MRM Worldwide to Offer Animation Services via Partnership

In an effort to bolster branding initiatives for its clients, MRM Worldwide has entered into a strategic partnership with Aniboom, a Tel Aviv-based operation runs a Web site featuring animation works, tools, and competitions.

With the deal, though, MRM clients now have access to Aniboom’s network of nearly 8,000 professional-level animators from 70 countries to serve their advertising and marketing needs. While Aniboom was founded in 2005 by former Israeli TV exec Uri Shinar, it’s been recent efforts like last year’s In Rainbows music video competition for Radiohead, hosted by Aniboom, that caught the eye of MRM’s global chief creative officer Oren Frank.

“First and foremost [it’s] the quality of the content created by the community,” Frank said. “The other element was the level of engagement and participation of the community members. [It] seems like Aniboom attracted very passionate contributors.”

Together, the two parties have laid out a few solutions to attract marketers including updating brand logos, symbols or mascots, as well as launching creative competitions to source new ideas and executions, something Aniboom is familiar with. According to MRM, ad clients can launch animation competitions in the Aniboom community and can use the site’s community or a panel of judges to determine the winner of the project. Competitions can also be private, so results are not made public.

Another solution, and a controversial one at that, is crowd-sourcing creative concepts, whereby the company uses a proprietary technology that organizes animators into production teams in order to expedite projects.

While the streamlined creative process can be attractive, crowd-sourcing is a hot-button issue nonetheless, with established designers and animators complaining that the practice devalues their work. For instance, Crispin Porter + Bogusky recently crowd-sourced a logo design for electric cycle company Brammo, which was quickly met with scorn from the design community.

Still, MRM’s Frank contends that the crowd-sourcing skirmish is emblematic of old-fashioned thinking. “[This] only demonstrates the conflict between the traditional agency model — mostly driven by ego — and the new paradigm which is about an open culture…. I’m not surprised at all at the issues [like this], as the advertising world is notoriously slow in accepting change.”

Frank would not reveal which MRM clients, which include Microsoft and Intel, will use the animation offering. Instead, he suggested that crowd-sourcing could, for example, be good for “campaigns for global brands that need authentic creative interpretations from multiple markets,” rather than adaptations.

But from an MRM perspective, the Aniboom alliance, which was built on “a shared belief and point of view” according to Frank, will help not only MRM, but all parties involved in the advertising chain.

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