played consecutively from the speakers at the top of every hour for the duration of the event. Unlike traditional listening events, there is no DJ working the crowd nor is there rambunctiously loud, upbeat music. Rather guests are implicitly encouraged to relax and become immersed in a sonic adventure, provided by Mac Miller and his producers.

The two-day listening experience is free of charge and will be open to any and all fans on a first-come, first-serve basis on Jan. 17 and Jan. 18, in Los Angeles, New York City, and Miller’s hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While the album is already officially released, phones are reportedly not permitted in the venue.

Read more at billboard.com

The BMW Group at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 in Las Vegas

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At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 – taking place in Las Vegas on 7 – 10 January 2020 – the BMW Group will be presenting its visionary approaches to creating the mobility experience of the future. The premium carmaker’s presence at CES 2020 can be summed up by the hashtag #ChangeYourPerception. At its heart is the company’s firm conviction that a change in perspective is essential in order to not only understand the requirements of future mobility but also address them. The BMW Group stand at this year’s CES showcases this new angle of thought, while close-up experiences and practical demonstrations anchor it in reality for the show’s visitors from all over the world.

One of the highlights of CES 2020 is the BMW i Interaction EASE at the BMW Group stand, which offers a glimpse into a future where autonomous driving has become commonplace. The concept car has deliberately been given an abstract exterior appearance in order to focus attention purely on the interior. Not only is the cabin meant to give passengers the feeling of having already arrived at their destination while still en route, it also underscores the potential of intuitive, almost human-like interaction between passenger and vehicle.

The headline feature here is the innovative gaze detection system in the BMW i Interaction EASE. The vehicle’s artificial intelligence detects when a passenger fixes their gaze on an object outside the car and offers them relevant information on it or other ways to interact with it. A second highlight of the CES reveals how close the BMW Group is to turning such visions of the future into reality. Three BMW X7 models have been fitted with the luxurious ZeroG Lounger, which will be ready for series production vehicles in just a few years in a similar form.

The ZeroG Lounger presents a brand new way of relaxing while out on the road. The occupant can tilt the seat back by up to 60 degrees while still being able to enjoy the usual creature comforts and without any compromises in terms of safety or protection in an accident.

The third highlight on display at the show is the BMW i3 Urban Suite, which is designed to offer a mobility experience tailored precisely to the passenger’s needs. To this end, series production BMW i3 cars underwent a complete transformation – with only the driver’s seat and the dashboard left untouched – to recreate the ambience of a boutique hotel, while paying particular attention to sustainability. 20 examples of the BMW i3 Urban Suite, which can be summoned using an app, are in action on the streets of Las Vegas. The interior of the car welcomes passengers with a laid-back ambience. This is partly down to the lounge chairs, which offer generous legroom and feature a special Sound Zone allowing passengers to shut out all noise from the outside world.

This trio of standout exhibits re-affirms the BMW Group’s commitment to employing technologies in a way that delivers tangible benefits for customers. 5G technology also features very prominently in the carmaker’s line-up for this year’s CES. The BMW iNEXT due to be launched in 2021 will come with 5G capability, which will likely make the BMW Group the world’s first premium carmaker to offer the new mobile standard in a production model. BMW’s outdoor area at the event will host a live demonstration – starring a BMW i3 and a smartphone – that shows how 5G can take road safety to the next level.

Past editions of the Consumer Electronics Show have seen the BMW Group unveiling a number of key technologies (and their potential applications), which have subsequently been readied for series production and incorporated into the company’s product portfolio. For instance, the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant presented in Las Vegas last year made its debut in a BMW model barely six months later.

Similarly, just a few months after being revealed to the public at CES 2016, the BMW Connected digital mobility assistant was featured in the BMW model range and on customers’ mobile devices. And BMW’s revolutionary Remote 3D View tech likewise celebrated its premiere in Las Vegas shortly before market launch.

The BMW i Interaction EASE.

Autonomous mobility is once again a key theme at this year’s edition of the CES. The BMW Group partnered Designworks together with their Research and Development department to create the BMW i Interaction EASE; which addresses the topic from a totally fresh perspective, while highlighting the premium carmaker’s culture of innovation. The BMW stand will offer a glimpse into a future where autonomous travel has long since become part of everyday life. The BMW i Interaction EASE has deliberately been given an sheer, abstract appearance on the exterior, contrasted with a rich, immersive interior to create a luxurious mobility experience. The high-quality materials, the cabin’s tailored geometry, and the cutting-edge technology are geared squarely to the passenger and their requirements. Particular emphasis has been placed on natural interaction with an intelligent autonomous vehicle making the most engaging use of time spent travelling.

“The BMW i Interaction EASE demonstrates what mobility might feel like in the future once autonomous driving becomes commonplace: luxurious, human, and intuitive” explains Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “Passengers start their journey with the feeling of having already arrived.” 

Consequently, interaction with the vehicle is made as simple, as intuitive, and above all, as human as possible. To put this theory into practice, the BMW i Interaction EASE offers an intelligent combination of different operating modes. This elevates forms of interaction already familiar from the current BMW model range – i.e. using touch control, gesture control and natural speech to converse with the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant.

In addition, the BMW i Interaction EASE treads entirely new ground; with its artificial intelligence (AI) capable of following and interpreting the driver’s gaze. This fusion of ultra-advanced technologies with breathtaking design creates an emotional bond between person and machine.

Natural interaction enters the next stage of development.

The BMW Group is therefore taking the interaction between human and machine to the next level with the BMW i Interaction EASE; using a genuinely multimodal concept to successfully create an all-new interactive experience designed to be as simple and natural as possible and seem almost human in nature. Alongside verbal engagement with the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant and a new type of gesture control, the gaze detection system has taken a leading role in enabling new ways of responding to the passenger’s needs. Rather than users needing to first learn specific commands in different modes, the vehicle’s AI processes the acoustic and visual information received from a variety of sensors and interprets it according to the driving situation, time, location, and vehicle signals.

The AI uses gaze sensing for browsing the space around the user and vehicle, while pointing can be used to register a selection for more information.  This form of interaction draws on the way people talk to one another; i.e. each person’s gaze identifies who or what is the subject of the conversation or makes the meaning of what is being said clear. A spoken or gesture command can then be given to initiate interaction with the target object. In this way, it is possible to obtain information on the context within the passengers’ frame of view as their gaze falls on e.g. a restaurant or cinema.

The Panorama Head-Up Display spanning the entire width of the front-end windscreen has a key role to play in this regard. By imposing a second, digital layer of information over the real-world view, it acts as­ an immersive augmented-reality user interface. It can show additional information on the windscreen that is tailored to the situation at hand and the vehicle’s surroundings. Thanks to 5G connectivity the vehicle knows exactly where it is and can offer the user information on the surrounding buildings, businesses and other objects as and when required.

First features to premiere in the BMW iNEXT.

BMW Natural Interaction paves the way to the next level of control inside the vehicle and beyond. The first features of the BMW i Interaction EASE will become reality in the market in the BMW iNEXT.

An interior headlined by flawless intuition.

The interior user experience for BMW i Interaction EASE starts on the way to the vehicle. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant recognises passengers as they approach, greeting them with a welcome illumination and directing them to the two seats inside with the use of dynamic lighting. The leather-free interior becomes a premium living space, reinforcing the feeling of having already arrived at a destination. Not only do the soft, welcoming seats with three-dimensional knitted surface ensure a high standard of comfort, they also come to life on contact thanks to embedded smart materials. The cabin is bordered at the sides by glass surfaces whose smart-glass functionality allows them to either be transparent or conceal the seating area from the outside world and so ensure the passengers’ privacy.

The focal point of the BMW i Interaction EASE interior is the large Panorama Head-Up Display positioned directly in front of the seating area. There is a choice of three experience modes – Explore, Entertain and Ease – which alter the interior, integrate information on the vehicle’s surroundings and provide in-car entertainment, privacy, or relaxation respectively.

In Explore mode, the focus shifts to the area around the vehicle. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant uses AR technology to superimpose information of interest to the passengers on the display so it appears both in their line-of-sight and in the correct position for their view of the real world.

Additional information or options for interaction with both the vehicle’s immediate and more distant surroundings can be accessed as the user desires. Focussing their gaze on the superimposed information brings up further details on the display, and a confirmatory gesture takes the user to the next interaction level.

Entertain mode brings the in-car experience to the fore. The surfaces at the sides are darkened to obscure the world beyond and the Panorama Head-Up Display can be used for watching movies, for example. The theatre-like ambient lighting extends light and colour throughout the interior enriching the content shown on the display; inviting passengers to immerse themselves fully in the entertainment experience.

When Ease mode is activated, the vehicle transforms into a place of calm and relaxation. Touching the intelligent material moves the seat into the “zero-gravity” position, in which the occupant feels as if they are almost floating. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant darkens the Panorama Head-Up Display and makes the surfaces at the sides opaque. At the same time, ambient lighting bathes the interior in a soothing glow, while a harmonious composition of pleasant sounds spreads through the cabin.

With the sound of the BMW Vision M NEXT, Hans Zimmer and BMW Sound Designer Renzo Vitale have outlined the sound of the future for the BOOST moment. For the BMW i Interaction EASE, the challenge was to use sound to turn the EASE moment into an authentic and emotional experience. “The sound subtly accompanies the interaction between passenger and vehicle and supports the unique BMW experience” says Renzo Vitale. The sound of the BMW i Interaction Ease thus also demonstrates the breadth of the partnership with Hans Zimmer, who, as composer and curator, is driving the development of BMW IconicSoundsElectric.

The partnership of Hans Zimmer and BMW began in 2017 with the inaugural #RoadtoCoachella campaign, and has continued to blossom into a long term relationship as Zimmer began to compose sounds for the mobility group. Mirrored Media is proud to be a

Read the full press release HERE.

EventMarketer: Stories of the Year, No. 1: Marketers Take a Deep Dive into Gen Z’s Values

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As we entered the new decade, EventMarketer reflected on their top stories of 2019. Coming in first place was Kaylee Hultgren‘s coverage of how marketers are connecting with the elusive consumers of Generation Z. The cover of this story features the “Share Your Voice” wall from the NBCUniversal booth at VidCon 2019, produced by Mirrored Media. The painted wall was part of a larger booth that catered to the Gen Z segment and also featured E! News’ The Rundown, People’s Choice Awards, and NBC News Stay Tuned.

Marketers have had their sights set on engaging millennials for several years, but as Gen Z enters the workforce (and increases its purchasing power), all eyes are now on the younger demographic. Members of this generation grew up eating social media for breakfast. They watch “TV” on YouTube. And when it comes to events, they’re most likely to connect with environmentally-conscious brands and inclusive experiences. Oh, and the Instagram-bait museum? They’re over it.

The Gen Z target can’t recall a time without technology. Generally defined as those born during the late 1990s to the late 2000s, Gen Z is estimated to have a direct spending power of up to $143 billion in the U.S. alone, according to a recent Frost & Sullivan study. A new trend report, compiled by We’re Magnetic, digs into the characteristics and values that define Gen Z—open-mindedness, pragmatism, creative expression, ambition, healthy hedonism and innovation. Here, we explore the report’s “jumping-off” points for marketers, and what it means for your events.

1. Filters are out.

Gen Z consumers aren’t fans of “living-my-best-life” highlights and macro influencers. Nearly 80 percent of them instead trust a company more if the images they use are not photoshopped. They are looking for consistent and relevant content from companies (82 percent), and they trust a brand more if actual customers are used in its marketing. 

2. Instagram museums are out, too.

Gen Z consumers aren’t falling for static, staged photo opportunities anymore. This generation wants to attend pop-ups and snap pics, too, but the key is to include personalization and allow younger consumers the opportunity to co-create with the brand from their unique perspectives.

3. Art is a passion point.

An interest for Gen Z, according to the report, is modern and urban art. So, strategic collabs and interactive and multi-sensory experiences are likely to attract this generation by appealing to their desire for creative expression. Think artist collabs, sneaker drops and exclusive fashion or merch at events.

4. Retail events are effective.

The majority of Gen Z consumers actually prefer to shop in-person, but they prefer retail environments that are more innovative, tactile, high-tech and interactive. Touching and testing the products is a priority for them, with 75 percent saying shopping in physical stores is better than shopping online. That said, they often take their recommendations from social media—the discovery of a brand is what takes place online.

5. You can bet on gaming.

Video game revenue in the U.S. exceeded $35 billion last year. And since Gen Z is fueling much of the growing popularity of gaming and esports, it behooves brands to embrace gaming culture in events with creative integrations, sponsorships and collabs. The Gen Z generation also enjoys the community aspect of gaming, which allows fans to gather IRL at events, tournaments and meet-and-greets—an area of opportunity for event marketers.

6. Inclusivity is important.

Almost 50 percent of Gen Z consumers identify as a racial or ethnic minority, making them the most diverse generation yet. It follows that brand marketing needs to be representative of that diversity if it’s to be taken seriously by this group. More than 60 percent of Gen Z consumers say they like seeing ads featuring diverse families.

7. Intimate festivals are a draw.

Gen Z consumers are ditching the elevated ticket prices at major music festivals for more affordable events that focus on a specific passion point or genre. Though they still love live music, additional interests include food and beverage, health and wellness, urban/modern art and extreme sports. They’re also receptive to events dedicated to a brand they feel devoted to.

8. TikTok is a preferred platform.

TikTok is huge with Gen Z. In fact, 41 percent of users are between the ages of 16 and 24. So, brands considering targeting this demo should consider building a presence there. The platform has a playful feel and is ideal for lighthearted and comedic content as opposed to the finely curated and filtered content found on other social platforms.

9. Co-creation with brands is in.

The majority of Gen Z consumers, 71 percent, believe that brands should help them achieve their personal goals and aspirations. Many of these folks also want to start their own businesses. To tap into this entrepreneurial spirit, brands can offer classes, workshops and networking events and even enlist them to co-create campaigns and product lines.

10. Shareworthy travel experiences are popular.

Gen Z consumers are willing to spend more for immersive, experiential travel, and they prefer to live like locals—particularly when it comes to food. A whopping 94 percent of Gen Z consumers said they research where to eat before they travel. This group also likes to pay it forward: Almost a third of them planned to give experiential holiday gifts last year.

11. Environmentally conscious-food is appreciated.

Three quarters of Gen Z consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable, “do-good” food. Brands that address issues like food waste, sustainable packaging and cellular agriculture will attract their attention. Consider serving socially-conscious food at pop-ups and events.

12. Lifestyle collabs are hot.

This demographic is more likely to shop brand collaborations—about two thirds compared to half of consumers overall. Luxury and streetwear collabs that produce items at attainable price points appeal to Gen Z consumers’ need for exclusivity. Streetwear collabs are still hot, but lifestyle, home/dorm and travel verticals are gaining in popularity.

13. Personalized product branding is in.

Gen Z consumers purchase products and services that highlight their identity. And 58 percent said they’d pay a premium for such items. Individualized products, experiences and rewards allow the generation to communicate their personal style through branded merchandise. Additionally, 42 percent said they enjoy designing their own products through technology like 3D printers.

14. Customization of personal avatars will continue.

A third of Gen Z consumers said they see no difference between their online and offline selves, and 35 percent say those selves are very similar. It follows that they are comfortable with digital projections of humans, or avatars like Bitmoji, which can be personalized with branded items.

15. AI combined with human interaction is preferred.

The fact that retail spend on AI will reach $7.3 billion by 2022 reflects younger generations’ expectation of personalization in shopping experiences. But customer service with a human touch remains important to Gen Z consumers. Brands employing AI in retail should still incorporate human interaction into an experience.

See this article, along with the rest of the Stories of the Year at EventMarketer.com

Mirrored Media Experiential Agency CEO Justin Lefkovitch: “Speak with Passion About Your Vision”

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Home Business Magazine

By Shannah Henderson -November 6, 2019

When it comes to marketing products and services, engaging, firsthand experiences should be at the top of your company’s promotional strategy. Allowing consumers to test out and truly experience what your brand is about is so important, as it can lead to word-of-mouth buzz and a greater following of loyal fans and new customers. Mirrored Media is one experiential agency that has reshaped how brands interact with consumers.

With a robust client portfolio that includes BMW, NBCUniversal, and Mattel, Mirrored Media is a top-notch, experiential agency that creates high-impact, enduring lifestyle campaigns specializing in music and entertainment. Mirrored Media helps brands reach their target markets through authentic, buzzworthy and memorable experiences. Home Business Magazine recently connected with Mirrored Media CEO Justin Lefkovitch, who was happy to share insight on his business journey, his top tips for entrepreneurs, and more.”

HBM: Tell us about the Mirrored Media brand. What sets it apart from other experiential agencies within the market?

Lefkovitch: “Mirrored Media is a full-service experiential marketing firm that creates high-impact, enduring lifestyle campaigns specializing in music and entertainment. We stand apart from the competition through the emphasis of creating authentic, immersive, memorable experiences. By bridging the gap between music, technology, influencers, art, automotive, and fashion, Mirrored Media has curated some of the most successful and influential experiential activations and campaigns.

What makes us unique is our specialized creative and client approach. We have award-winning creative that has helped to change the way brands reach and engage with their consumers. We are a one-stop shop with all in-house capabilities, from ideation through execution, including: rendering, creative, fabrication, staging, lighting, sound, permitting and so much more.

In order to ensure complete continuity in both communication and our work product, our clients have the same producer from beginning to end. That producer is well-versed in each element of the production to ensure the creative vision isn’t lost as it moves from pre-sale, to fabrication, to on-site execution. Every client experiences transformational results.”

HBM: How did the idea for Mirrored Media come about? What was the inspiration behind the company?

Lefkovitch: “As a teenager in Los Angeles, I was an acclaimed touring magician and a regularly featured performer at the world-famous Magic Castle alongside some of the industry’s biggest names. Soon after, while attending Pepperdine University, I began to manage a well-known singer and songwriter, giving me more exposure and expertise in the world of music and entertainment.

During this time, I often saw firsthand the inherent issues that were present when brands were attempting to market with talent. It was during this paradigm shift in marketing and music, that I wrote a business plan and submitted it to the school’s Graziadio Business Plan Competition. After emerging as a finalist, I soon realized that I had a viable business model. Also around that time, I met Steve Kofsky and world-renowned film composer, Hans Zimmer. Kofsky and Zimmer believed in me and my vision and invited me to join them at their Santa Monica campus.”

HBM: What has been your biggest achievement thus far?

Lefkovitch: “The Road to Coachella is a yearly campaign with BMW that has garnered us over four-dozen industry awards and accolades to-date. The ongoing campaign allows us to create innovative ways to reach Coachella-goers and fans worldwide, where we are met with new challenges every year to keep it fresh and unique.

After conceiving the inaugural namesake in 2017 that sought to create an organic relationship between Coachella, a performing artist, and festival partner BMW i, Mirrored Media expanded that narrative in 2018 and shattered expectations in 2019 with a robust creative strategy targeting Coachella-goers and millennials. The annual campaign has featured artists such as Hans Zimmer, Marshmello, Portugal The Man, and Khalid. Khalid, our 2019 artist partner, catapulted to global superstardom in the midst of our April 2019 campaign. This year’s initiative reached over a billion people through social media, press, and marketing efforts.

This campaign took a localized festival sponsorship, and has created a value proposition for BMW and our artist partners, utilizing the Road to Coachella campaign to create long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. The legacy of the campaign has continued with BMW sponsoring Khalid’s Free Spirit tour and working with Hans Zimmer to design the sound of the brand’s newest electric vehicle.”

HBM: What has been your biggest challenge you’ve overcome?

Lefkovitch: “I realized that as a startup company, especially in an unestablished marketplace, I would always be trading sales for some uncertainty because the clients betting on us, often had risk associated with them. I learned to be very thorough and specific with my payment structures, and I learned to anticipate and even plan for the associated risks.

As a new entrepreneur, especially when dealing with larger clients, you expect to be paid based on a reasonable payment structure. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Whether through extended payment terms or accounting for late payments, you need to consider realistic cash flow expectations.”

HBM: What is your biggest tip for other aspiring entrepreneurs within the experiential and events-driven industries?

Lefkovitch: “The best advice I could give is to get out of your comfort zone and accept any opportunity to get out and meet people while expanding your professional circle. The goal is to build a network of people that you admire and trust and would want to work with both personally and professionally, even if there is no specific job at the moment. Become actual friends and figure out how you can be beneficial to them without expecting an immediate return.

Speak with passion about your vision and the company you are creating because when it comes down to it, people are buying into you, not just the product. People want to get behind something they believe in. When your passion shines through, it excites people. I always aim to seek out mutually symbiotic partnerships and empower people to help me along my way. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for these people who believed in my vision and were excited to be a part of it.”Contact: shannahch@gmail.com

Forbes: Film Composer Hans Zimmer Gives BMW Electric Cars A Noteworthy Voice

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Inside the production studio where Oscar winner Hans Zimmer composes music
Hans Zimmer’s music studio in Santa Monica, CA
PHOTO BY DAVID BLOOM

David Bloom, Senior Contributor Forbes

Oscar-winning film composer Hans Zimmer (The Lion King), has a new side gig, curating the sounds of otherwise virtually silent electric vehicles made by his hometown automaker, BMW.

On the eve of the Los Angeles Auto Show’s opening (and of the announcement of Zimmer’s latest Grammy nomination, his 18th), BMW hauled a busload of mostly German journalists to Zimmer’s sprawling music-production compound tucked amid low-rise office buildings a mile east of downtown Santa Monica. There, Zimmer and BMW executives unveiled the initial results of a previously announced collaboration designed to give voice to cars that make virtually no sound.

Hans Zimmer with background TV image of BMW car
Oscar-winning film composer Hans Zimmer in his studio complex PHOTO BY DAVID BLOOM

“It’s the electric engine which is not delivering any sound at all,” said Jens Thiemer, Head of BMW Brand Management. “This is more and more going to be the way in the next decades. We had to think about what holistic sound experiences can we provide our drivers?”

As part of that future, Zimmer will have an ongoing role creating audio for BMW electric vehicles, starting with a sound that signals the start and stop of the cars. It will be part of next year’s BMW electric fleet.Today In: Business

On start, the sound swells from a single note into a full chord. And when the car is turned off, the sound is reversed, going from a chord to a single note.

Zimmer– who still has an apartment in Munich with a view of the BMW headquarters – said his work on the project was initially informed by the feeling of safety and security he had when he could pick out the sound of his mother’s returning car among the city’s street noise.

He also kept thinking what the world sounded like before the internal-combustion engine took over seemingly everything, but especially our auditory landscape.

“What did the world sound like before the internal-combustion engine,” Zimmer said. “Silence is an expensive commodity now. But we could make (the driving experience) more beautiful. There’s no limit to the sounds we could make” without engine sounds overwhelming everything.

The project taps into the same spirit of customization that led people to create their own cellphone ring-tones. As well, there’s a billion-dollar aftermarket for products that aficionados use to trick out even modest vehicles with internal and external running lights, high-end sound systems, custom paint jobs, and much else.

More recently, BMW competitor Daimler-Benz rolled out an entry-level sedan, the A 220, designed to appeal to a new market segment of tech-savvy younger buyers. Among the options is the ability to customize interior running lights with numerous colors or color combinations. It’s a small thing, but ridiculously pleasing for those who like to make a car more truly an expression of their personality.

And so, no doubt, will be the case for audio in the near-perfect listening conditions possible in a well-made electric vehicle. Though Zimmer and Renzo Vitale, who heads BMW’s music project, were circumspect about what additional sound creation the composer might do in his ongoing role, Zimmer several times mentioned that he already had numerous ideas for more work.

Composer Hans Zimmer and BMW executive Renzo Vitale
Hans Zimmer (l.) and BMW composer Renzo Vitale announcing Zimmer’s new role with the car companyPHOTO BY DAVID BLOOM

“The start-stop sound is a good first thing to be working on,” Vitale said. ‘Maybe it shows us a new way. More is to be revealed.”

Zimmer originally was commissioned to create a distinctive driving sound for a concept car, the Vision M Next, that BMW unveiled earlier this year.

That audio was built around what’s known in music circles as a Shepard tone, an audio effect that enlists a chord of tones separated by an octave each that shift in pitch and volume, said Vitale. It was designed to provide something of the visceral auditory thrill that a sports car’s revving engine can deliver to enthusiast drivers.

The Shepard tone tricks the ear into believing the sound is perpetually swelling in volume as different tones rise and fall within the overall chord. Zimmer said he used the effect in his Oscar-nominated soundtrack for Christopher Nolan’s Inception among other work.

The sounds also are built around unexpected inspirations, taken from notable visual artists.

For instance, Vitale said the road sound for the concept car – designed to unfurl through four “rooms” of emotional response as a driver accelerated from 0 to 200 kilometers per hour (about 122 mph) – connects to the work of prominent Southern California artist James Turrell, a former MacArthur Fellow noted for his work with the Light and Space movement and Arizona’s Roden Crater naked-eye observatory.

In similar fashion, the start-stop sound was fueled by a sculptural piece from Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson that unfurls and furls through a cycle, Zimmer said.

More generally, Zimmer took a filmic, narrative approach, perhaps unsurprising given his body of work creating music for dozens of films, TV shows and video games, including Pirates of the Caribbean, Dunkirk, Gladiator, and The Dark Knight trilogy. He racked up another Grammy nomination today, for best score soundtrack for visual media, for this year’s live-action version of The Lion King.

“Every story is a journey,” Zimmer said. ‘The character starts somewhere and ends somewhere else. I thought how great it would be if the car would greet you. The on-off sound could be a delicious Beatles chord that makes you smile.”

It’s not the first time Zimmer has worked with BMW on projects. Three years ago, he was the first musician to work with BMW on a project tied to Coachella, the massive music festival held every spring in the desert three hours’ drive east of Los Angeles.

That first Road to Coachella project featured behind-the-scenes video of Zimmer preparing for his live performance, organizing the 100-person backing orchestra he brought along. The automaker since has partnered with Portugal. The Man and this year with Khalid, who today was nominated for a Record of the Year Grammy.

And BMW has been doing entertainment-connected projects for many years, beginning with the commissioning of Ridley Scott and other notable directors two decades ago to create short films featuring the vehicles.Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

Read the entire article HERE at Forbes.com

Chief Marketer Unveils 2020 Chief Marketer 200: Exclusive List of Top 200 Brand Engagement and Experience Agencies Serving the U.S.

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Norwalk, CT, November 26, 2019 – Chief Marketer, a leading publisher of content, recognition programs and training events for Fortune 1000 marketers, today unveiled the 2020 Chief Marketer 200. It is the world’s only editorial listing of best-in-class brand engagement and activation agencies.

The CM200 features editorial listings and coverage of agencies spanning 11 categories, including Experiential, Sports & Entertainment, Promotion, Retail/Shopper, Digital/Content, Social Media, Design and Innovation, B2B Demand Gen, B2B Brand Engagement Marketing, B2B Experiential Marketing and Martech. Editorial profiles include details on core capabilities and specializations, examples of outstanding work, insights on culture and people, client examples and RFP contact information.

“Many of the marketing disciplines that were once considered ‘below the line’ have come into their own and become some of the most powerful marketing tools in the marketing mix,” says Jessica Heasley, Group Editor & Publisher at Chief Marketer. “We created the CM200 three years ago to shine a spotlight on this vibrant and fast-growing agency community, and to help modern marketers find the partners that will help them craft the kind of campaigns that modern consumers demand.”

Chief Marketer’s editors accepted applications from across the country for the CM200 earlier this fall. Winners were selected based on several criteria including: insightful client testimonials; outstanding case study submissions; high caliber, consistent work across programs and clients; innovative and creative executions; and bold and inspiring concepts and ideas that are moving the industry forward. The 200 agencies selected for this year’s program are thought leaders in their craft and representative of the best of the marketing industry.


ABOUT CHIEF MARKETER
Global online content portal Chief Marketer, an Access Intelligence brand, arms aspiring CMOs with the tools, insights, data and training they need to master the “next frontier of marketing”—an age of marketing much less dependent on advertising and much more focused on the rest of the branding toolkit. CM has more than 150,000 readers who rely on its content and live events to help them cut through the noise and find the solutions necessary to optimize their performance. From digital, direct and content marketing, to social, experiential, promotion and more, our weekly newsletters and daily website content covers it all. In addition to the CM200, Chief Marketer also produces the PRO Awards, and recognition programs including Masters of Martech and Future CMOs. Learn more at chiefmarketer.com.

ABOUT ACCESS INTELLIGENCE
Access Intelligence is a privately held B2B media and information company headquartered in Rockville, MD, serving the marketing, media, PR, cable, healthcare management, defense, energy, engineering, satellite and aviation markets. Leading brands include Ad Exchanger, AdMonsters, Chemical Engineering, Cynopsis, Cablefax, Chief Marketer, Defense Daily, Event Marketer, Folio:, LeadsCon, POWER and Via Satellite. Market-leading conferences and trade shows include LeadsCon, AdMonsters OPS and Publisher Summits, The Folio: Show, Experiential Marketing Summit, Global Connected Aircraft Summit, SATELLITE 2019, OR Manager Conference, LDC Gas Forums, Clean Gulf, Connected Plant Conference and ELECTRIC POWER Conference & Exhibition. For more information, visit accessintel.com.

“Christmas at The Grove” Celebrates the Start of the Holiday Season with Star-Studded Tree Lighting

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November 17, 2019 (Los Angeles, Calif.) – Tonight, The Grove celebrated the magic of Christmas with its annual tree lighting spectacular: “Christmas at The Grove.” The award-winning retail, dining and lifestyle destination transformed into a magical winter wonderland as host and performer Leslie Odom Jr. entertained more than 32,000 Angelenos with a lively show featuring an appearance from Ashley Tisdale and performances by Aloe Blacc, Tori Kelly, The Tenors and Isaac Slade of The Fray. Presented by CITI, the highly-anticipated event was enjoyed by Kate Beckinsale, Kate Mara, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Caruso Founder and CEO, Rick J. Caruso and more.

The evening’s festivities were opened by Ashley Tisdale followed by a rousing rendition of the National Anthem sung by 8-year old singer and actress Malea Emma. Following opening remarks by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman David Ryu, the show kicked off with a heartfelt performance of “Cold” by Leslie Odom Jr. He dazzled the audience with other fan favorites “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and “Go Crazy” throughout the show. The star-studded acts continued with The Tenors taking the stage for a trio of seasonal hits including “O Holy Night,” “When We Are Together,” and “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.”

Tori Kelly followed with her gospel-pop hit “Never Alone” and a soulful rendition of “Hallelujah.” The show then continued with Aloe Blacc’s anthemic best-sellers “Wake Me Up” and “I’m the Man.” Isaac Slade of The Fray wowed attendees with his chart-toppers “How to Save a Life” and “Over My Head,” before rounding out the evening’s performances with the holiday classic “Silent Night.” 

The show-stopping finale featured Santa Claus’ grand arrival at The Grove, spectacular fireworks, the season’s first snowfall and the lighting of the over 100-foot-tall Christmas Tree. Standing taller than the tree at Rockefeller Center, the majestic white fir from Mt. Shasta will glow with 15,000 sparkling lights and more than 10,000 glittering ornaments throughout the holiday season. 

Mirrored Media produced this show for the second year, bringing together an impressive line up of performers to entertain the community and kick-off the holiday season.

The Americana at Brand Annual Christmas Show Kicks Off the Holiday Season with a Touch of Magic

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November 14, 2019 (Glendale, Calif.) – The Americana at Brand celebrated the beginning of the festive season with its annual Christmas tree lighting event hosted by Ava Michelle of Netflix’s Tall Girl. The dazzling show, which featured performances from Joseph Tran of The Magic Castle, Ella Rossi and the West Angeles Choir, was enjoyed by Leighton Meester, Jenna Dewan, Steve Kazee, Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian, and Caruso Founder & CEO Rick Caruso

The evening began with a rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner sung by The Americana’s own Claudia Douge. Ava Michelle then kicked off the show, bringing to life the whimsical world of the Nutcracker, as Clara and the Sugarplum Fairy worked together to save Christmas.  Reveling in the show were young children from Para Los Ninos – an organization headquartered on Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles serving thousands of children and families living in poverty with educational access, health care, and social services.

Nearly 20,000 Angelenos gathered for the show-stopping finale which featured Santa Claus’ grand arrival at The Americana at Brand, spectacular fireworks, the season’s first snowfall, and the lighting of the dazzling Christmas Tree: a majestic white fir standing at over 100 feet tall, taller than the tree at Rockefeller Center, and sparkling with 15,000 lights and more than 10,000 glittering ornaments.

This year, Mirrored Media created a new take on a classic Christmas tale to wow and entertain the audience at The Americana at Brand. The show featured a variety of acts, including magic, dance, and singing, as well as a special surprise appearance by Santa Claus.

CNN Courageous: The Joy of What’s Next

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The Brand Studio at CNN: The Joy Of What’s Next

In this documentary series, award-winning correspondent Mariana Van Zeller takes a close look at the people and personalities at the forefront of innovation.

How do you describe the sound of something that doesn’t exist? Mariana meets with BMW sound designer Renzo Vitale and composer Hans Zimmer to discover the audio palette of BMW’s Vision M NEXT car.

Watch the joy of whats next: Episode 1 The Sound of What’s Next HERE.