How Website Hosting Actually Works

April 5, 2021 | Filed Under advertising, Vancouver advertising, websites | Leave a Comment 

Owning a website is like owning a car.

It’s a big investment up front. It’s essential for business. We trust it with the most precious things in our lives. Yet we tend to stick our heads in the sand when it comes to the mechanics.

Like it or not, your website is important. It’s the kind of purchase that’s going to require your full attention from time to time, starting with: “Where exactly is this thing parked, right now?”

If you see yourself in business in the next two years, you’re going to have to know how these things work. You know what? We’re here right now. So let’ do this. Put your phone in a drawer and kick off your shoes. It’s going to take us five focused minutes to demystify what website hosting actually is, and why it matters. Something that you have been avoiding—up until this very moment.

Sure, let’s park here. Good enough. And it’s cheap, kids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Do I Park This Thing?

If you own a car. You need parking. Same goes for a website.

If you’re trying to wrap your head around what ‘parking a website’ looks like, just visualize the different types of parking out there that you already know.

First up is the classic cul-de-sac carport with the sliding garage door.

Enjoy Secure, Private Hosting in Your Suburban Garage

Your site is self-contained, with its own private entrance. It’s tucked well away from all the other sites crammed in towers by the freeway. It’s an independent option, and that’s reflected in the price.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why do you want this? You’re not sharing keys. You’re the only one with access to the garage, so it’s safe and private too. If there’s a virus going around, you’re in the clear.

The only downside? The buck stops with you. You’ll need to pop the hood and get familiar with the machinery.

I know this is a beauty, but price is a consideration. Also, only owners have hobbies like ‘home repair.’ So let’s keep looking.

Secure and Cheap but the Privacy’s Weak. Hosting At The Underground Parkade

The average city car lot is big on gates and cameras and uniformed guards.The intimidating security presence is more a deterrent than anything. It has its function though. So no one’s in there that shouldn’t be—for the most part. As for the vehicles, it’s tight. You know the drill, don’t leave your valuables in plain sight, or bring any attention to yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why would you want this? It’s cheap and secure from the outside world.

The downsides?  Everyone is sharing the same keys. All it takes is one bad apple. It’s not like they are doing background checks down there.

Okay Mr. Human Error. Mister Misanthrope. Mr. People-Are-The-Problem. I get it, you want a spot and then you never want to deal with it again. And you certainly don’t want anyone in there. There’s another word for this, it’s called a tomb.

Cheap, secure, out of sight, out of mind: AAAARGGH-SO-EASY STORAGE

The model is simple: Build a fortress with impenetrable walls, and state-of-the-art locks, and keep it cheap by stacking it high with thousands of cars, slotted away, and clients without access. It’s just parking. Not comfort. Pile in.

cars stacked one on another

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything’s Alright Until Something Goes Wrong

Thing is, when you wall yourself off from intruders on the outside, your problem becomes your neighbours. Viruses spread like fires through a shanty. If your neighbour gets it, you’re getting it too.

Why would you want this? You like cheap, you like safe, and you don’t give a rat’s ass about access. Websites should be seen and not heard.

The downsides? Be prepared to wait weeks to get the keys if you need them. You’re not supposed to come back here, remember?

Still too dear? Well, the world has discount parachutes for a reason.

Not Secure. Not Private. But Cheaper Than Hell:  Dystopian Overnight Parking.

You know that creepy old lot by Kingsgate Mall with the one flickering streetlight and the barbwire fence, and the distinctive lingering scent of old skunk. This is where abandoned sites go, when no one cares where they’re at.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what cheap hosting is. Exposed, barely secure, and as neglected as it gets. You never know who’s in there. You want access? Over there. The gate’s still bent up in the corner from the last time someone crept in.

Why would you want this? You don’t. This is the last thing you want. If you’re paying next to nothing, though, then this is what you have.

The downsides? All of them.

The fog is starting to lift a bit, isn’t it? Aren’t you glad you’ve stayed with us this far? Web hosting isn’t that complicated. It’s just out of sight. That’s no excuse though. If you wouldn’t leave your briefcase in the backseat of your car at any of these spots, are you sure you’d like to leave your keys with them too? Now, let’s get you out of here.

Back Home At The Garage

Remember this place? The private garage with sweeping views that lets you get away from it all? Chances are you loved everything about it—except for one thing—you don’t like to pull weeds or wires or change your own oil and you definitely don’t subscribe to Littlest Coder On The Prairie.

So we’ve found you one better. It’s the perfect fit for the city type who loves to be remote as long as there’s wifi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s exactly the same as our first suburban garage, but this time it’s in a gated community of twenty or so business owners like you. Everyone has their own private access. Plus, there are only two keys, one for you—and one for me.

Come again?

—–

Enjoy Your Stay At Immersion’s Gated Community 

We liked our garage so much be bought the whole community. Now, we have twenty detached garages in all. So if you want a secure and private place where you hold all of the keys but none of the responsibility that comes with it, then this is it.

If your email lags, don’t waste your day playing IT. Get on the horn and I’ll send somebody down. That’s what landlords are for.

If you’re trying to hang a picture, and end up hammering through the wall—we can fix that for you. We have a maintenance retainer set aside for stuff like this. If something compels you to dig around the foundation and you hit a water main and the water won’t stop spraying until the city comes to turn off the the block—We have an extreme response troubleshooting retainer set aside for thing like that as well. Also every Daylight Saving Day, we make the rounds. We check the units for bugs and mould, uneven floors, and broken links and things to fix.

gated community

I have a ton of space here. Over the years, some of my clients asked if they could  park here too. Sure. I’d rather them be safe here, than in some sketchy tower crawling with abandoned sites that don’t use any protection. Crammed conditions, sharing keys with strangers, leaving the door wide open on some nights—you know where this leads if they don’t start to taking better care of themselves.

When a client has a kit with me, their sites is my responsibility, so I move their vehicle into one of my garages where I can keep an eye on it.

Now, I’m not saying that we have private valet service that will rotate your tires while you’re off at Saint Martins. What we do have, is a nice little gated community though. Everyone has a pool. And a nice big garage. And a Bow-Flex in the corner under a quarter-inch of dust.

It’s got all the privacy and security you could ask for. The front gate of the community keeps out the traffic, and the your own parking spot ensures you always look respectable.

Your Secure, Private Carport Keeps You Asleep

Is this the kind of place you’re comfortable leaving your briefcase in your car overnight? Sure. You don’t give it a second thought.

And if, god forbid, your neighbour has a fire, it won’t spread to your house too.

You know everyone who lives here. You’re already friends with some of them, in the Facebook sense, the rest, they all pop up as “Mutual” suggestions. So there’s one degree of separation at most and that’s comfort enough, that even if you leave your front door open, the worst thing you might find is a plate of cookies.

It’s a friendly place. You’re welcome here. To find out more information, just shoot us an email at mike (at) immersioncreative.com

Beyond Just Hosting, Here’s What We Offer.

Extreme Response (Troubleshooting)

Maintenance

Tutorials

Creative, Branding and Design

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have  or refer to Immersion’s Frequently Asked Rhetorical Questions

 



How To Use Our Rate Card

March 20, 2021 | Filed Under advertising, Immersion Creative, Vancouver advertising | Leave a Comment 

 

When you come across a patio with crisp tablecloths on picnic tables, wildflowers in chipped Royal Doulton tumblers, and steaming lobster served on cafeteria trays—what do you do when they offer you a seat?

 

You check the menu of course. Not just to see what they have, but to get a feel for what they charge.

 

People want to know, ballpark, what kind of pricing to expect before making any kind of commitment. That’s natural. Even if you’re not ordering right now. You’re just seeing if it’s in your budget for later. And getting a sense of league you’re (Batting? Swimming?) in.

 

It drives me nuts when people won’t give me a straight answer about their pricing. Sadly, you see this a lot in the creative realm. Can you imagine calling a plumber and saying, I need my sink fixed, what’s your hourly rate? And he pauses and says, “How much you got?”

 

I understand that complicated projects require complicated quotes, but a ballpark “here’s roughly what you’re in for” is all most people want when they’re kicking tires. That’s why we have the rate card.

 

I know I leave a lot of money on the table with this rate card. I don’t care. I make up for it with less time dancing and more time actually doing my job—at a rate that works for both of us off the bat—no negotiations required. That’s what happens when you have a client that knows good value and an agency that knows its worth.

 

There’s only one way to land on those numbers and that’s by constantly working for the numbers you set.

 

Will other agencies copy these prices? Again, I don’t really care. And I’m looking right at you, (redacted). You don’t work like me. You have a different product. Different overhead and expenses. I provide a different service that you do. So don’t steal my pricing. Make your own.

 

My rates are low beside the big tower juggernauts. Probably a third, I’m guessing, because my overhead’s low.

 

So that’s where the real value is.

 

Our studio rates and hourly billing seem dear by freelance designer standards. Because we are not just one designer, we’re a synchronized and organized team that can handle everything from the design, to the execution, to the strategy and media buy. We’re a one-stop-shop comprising a regular crew that’s worked together and worked out our flow for over a decade now. That cohesion is The Studio in the studio rates we have. You’re paying to keep the ball moving by career creatives, not dropped mid-way by a realtor moonlighting as a producer.

 

If you have $1000 to spend, we might seem expensive. If you have $10k, we are affordable but only for the below-the-line items.

We can take you from an idea to everything you need to be a company for less than $15k.

$25k and we are talking high-end branding.

If you have $50k we can do a truly next level B2B campaign.

For $100k we can blanket a region.

$300k: Blanket with broadcast.

$500k: Can’t miss, province-wide for a season.

 

So take a look at the rate card, let me know what you think, and if you want to really drill down on the numbers, we have the Bento Box for that. Just give us a shout.



Lürzer’s Archive 

March 20, 2021 | Filed Under advertising, Awards, Vancouver advertising | Leave a Comment 

It only took us eighteen years, but we finally did it. We cracked Lürzer’s.

Lürzer’s Archive is known for being the ultimate compendium of the most creative advertising in the world. It’s a celebration of the craft. I’ve been thumbing through its pages since 2003, wondering if I’d ever have my work in there. So making ads of that calibre has always been my ambition

 

When I first started out, I used to obsess about the ads in there and my number one goal was to get in the compendium one day. It’s the go-to for the best work out there.

Almost twenty years ago, I started asking myself: what makes good advertising? What kind of work are the big agencies hiring for? What kind of work do the smartest clients want? What kind of work just works?

 

 

 

Back then, I realized that there are a few paths to take. You can latch on to the style that the biggest brands use. You can mimic the advertising that’s winning awards. You can go through life just giving people what they want. Or, if you’re like me, you toil in the long shadows of the world’s most selective creative advertising publication, until its standards align with your own.

 

We were featured in the latest Lürzer’s Archive (twice). So that long eighteen year wait may have been worth it after all. Six ads total.

One of the campaigns was for Homeless Veterans in Canada, the other for Shearwater’s Peregrine dive computers. Both campaigns were with made with the extraordinary Vancouver advertising photographer Peter Holst.

 

 



The Key Visual – What Is It?

March 4, 2021 | Filed Under advertising, copywriting, design, Immersion Creative, Photography | Leave a Comment 

A Key Visual is the foundation of your visual identity. It’s a communications concept that’s designed not just for one ad, but to appear in everything, everywhere going forward with your brand. So we shoot for timeless, tasteful and thoughtful.

Think TD’s green chair, Absolut vodka’s bottle-shaped ads, Red Bull’s wings.

 

Can you spot the MAD / AdBusters?

 

Think of it like a blueprint. It sets the tone for the concept, and the style. Once we articulate the Key Visual, everything else falls in place.

 

So where to begin?

We usually start with print. From there it’s simple to resize to outdoor, social media, or any other medium (vs. create a new ad each time).

First we take present a few rough sketches, and when we have one you like, we set to work on bringing it to life.

Then we need to give that visual a tone.

 

Stock is Stock

The most cost-effective route working with a stock photo that you can purchase the usage for. Stock is stock, however, so it will never be completely original or perfectly branded. Combine it with some cool illustrations though, and we’re onto something special.

 

Illustrations and Strong Headlines

If budget is a consideration, but you’re not a fan of stock, we could still make a cool Key Visual without photography. There’s a lot we can do with illustrations and even a stylish headline-driven campaign (think Economist, Ketel One, or ABC).

 

Budget-Conscious Custom Photography

Did you want us to create a print ad for you with high-end photographers, but a super simple brief? With a timeless Key Visual like this one, you could use it in all your advertising going forward, not just once. If we keep it simple, and hold the props and wardrobe and studio costs to a minimum, we can discuss a rate that works with your budget.

 

 

Why Settle for an Ad when You can have an Artifact?

We can bring in an amazing photographer and create advertising you’d be happy to have on your wall.

 

 



The Process of Making A TV Ad

February 1, 2021 | Filed Under advertising, Immersion Creative, Vancouver, Vancouver advertising | Leave a Comment 

Making a good TV commercial can seem really daunting and complicated. Just like anything else in life, the trick is to break it down into simple, smaller steps and do them one at a time.

 

TV ad for paramedics with a stunt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP ONE: Timing

I like working backwards from deadlines in just about every area of my life. If I need to be up at six, I work backwards from how much sleep I need to be functional. So bed by midnight. Therefore, last tea at noon. It’s how I organize my life and it’s how I organize my shoots.

So first things first is we look at when it’s due at the stations, and then take away a week for clearing censors at TVB and any last-minute tweaks they might require. Then, working backwards, another week for post-production and colour correction. Then, back, another week and a half for editing. So if you’re doing something on a fairly big budget, like we did for the Ambulance Paramedics of British Columbia, you want the shoot date to be about three to four weeks from the launch date.

Once we have the shoot date in place (ideally as far as possible from the day you receive the brief), then we start moving.

 

STEP TWO: Murphy’s Law

If you are making television advertising in Vancouver, you’ll need a rain date or two around it.

 

STEP THREE: The Concept

Nothing kickstarts the creative process like a deposit and a deadline. I like to have about two weeks to get together with my Art Director, Designers and Director Of Photography to start fleshing out the ideas. Usually my first pitch is just me talking to the client. Nothing fancy, just a discussion. Sometimes a cave drawing or two, but usually we just talk about what we plan to do. I’ll present about three or so ideas, and the one that gets us all excited is the one we make. We sign-off on a concept we move forward with storyboards, scripts, and the production of the thing.

 

We wrapped the front cover of the Metro newspaper and had a two-page advertorial inside. These were distributed at Skytrain stations by people in paramedic jackets.

 

WHAT’S A DOP?

The Director Of Photography (aka a cinematographer) is responsible for the visual aesthetic. They work closely with the director in every stage of the planning and production. A DOP will work out a shot list and help with storyboarding each shot.

They are key in assembling a crew and gathering gear as they will want the right grips and lighting technicians to give the production the look they are envisioning.

 

STEP FOUR: The Casting

Talent (the actors) bring an idea to the next level. So once we know all the characters, we reach out to casting agents to help find the best people to bring them to life. We often hold auditions either at my office or at the studio with the client. (We get sushi and make an afternoon of it.) When we have our final list of selects from the audition, we pass these on for discussion with the client. When we are happy with the talent we’ve picked, and they fit our schedule and budget, we move ahead with booking them and making sure they know their scripts. We get their sizes from the casting agents, and then we move ahead with wardrobe, props and styling.

STEP FIVE: Wardrobe, Props and Styling

For a bigger production, we often bring on a professional stylist at this point. Their job is to find the costumes and wardrobe (clothes) that fit the era, style and budget of the piece. They have the measurements of the talent to work from, and they know where to source items from all over the city that will fit the vision of the ad. We might also bring in Set Decorators and Art Directors, who help us find props, and items that will add to the reality of the shot and reinforce the concept.

When we shot the scene with teenagers doing drugs in a suburban basement, our set dec team had crap scattered all over the room: skateboards, bags of chips, video game consoles, magazines, backpacks, etc. At first I was like, this is way too unrealistic, no one hangs out in a room this messy, but they assured me that teenagers are in fact that disgusting, and sure enough, when I actually started looking at rooms from a set dec perspective from then on, I realized how right they were! A good set dec, is constantly taking in all the little details of each room, and bringing those observations to life by adding another layer of believability to a production.

STEP SIX: Location Scouting

I love location scouting. I am always running around the city as is, and I have a huge database of places I think would make great spots to shoot an action sequence, or a classy photoshoot, or a dream sequence. That said, there are also professional location scouts I work with as well when when do big productions. They help find everything from homes to shoot multi-day productions to places to park, bring in trucks, store gear and set up tents for the crew. Some of my favourite location moments have been shooting a terrifying traffic jam sequence in an abandoned parking lot in Burnaby and blocking off traffic in North Van to shoot an overhead crane sequence of a car accident, complete with an upside down vehicle, glass everywhere and a lifeless body.

We recreated a traffic jam with a few cars in a parking lot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP SEVEN: Permits

There is an enormous amount of paperwork that goes into doing a production. The biggest headache though, is getting all the right permits to shoot everywhere. You can find the best locations, but you need to jump through all the necessary hoops to film there. There are a lot of rules to follow. For instance, when we shot this ad, we were awfully close to CN Rail, which meant that we had to be super careful not to get too close, and we were just on the line.

You know you’re serious when you break out the 70-foot crane.

 

STEP EIGHT: Stunts

We once had a stunt man fall off a tall roof and onto a concrete walkway forty feet below for the opening scene of one of our ads. It was a super fun stunt to do. I was amazed when the stunt coordinator used a stacks of cardboard boxes as opposed to crash pads. Our stunt man had to do the fall three times, but it looked great on film.

 

APBC paramedic commercial stunt.

 

We flipped this car upside down for our haunting texting and driving ad for the paramedics.

 

flipping car upside down for paramedics ad

 

STEP NINE: Gear Rental

This is the DOP’s territory usually. My attitude is, if they want special gear (like the anamorphic lens we used in the APBC 2017 ad), or a Steady-cam to shoot the entire ad on one continuous shot—by all means. They want a scissor lift? Sure. I’ll even throw in a 70-foot crane to get a fantastic overhead shot of our freezing model down below. If that’s their vision, I make sure they get what they need to do just that.

 

TV ad for paramedics BTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP TEN: Keeping On Time And On Budget

For smaller productions, I do this myself, but once we are doing larger television commercials that have 75 people on set and a lot of moving parts, like the APBC TV ads, we’re going to need a Production Manager and a 1st AD.

The role of the director (usually me) is to focus on the here and now. The action. What is going on in front of the camera, and nothing else. There should be no other distractions in the back of your mind around the other great variables in the world of film: time and money. There are two people who’s jobs are specifically to deal with those two things.

The 1st AD handles time. He makes sure that everything is happening when it should be happening and that all the shots are being done, in the order they need to be done. He takes on the stress of herding the cats so the director can breathe.

The production manager handles money. They makes sure that we are keeping on budget. They can foresee the traps and dangers, and know all the rules, from labour laws, to union requirements to common sense. They say “no” to me a lot, and that’s what keeps the production from going off the rails.

 

STEP ELEVEN: Assembling A Crew

There are a lot of unique skill sets that go into making a piece of cinema, even if that piece is only 30 seconds long.

 

Hair & Make-Up

For a bigger production we’ll source maybe 2-3 HMUs, and they will often bring assistants, depending on the size of the cast and the complexity. Sometimes we will order prosthetics such as gills or severe wounds. Special effects makeup is a specialty for some artists that we bring in. My rule of thumb for a regular shoot is one hour in the chair per character, so we have to build the production schedule on the day of the shoot accordingly.

Even after the actor has left the chair, out makeup artists help behind the camera, catching and covering shines from the light, flyaway hairs and making touch ups.

LE Dye Pack TV ad

 

Catering

For a bigger production, we’ll bring in a professional caterer. They coordinate everything to do with feeding the crew, including snacks. Actors are notoriously fussy with diets that range from vegan to paleo to keto and more. They’ve heard it all and they find a way to keep everyone fed and happy. I keep out of the food part of things. Realistically, whenever I’m on set, I barely eat anything but gum as I’m too busy.

 

Craft Services

When sets reach a certain size they need Snack Land, and that’s where crafty comes in. If you need a quick veggie, nuts or candy fix, this is where you go.

First Aid

Every crafty I’ve ever worked with has also been our first aid on set.

Stills Photography

Print is one thing, but it’s also nice to have a behind-the-scenes photographer to get some stills for social media and the website.

 

Location Manager

This guy handles everything from traffic to security, to neighbours and parking and permits.

PA

An invaluable human that helps in every way possible on the day of the shoot. The PA could be doing anything from directing traffic to running for tape or batteries, to fending the public off set.

This is not to mention all the other specialized talents on set: the lighting crew, the sound crew, the grips and ADs, set dec, art directors, and production managers and more. There are a LOT of moving parts.

 

STEP TWELVE: Shoot Day

This is the day the magic happens. These days are long and drenched in caffeine. But always fun. The client often comes out to the big shoots to observe. I’ll have a million things going on in my head on shoot day as I’m directing. The First AD is there to help with TIME and free up that space in my mind. The Production Manager is there to help with MONEY, and he takes that component off my plate so I can focus on the shot in front of me, and nothing else.

STEP THIRTEEN: Editing

I like to do all the editing ourselves with our own designers. Usually they work from the notes made from my DOP and myself, and piece them together in the format that is more stringent than any big budget Hollywood production: the thirty-second ad. It’s amazing we can create an emotional arc in such a limited amount of time, but it can be done, and that is what makes television advertising such an interesting medium. It has so much potential.

 

STEP FOURTEEN: Colour Correction, Sound Design and Close Captioning

This is one of the best cities in the world to make film and television (and television commercials). Because of all the movies we make here, we’ve got it all. There are separate studios for everything: sound, audio effects, colour correction, special effects, close captioning, you name it.

 

STEP FIFTEEN: Media Buying and Launch

Once the ad is ready it’s time to buy your media. I’m a big fan of Sports and News because no one PVRs it. We can discuss the media buying process in more detail in another post.



Creating A Radio Campaign – The Process

February 1, 2021 | Filed Under advertising, copywriting, Immersion Creative, radio advertising, Vancouver advertising | Leave a Comment 

This Is How We Radio

Most radio ads are either forgettable or annoying. Making something humorous or catchy enough to cut through the mindless din takes some planning, and the right people.

Start with the creative brief.

First, always, is the creative brief. When you fill that out, I have the background I need.

Then, I write nine scripts. My magic number is 70-80 words for every 30 seconds (although I do tend to speak quickly).

You pick the three scripts you like and then I fine-tune those.

I usually write for two characters and an announcer. But this varies.

 

Next: Production. What I like about radio is that every part of it is fast. You can go from brief to air in a couple of days.

First, I’ll send you some options for voice over talent. We pick the ones we like and book them in studio.

I’m a little bit like David Lynch in that I don’t own a comb. Also, I like to collaborate with the same artists over and again. You’ll hear a lot of Mike Daingerfield and Rhona Rees in my work because they’re awesome and they have great range and talent.

 

 

Second, we set the date and book a studio. I usually work with Paul over at Studio X. He’s an award-winning sound engineer with a golden ear, furious fast fingers and all the chops.

 

On the day of recording, things happen quick. Each actor is booked for one hour, so we might stagger their arrival in studio. Depending on the scripts, we either record one or two on mics at a time in the soundproof recording area. Paul and I sit on the other side of the glass as we mix and I patch through my direction from there.

Once we have our takes, mix-master Paul begins the assembly. We splice together our selects and send them off to the client via .mp3 “rough cuts” for approval and feedback from the client. Again, this all happens quickly in the radio world, as we usually have talent for only an hour, and studio time is a premium. Just like my man, Jack Kerouac, we’re going for a “first thought, best thought” style. Quick decisive decisions are often straight from the gut, and you can trust that feeling more than your brain most of the time. This is what makes radio unique. If print advertising is air-tight planning and control, radio is living in the moment and letting the chips fall where they may. Different styles. Different results.

I’m consistently amazed at the happy accidents you find working with talented folk in a fast improvisational environment. You can go in with three scripts, and the one you thought would be the boring one, suddenly takes on a life of its own and becomes your new favourite. You never know what will happen.

Either way, if we are efficient and move quickly we can get the talent to do their pickups based on client edits while still in the same one-hour session for each actor.

We record each actor in turn in this manner.

 

 

Once we have the rough cuts, the crowd disperses and Paul and I go to work on mixing and mastering. Paul has a huge library of sound effects that we can add, as well as free needle-drop music to add some emotion and texture to the piece.

Free is nice, but if music is important and budget allows, I always prefer to bring in a composer for an original score.

In the past we have worked with the multi-talented Marc Wild for unique and interesting compilations, such as APBC 2015 (notice the subtle variations of the song from  one ad to the next), APBC 2017, Durum, and my favourite, Sempio, which I co-wrote and he sang!

Once all the pieces are in place, we master and give it a final polish. Did you know that de-ssssing is a thing? (Think snake jazz.)

After sign-off of the finals, the ads are sent to the stations. Radio stations only need about 48 hours of notice to get the ads into their logs. And then BAM, a couple of days later, and your ad is on the radio in Vancouver, just like that.

Like I said, radio advertising in Vancouver is fast.

 

 

 

 



Consulting – Our Process

February 1, 2021 | Filed Under advertising, Immersion Creative, Vancouver advertising | Leave a Comment 

When communications are organized, everything is more efficient.

Immersion Creative Consulting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEKLY CONSULTATION CALLS

I like to do set, weekly calls with clients. Say 15-20 minutes every Wednesday at ten. This gives us the opportunity to stay focussed without wasting time on multiple emails back-and-forth.

On the production front, we can make sure that everything is running smoothly and check in at where we are at with ongoing projects.

On the media side, I keep you up-to-date on how our media buy is looking, as well as the latest sales and opportunities in the market from TV to transit.

On the creative side, we have the chance to throw around some ideas about upcoming campaigns.

On the strategic side, we can discuss everything from how to handle changes in the market from an operational perspective to what’s going on with your competitors.

On the research side, we can examine how campaigns are being received and how to fine-tune them going forward to generate greater results.

On-call SEO consultation is included with Social Media Kit #3. Clients can call up at any time to discuss how their campaign is going, evaluate content, and strategize next steps.

Having a fresh set of eyes on a problem that you have been over-thinking can be a huge benefit. Through Immersion, I’ve been consulting clients for over 12 years now, and I’ve helped with everything from speech writing to courting advice to counter-surveillance. Never a dull day in the ad game.

I’m a problem solver by nature: advertising and otherwise.

An in-house consultant with a crew is essentially the crux of what Immersion is.

So let’s set up your first free consultation, and then go from there.

Immersion Creative Consulting

Twelve years in. Same jacket. Same tie. New wrinkles.



Our Website Design Process

January 27, 2021 | Filed Under advertising, Vancouver, Vancouver advertising, websites | Leave a Comment 

We’ve streamlined the website process into a few steps to make it simpler.

FIRST OFF – WHAT DO YOU LIKE?

We ask you to send us samples of websites you do and do not like and the reasons why. That gives us a good starting point. Also, it’s good to see your current advertising materials to get a feel for the main message you are trying to convey.

NEXT – YOUR KEYWORDS

What words do you want to best optimize for search engines? We have been doing SEO in Vancouver since Immersion began in 2008, and we know from experience that it’s the best advertising you can do for your business. In the first six years or so, it’s how Immersion got every one of its clients, by being number one on Google for Vancouver advertising agency and Vancouver advertising.

Properly optimizing for keywords begins with a best-practice internal optimization. In fact, the words that you pick as you main keywords are so important, they guide the architecture of the entire website.

Don’t know what the best keywords for your business are? Then let’s go on a FISHING EXPEDITION on Adwords to find out. (Click the link to find out more about that.)

Either way, once we have your keywords determined we can start structuring how this thing is going to look.

NEXT, NEXT – SITE SKELETON

Now that we have signed off on the best three keywords for your site, we need to lock down the skeleton. This is basically how the site will be structured. The architecture, if you will.

It usually looks something like this:

HOME

ABOUT

WHAT WE DO

PROJECTS

FAQ

NEWS / BLOG

CONTACT US

That’s a pretty simplified version, but you get what we mean.

NEXT, NEXT, NEXT STEP – COPYWRITING

Once we have the skeleton locked in, we move onto copy. Note, whenever I talk about copy, ever, I’m referring to text. All the words on this page are copy. I started off in advertising as a copywriter. I still am a copywriter. But I do a bunch of other things too. I edit copy too. But I never copy copy, copy? (I couldn’t help myself.)

Either way, copy is the words. In the world of advertising (or website) copywriting, it is making the words interesting, easy to understand and persuasive. Some clients like to give me a list of things that they want to say on each page (or copy points, or bullets) and I take these points and give them some poignancy and panache.

Examples of Copywriting:

I turn features of your product or service into benefits.

FROM

We only offer our services online.

TO

Our services are available to you anywhere, anytime, night or day.

I also edit, simplify and clean up redundancies and make it easy for your clientele to navigate.

Another component of copywriting for the web is SEO copywriting. Again, always cognizant of your keywords, we make sure to pepper in just the right about of keywords, link appropriately, and tag and build around those words to best optimize you on search engines.

Some people think this is just a matter of repeating the same keyword over and over again in the copy because the same keyword multiple time is all you need to do with that same keyword and Google’s search engines will love seeing that same keyword in your text. Don’t do this. This is a bad idea. You’ll get flagged and possibly even banned.

There’s a proper way to pepper keywords.

There’s a proper way to frame content.

There’s a proper way to utilize URLs (ie somekeyword.com).

Domain names (URLs) used to be a gold mine (for instance business.com sold for something outrageous like USD$350 million). While it helps, it’s not the be-all-end all of SEO. There’s a lot more to it.

It starts with internal optimization of your site through Keywords, Architecture, and Copywriting. Which brings us to WEBSITE DESIGN.

Oh yeah, and if clients would rather provide the copy, that’s fine too. (A lot of law firms prefer this for some reason.) We can always optimize and edit client-provided copy without changing the nuance. Sure. I have to say though, most legal copy is as dry as dirt, and if you are a law firm, I strongly recommend taking your hands so firmly off the wheel when it comes to communications copy and let us add some flavour, otherwise you’re just like every other law firm out there with copy that will never get read.

NEXT, NEXT, NEXT, NEXT – WEBSITE DESIGN

Once we have the copy doc signed off, we move onto the look of the site itself. Usually what we’ll do is present you a couple of options for the first couple of pages. You pick the one you want, and we use that as a template to build out the rest of the site.

With site design, just like everything else we do, you get one round of revisions per stage, for free. Just please keep them all in one place.

NEXT, NEXT, NEXT, NEXT, NEXT – PROGRAMMING

Okay, so once you’ve signed off on the look, we move into the mechanics of the thing. At this point our developer goes into his programming cave and makes sure that all the wires behind the scenes are set up properly.

In the old days, we gave clients the option of either a website with HTML or a WordPress backend for content management, our new thinking is that every site needs to have the capacity for the client to run it on their own if they desire. So all sites that we make are fully turn-key, once we are done, you can edit the copy, images, pages, etc. on your own.

 

CUSTOM WEBSITE VS. OFF-THE-SHELF THEME WEBSITE OR WIX?

In regards to websites we can do CUSTOM sites like this:

 

https://snrc.ca/

 

Or super simple THEME ones like this:

 

https://www.mariahruschak.com/

 

As well as everything in-between.

 

THEMES

 

Keep in mind, it’s built around a theme, so we don’t have any flexibility in design or functionality.

 

It’s basically a ‘what you see is what you get’ option.

 

 

CUSTOM

 

If you want a custom site, it would be built to whatever look and functionality you want, exactly the way you want it.

 

Custom looks professional because it is professional. As they say, buy cheap, buy twice.

 

 

 

NEXT, NEXT, ETC. – PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Now we are ready to show you a Beta Version of the whole website and all we need to do at this stage is test it. We’ll do one last pass over the site on both sides. We’ll check that all the links are working properly, do a final copy-edit. We make sure that the photos are all correct. You, know, quality control before launch. We check mobile versions, iPads, iPods, iTouches, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Internet Explorer 8 (shudder) and all the browsers and devices we can think of to make sure everything is just right for launch day.

FINALLY – THE LAUNCH

Now, we’re ready to deliver our baby to the world. We press a button, hold our breath and shed a little tear as she spreads her wings for the first time and takes flight.

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WORDPRESS CRASH COURSE

It’s one thing having a site that you can have complete control of as a client and another thing to know how to do it! So we offer a one-hour workshop with our developer to teach you everything you need to know about WordPress. In no time, you’ll be adding your own photos and captions and copy and then, you too, will be off to the races.

We made this website in 48 hours.

 

THE NEXT STEPS

Your website is the storefront of your business.

You want it to be easily accessible (fast load times and ranked well on Google), interesting (well designed) and intuitive to navigate.

We build websites that are best-optimized for search results (SEO). This is only half the battle, the rest we can provide for you with ongoing content. Our social media kits will provide you weekly blogs to post, daily tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram images and whatever else you need to climb to the top of Google and drive traffic to your site.

We build websites with WordPress backends. This allows you turnkey access, so you can change photos or text, and manage the content all on your own. Of course we are always available for technical support if need be.

 

 

 

 



Digital Advertising in Vancouver—What’s Our Process?

January 24, 2021 | Filed Under advertising | Leave a Comment 

We spend more time on screens than we do sleeping. Or talking to our family. Or doing literally anything else in our lives. It’s kinda scary. Especially when you think that every little click, hover, and emoji is meticulously tracked by algorithms to ultimately be used against you.

So, on that note, what’s our approach to digital advertising?

 

 

WE LET THE ROBOTS DO THE WORK

 

If you’ve seen the Social Dillemma, you’ll know how advertisers use the enormous amounts of data they have on us to pinpoint pitch-perfect ads.

 

Facebook, Google, Reddit, Twitter, Youtube, they all have these intricate formulas to best reach your target, by understanding our circuitry better than their own. They’ll say that they know which image you’ll click on before you do.

 

THESE THINGS RUN THEMSELVES

 

The future is here. With a few clicks, a Facebook Business Manager-Machine will spit out reams of hard data and slick reports showing increased clicks, impressions, and engagement achieved through their algorithms. It’s a marketer’s dream.

 

Not only that, digital is the most measurable form of advertising out there. Number crunchers in suits love stats. Shareholders love stats. Stats are safe.

 

Instagram ad for Roofers

 

KNOW YOUR PLACE, ROBOT

 

These algorithms have become so sophisticated that they have even started doing the creative as well. At some point in the campaign, THEY start telling YOU which stock photo would work best, or how the headline should be written to garner the best results. Imagine that, robots playing art director and copywriter like they’re people! It would be adorable if it wasn’t so ominous.

 

LOW BAR TO ENTRY

 

There are a zillion little “icon and logo” digital advertising agencies in Vancouver out there right now, listening to their robot masters and treating advertising like a paint-by-numbers exercise.

 

As a result, I see a lot of stock photos and dry headlines. I see a lot of dead boring advertising. And I don’t see anything that gets anyone excited anymore in any way.

 

There needs to be interesting, creative and memorable branded messaging or you’re looking at a sea of bleh which isn’t doing you any favours in this never-ending war of attrition.

 

 

roofing advertising social media

 

IF YOU CAN’T BEAT ‘EM…

 

So, all that saiid, do WE do digital advertising? Of course we do. We’d be crazy not to offer it to our clients.

 

The question is, how do we offer what everyone else is offering—but better?

 

One (and it’s a big one): We keep our digital costs lower than anyone else. After all, it’s the robots doing the heavy lifting. So No Hourly Billing: just a 15% markup on the media. That’s it. Industry standard. No surprise bills. No headaches. Just simple, lean and clean accounting.

 

Anyone can punch numbers into a machine and dance to the robot’s tune. So why not go to the best-priced operator? I’ll take a loss on digital if it means saving the rest of your campaign, and our world, from more garbage.

 

Two, we’re a natural fit to build the rest of your materials. Outdoor, print, radio and TV complement digital nicely. Why not go with a one-stop agency that can do it all? What does the real-world portfolio of your digital shop next door look like? Ooh, yeah, I thought so.

 

The robots may be boring, that doesn’t mean they don’t have pearls of insight. We use those pearls to make your message and presence in the real world more precise.

paramedics advertising social media

As the Father of Advertising (Not a Robot) once said:

Some individuals use statistics as a drunk man uses lamp-posts—for support rather than for illumination.

(David Ogilvy was a fanatic about research by the way.)

 

Let’s face it. You come to Immersion for ideas and production. That’s our thing. We’re as good as the next guy when it comes to digital. The robots see to that. But we’re cheap in that department. Why? It gives us a chance to take what we learn and make anything but ordinary campaigns that will give your brand a shimmering razor-sharp edge in a sea of dull grey duds.



Our Approach To Theme Websites

January 22, 2021 | Filed Under advertising | Leave a Comment 

Sometimes you don’t want a fancy website. Sometimes you just need something quick and dirty for the time being, so you can focus on other things.

Theme websites are cheap and fast to build. We can crank them out less than two weeks if you’re organized and for under $1500 if we keep it no-frills.

It will be simple. Like us helping you host on a platform like Wix, or if you want us to build to a theme like you’d find on Themeforest – sure.

It will get the job done—for now.

But bear in mind…

Poor people spend more money on boots because they cant’ afford good boots out the gate. I keep saying this over and over, but now, I give up. You want a fast, simple, functional website you’ll probably need to replace in two years, who am I to stand in your way?

We will oblige.

Here’s our process:

First, we get you a domain and hosting. More on that later.

The next steps are:

 

1. Site skeleton / SEO keyword – sign off.

 

2. Copy points for each page – just rough bullets are fine, or links to existing pages, I’ll do the copywriting and SEO once they’re in.

 

3. Imagery – please send us as many high-res photos as you can. We’ll set you up with a Shared Drive so you can upload to the Cloud.

4. Stock photography – we can fill the gaps with stock photos if need be. They’re about $15/credit, so custom or original photos is preferable.

 

*This would be the time to look into getting professional headshots. We can set that up.

 

5. Design of first two pages. We’ll show this to you once we get the photos and copy in (give us a few days after). If you like the direction, we’ll do one round of edits and sign off on those pages and build out the rest with these first pages as a style template.

 

6. Final design delivery. One round of edits.

 

7. Hosting setup. 

 

8. Beta launch. Bug fixes.

 

9. Launch.

And that’s it! (For us.)

 

10. Edits down the road.

If you want to make changes, you can do it autonomously through Editor. After the changes are done, then you have to save it. You can always “preview” it before going live in Wix Editor.

If the new changes look good and you are happy with them then you just have to click “publish” again to see the latest changes live.

So to sum up:

1. Open Editor

2. Make some changes

3. Save (often it’s autosaving, but click save just to make sure)

4. Preview it

If everything is ok, click “publish”, if not go back to point 2.

The changes are updated.

In the editor you can switch between mobile device and desktop version. Sometimes it needs a little adjustment on the mobile site version too.

 

Here are a few sites we’ve done from themes.

theme websites with Immersion Creative

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theme website build for The Wong Lab



Doing It On The Cheap – 4 Pitfalls That Might Haunt You Later

January 22, 2021 | Filed Under advertising, design, Vancouver advertising | Leave a Comment 

There are sites like Fiverr and Looka where you can get your branding for offensively low prices.

I get it, you’re starting out and money is tight. I’ve been there.

Now, you get what you pay for in terms of quality, obviously. However, even if you accept that compromise, there are a few other pitfalls that you might want to consider that might not be obvious out the gate.

First of all, never go through Fiverr or Looka. Just don’t.

You can get a cheap, but half-decent logo for $300-400 if you roll the dice with a third party site like 99designs.com (this is what I did with Immersion, it’s true). Sometimes I even point thriftier startups in this direction. What I do for some clients is just book a few (3-5) hours to help them with the setup and creative direction, and then we build a ‘contest’ and guide the entries towards what you want.

Holden’s first stab at the Immersion logo when he was 7. Kid’s got promise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Pitfalls of Being A Cheap Ass

1. You might end up with a logo that’s already out there. 

That’s a big expense and a potential lawsuit down the road. You can’t count on dudes churning out logos for contests overseas to put in the any degree of due diligence.

2. You are playing designer vs. having a professional designer do the job.

Sure, you can represent yourself in court, or you can remove your own appendix, but is it really a good idea?

3. Buy cheap, buy twice. 

Chances are you’re going to want a better logo, website, and overall branding down the road. So the money you are saving in the beginning just gets tacked onto the expense at the end. Rich people buy better boots and they save money in the long run (it’s an interesting read). Your brand is your boots, so you better make sure it fits right.

4. You’re wasting your equity.

I liked my logo, but when I ask professional designers what they think of it, I get a lot of eye rolls! I probably should have done it right the first time, being an ad agency and all, but you live and learn. We are remaking it now for my new website launch (2021 Year of the Phoenix Holla!). Reprinting everything (especially metal business cards at $5 a pop) can be expensive. Not to mention all the signs, stationery, pens, mugs, collateral, and all the wasted years building equity in brand that’s no more. So take that for what you will.

 

I’m the Ghost of Advertising Yet To Come, do not make the same mistakes as me, Ebenezer, for it is not too late.



6 Reasons For Production Fees

January 13, 2021 | Filed Under advertising, clients | Leave a Comment 

Production Fees. Disbursements. Markups. Expenses. Whatever you want to call them, they are a part of the billing structure of an advertising agency or production company. The industry standard is generally between 10% to 30% of whatever needs to be acquired by the agency to move things along.

However… why do they exist? Why is there this fee system in the first place?

Here are six reasons:

There are a lot of moving parts to a production. Focus on your business and we’ll handle where you get all this gear.

………………………………………

1. Knowing Where To Go

Chances are, if you tried to book your own actors, or hair and makeup artists, or source your own props, or whatever, you won’t really know where to begin. Sure you can Google these things, but without existing knowledge, you’ll be paying a premium, and taking a chance on people you don’t know.

2. We’ve Made The Rookie Mistakes So You Don’t Have To

Murphy was right. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. And these hiccups often come at a price, either in time or in money. The best thing you can do is live and learn. That’s what we’ve done over the last 12 years, and it’s the learning part that is the value here. We won’t make that mistake twice, be it forgetting to bring spare batteries when you’re shooting in a swamp in Port Moody, or anticipating changes in usage down the road.

3. We Get The Best Price

The best way to negotiate is by knowing the true value of everything involved. If you’re new to booking a production, or you’re not familiar with specific industries such as armourers, or gear rentals, or illustrators, you won’t know where to begin in the negotiations. Coming in too low is insulting and it’s guaranteed to shoot you in the foot later. Too high? Well, chances are you won’t discover that until much later.

4. Reliability Is Important

You can book creative services off Craigslist all you like, and you might find some great deals. Realistically though, you don’t really know if half those people are going to show when the day arrives. And you can’t really afford to have that uncertainty. Knowing how to build a reliable crew that won’t waste time or flake out is one of the reasons you pay an agency to handle this part of the process.

5. Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork

No one loves this part of the job, but we’ll handle it. The process is enormously streamlined when you are dealing with an agency that has done this for years, whether it’s navigating actors’ unions, managing payroll, or just finding the most efficient way to get shooting permits on short notice.

6. Risk

It’s the agency’s credit card that’s on the line. If something goes horribly wrong, it’s not yours. That extra night or two of restful sleep is worth every penny if things go awry.

I could go on, but you get the idea. There’s a lot of value to bringing in an experienced agency with a lot of industry know-how. It just simplifies the whole process. That peace of mind, that better rate, that reliable delivery, that’s why that 10-30% gets added on.



APBC 2015 Behind The Scenes – Falling Stunt

November 17, 2020 | Filed Under advertising | Leave a Comment 

This spectacular 30’+ falling stunt from a rooftop set the scene for the first of three harrowing TV commercials around the concept of Imagine A World Without Paramedics. Click the link to see the stunt.

TV advertising stunt for the paramedics

TV advertising stunt for the paramedics

Who knew? Cardboard boxes make for great crash pads.

TV advertising stunt for the paramedics

TV advertising stunt for the paramedics

Yeah, sorry, we’re going to have to shoot that again…



APBC – Easter Eggs

August 8, 2019 | Filed Under advertising, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment 

The Ambulance Paramedics Of British Columbia strive for a response time of 8 minutes and 59 seconds.

This is a number that we repeat over and over in the campaign.

Here are a few of places you’ll find that number.

See if you can catch them all!

 

TV ad – Choking

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vwebpT1eJwM

The microwave is set for 8:59 in the very beginning. She then finds her infant daughter choking, calls for help, and the paramedics arrive in time to intubate the child – all before the final beeps to show it’s done.

 

TV ad – Overdose

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zbZpRjeSBuo

There are 8 minutes and 59 seconds left to play in the hockey game still on behind the comatose teens. The paramedics are able to revive the children before the final buzzer.

Also notice the cards on the ground.

Print ad – Car Accident

Check out the graffiti in the tunnel.

 

Print Ad – Overdose

And the clocks…

 

 



Cruise Comp: Tired Of Counting Trees The Hard Way?

August 7, 2019 | Filed Under advertising, clients, design, Vancouver advertising, websites | Leave a Comment 

CruiseComp is a timber cruising software created by Industrial Forestry Services. It is designed to make the timber cruising process easier and more efficient. To highlight the program, we created a website, a trade show kit and made a series of videos to explain how it works. A favourite was our homage to Subterrania.

 

IFS Cruise Comp Website Design by Vancouver Advertising Firm- Immersion Creative

 

IFS Cruise Comp brochure Design by Vancouver Advertising Firm- Immersion Creative



RCABC

June 7, 2019 | Filed Under advertising, Awards, design | Leave a Comment 

A Poorly Made Roof Is Just Inviting Trouble Down The Road

If you want to be respected you need to do respectable things: like work that holds up over generations. With shared values like these, choosing a roofer is easy.

 

It’s Chaos Without Us

With every pitch document or proposal they submit, the client can show the building in question, and how it would look with their RoofStar Guarantee shielding it from the elements—with this customizable template.

 



Canadian Metal Health Association

May 6, 2019 | Filed Under advertising, design, Immersion Creative | Leave a Comment 

Celebrate The Everyday Victories

For this campaign we wanted to highlight the Everyday Victories that you can do for your mental health, such as leaving the house, taking a break from screens, or getting a proper sleep. These achievements may seem small, but they are instrumental in positive cognitive development, and they should be celebrated.

We were very fortunate to get some celebrity influencers onboard for this campaign. BC Lions quarterback Mike Reilly is an advocate. With two young children at home, eight hours of sleep is certainly something he gets excited about. Radio host Casey-Jo Looswas a part of the campaign as well. On social media, Mother Mother advocated for Canadian Mental Health and the BounceBack® program.

Vancouver Advertising -Non-profit Mental Health Campaign for youth. Vancouver Advertising -Non-profit Mental Health Campaign for youth.



New Print Ads

July 29, 2018 | Filed Under advertising | Leave a Comment 

MT + Co
After putting the entire firm on horseback two years ago to receive their award as one of Canada’s Top Boutique Law Firms, they decided this year’s announcement needed to be more subdued.

This was a full page print ad in Canadian Lawyer magazine.

MT + Co Lawyer Ad

Hunter West
Pressure makes diamonds. We had one week to turn around this movie poster from scratch. I think it turned out great.

Platinum Denture Clinic

Immersion Creative New Advertising Work - Platinum Dentures - Take Comfort

Immersion Creative New Advertising Print Work – Platinum Dentures – Take Comfort

Immersion Creative Advertising Agency - New Print Work for Platinum Denture Clinic

Immersion Creative Advertising Agency – New Print Work for Platinum Denture Clinic



What Is The Immersion Experience?

May 11, 2018 | Filed Under advertising | Leave a Comment 

Method actors throw themselves into their characters and drive their co-workers crazy. Gonzo journalists write themselves into their stories and shoot their cremated ashes from cannons.

There’s a system to the madness. The goal is intimate, authentic realization of their subjects.

Immersion advertising is pretty much the love child of these two approaches.

The concept behind Immersion Creative is that I submerse myself in my clients’ environments to “work from within.”

The result is communications that reflect your style, and your style alone.

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SOME EXAMPLES

Escott Sportfishing Lodge

My latest Immersion was with Captain Danny Escott, master fisherman, up in the Haida Gwaii. Escott Sportfishing flew me up there to see the lodge, meet the guides, check out the chef and support staff, and of course, fish. We worked from within, and built out the foundations of his new branding and website while we were there. Experiencing the lodge firsthand, we got an in-depth understanding of the unique differences that only Escott Sportfishing has to offer. Now, as we build out his communications, we will bring those differences to light.

Wolfes Combatives

I did an Immersion with Wolfes Combatives. For six weeks, I learned hand-to-hand and knife defence techniques used by special forces units like JTF2, culminating in an intensive 4-day CORE course. Afterward, I felt like I understood the brand inside and out while I built their creative.

You can read about that Immersion here.

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Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics

For Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics, I did the program myself. I lost 34 lb in 30 days and still maintain a healthy weight thanks to the insights I gained. This gave me a unique perspective into their system. And man, does it ever work.

News years resolution ad for Dr. Bernstein

An oldie but a goodie for Dr. B.

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Mattress Choice

I worked for four months on the pillow tops of a mattress store, learning firsthand from the owners while creating the Mattress Choice brand from scratch. Logo. Branding. Print. Radio. Online. We did it all – based on the insights gleaned from watching the sales process firsthand and integrating it into the advertising.

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Events & Adventures

I’m a family man. So with the singles club Events & Adventures, the Immersion was done by my chief copywriter, Jeremy. He spent 23 weeks as a member. He wrote about the events he attended, which we leveraged into an in-depth understanding of the brand.

You can read about that Immersion Experience here.

Alpine Credits

I spent time in the offices of Alpine Credits. Everything from the way they answered the phone, to sit-in meetings with their new clients, found its way into the look, feel and tone of a brand we refreshed from the 80s to now.

Before & After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DVIBZ

With DVIBZ, I spent a couple of whimsical afternoons with the incomparable Miz. D. She introduced me to the fascinating subculture of vapour bars, smoke shops and medicinal marijuana clinics. (Only as an observer, I’m more of a whisky guy.) It’s a political and dynamic forum and Miz. D has a unique vision and stance. When we built her brand, we knew exactly where she was coming from.

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CampbellCare

I spent a week with CampbellCare Plumbing Heating and Air. Working in their office, I got a feel for the humour and style of the owners, and I was sure that the ads we made reflected it.

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Pardon Services Canada

I worked six weeks on the office of Pardon Services Canada. In that time, collaborating with the owner every day, we completely reinvented the brand based on one-on-one discussions, and observations of their sales staff, secretaries and general office flow.

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DBM

I spent a week in the office of DBM, one of the biggest law firms in the Tri-Cities. I even wore a suit every day. While there I started on the setup of a vast SEO and Social Media Program we had in the works. I also interviewed each lawyer in turn, and got to know each of them and their individual styles.

Customized Creative

The Immersion Experience is about understanding your brand completely.

Only someone who has absorbed the day-to-day operations of your business can truly represent you.

Because there’s a piece of you that shines through in everything your company does, and it needs to be experienced to be expressed.

Your passion becomes your company’s passion. Your drive inspires everyone around you.

I want to take that magic and let it grow. I want to encapsulate your winning spirit, and tailor it beyond your immediate business and employees, and infuse it into your communications as well.

How is that even possible?

Immersion. It’s just you and the source. No other distractions, suits, meetings, middlemen, or padded costs. I’ve been doing this for almost six years and it works.

Let’s Do It

To book an Immersion Experience for your company, call Mike at 604.551.1682.

Hi.



Miller Titerle 2016 – Behind The Scenes – Lawyers on Horses

April 17, 2018 | Filed Under advertising | Leave a Comment 

Lawyers on horses print advertising shoot for Canadian Lawyer magazine

“Can we make the horse rear up on its hind legs?” – Jim said, half-joking.
“We can absolutely do that.” – Danny Virtue, horse wrangler, as serious as stone.

Lawyers on horses print advertising shoot for Canadian Lawyer magazine

Lawyers on horses print advertising shoot for Canadian Lawyer magazine

Lawyers on horses print advertising shoot for Canadian Lawyer magazine

Lawyers on horses print advertising shoot for Canadian Lawyer magazine



Spec Work

October 13, 2015 | Filed Under advertising, design, Spec | Leave a Comment 

 

Spec work from Vancouver Adverting Agency, Immersion Creative

Continuing education spec campaign from Vancouver Advertising Agency, Immersion Creative



Writing For a Purpose

May 27, 2012 | Filed Under advertising, copywriter, copywriting, Immersion, Immersion Creative, Immersion Experience, SEO, Vancouver, Vancouver advertising | Leave a Comment 

The Google machine loves content. It devours it whole, like a mother bird, and then regurgitates it back to its young in the form of search optimization.

As a content writer for Immersion Creative, a Vancouver advertising agency, I create content that will educate, entertain and inform the casual browser. I create content that Google deems appetizing; content that fits the search requests of its users; content that will lead potential clients back to your homepage.

I create this content in the form of weekly blog articles. These articles are simple, but concise pieces, that contain backlinks, key search terms and direct links to your company’s website.

The articles range in topics and formats and are tailored to suit your potential clients. They provide product information, local and global interest and perspective.

Once published, each article is tagged with different search terms that relate to that specific piece. These words are like breadcrumbs for Google. Leave the whole loaf and Google will ignore the post for something more edible. Choose the right words and Google will recognize the article as valuable.

But in the end, it all comes back to content. If the piece fits the demands of the search user, then Google will give it priority.

I write articles that match these demands.



Hello Neighbours

December 8, 2011 | Filed Under advertising | 1 Comment 

I slid these postcards under the door of every office in my building this morning.

front

back



Need Better Dreams?

November 29, 2011 | Filed Under advertising, Immersion Creative, Mattress Choice | Leave a Comment 



Mattress Choice

June 1, 2010 | Filed Under advertising, Immersion Creative, Mattress Choice, websites | Leave a Comment 

The new website for Mattress Choice has officially launched!

If you are looking for a mattress in Victoria, be sure to come to their Grand Opening to save up to 60% off your new mattress.

Or, if you have a dream that you need analyzed, ask Dr. Floyd (click on the red tab on the bottom left corner) – he will give you the interpretation you seek.



If You’re Not On Page One – You Don’t Exist

April 30, 2010 | Filed Under advertising, Immersion Creative, SEO, Vancouver | Leave a Comment 

Don't disappear into obscurity.

Find out how Immersion Creative can get you on the first page of Google.

Read our Spring newsletter here: Vancouver newsletter, or, sign up at mike@immersioncreative.com