April 13, 2010
 

The FUTURE'S SO BRIGHT I GOTTA WEAR SHADES Interview

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By Wendy McHale, Publisher

In law offices everywhere there's a famous old quote, "A lawyer who represents himself in court has an idiot for a client."

It also applies to Madison Avenue, "An agency who creates a campaign for itself has a nightmare of an account." It's risky business.

Lawyers never, ever represent themselves in cases. They hire other lawyers to argue for them. The same cannot be said for ad agencies. Agencies never, ever hire another shop to create their own ad campaign. Why? The law is, if it's great they'll argue who gets the credit. If it isn't, they'll argue who gets the blame! It's risky business.

The solution: Advertising Week. Now going on its 4th year, the event has become a big success, for two reasons:
Reason #1: It does something which Madison Avenue is very good at. It stretches the truth. For the most part, Advertising Week is not "really" 5 days. The most important events happen within 3!
Reason # 2: It's scripted. For once someone upstairs realized that "less is more."

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These were at least two of the reasons why we wanted to talk with EyeWonder. Their own new Trade Campaign is up for a couple of awards this month. Like Advertising Week it's also a big success, but for two entirely different reasons:
Reason # 1: There was "no" script. EyeWonder invited its agency clients to talk about anything they wanted to about Rich Media. What they got in return was how much their clients loved them.
Reason # 2: It has a cast of our industry's next generation power players. When they floated the idea out there, they received over one dozen people who said they'd love to do it. Sometimes "more "is" more!"

So just a few days before Adv.Week's festivities begin, I got the chance to meet with EVP, Business Development Mike Griffin and Director of Marketing, Jason Scheidt and talk about the risky business of Madison Avenue and Rich Media:

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Wendy: Mike, Jason, before we talk about various industry changes, let's first discuss the ad campaign. The people who agreed to be in it are all considered to be the Bernbach's, Wells' and Ogilvy's of the next generation. It looks like they took control of the campaign to tell their own story, in their own way.

Mike: Thanks, Wendy. We're hearing a lot of positive feedback from the business overall. The feedback is coming from our clients as well as from some people we haven't worked with yet; or haven't worked with in some time. It's carrying a lot of clout within the agency community. It's opening a lot of doors for our sales efforts.

Jason: It's very gratifying.

Wendy: They're clearly having a lot of fun in the ads. Lots of humor.

Mike: The clients we feature are in the same world we are. We live very similar, if not the same day-to-day lives. It's not really about us. We were really trying to capture our client's passion for their work. We thought that was more important.

Wendy: How did you initially collect feedback?

Jason: We kept it simple. We asked our sales folks to give us some anecdotal info on what they're hearing about Rich Media in the field.

Wendy: So that was your starting point?

Jason: Correct. And now we're hearing that the creative and executions of our client testimonial campaign are parts of the reasons we're getting so many meetings. It's really blown us away.

Mike: One agency recently has gone as far as to ask for local demos of our ads so they could send it to their clients. The feel the demos will showcase the "art of the possible" in the Rich Media world so that their clients can begin thinking about the possibility of pushing the creative envelope. This has been an incredible endorsement.

Wendy: What do they say? Imitation...

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Mike: Imitation is the greatest ultimate form of flattery. That's the other side of the fence. Fortunately, what we see from our competitors is imitation but on a much lower scale of impact.

Jason: One thing that's important to realize too is that these testimonials are unscripted scenarios. We turned the cameras on and what evolved is what you see in the campaign.

Mike: When we solicited involvement, we did nothing more than say, "This is an opportunity for you to talk about what you're looking for and what you find valuable in a Rich Media provider." It wasn't asking for endorsement for EyeWonder. We had no editorial controls over what they said. At every agency we went to, we were amazed at what they had scoped out before we arrived there. They knew what they were going to say and how they were going to say it!

Jason: You can see what they're saying is genuine and they're enthusiastic and natural. It comes across just as it was.

Mike: I think that's really where the power lies. If it was scripted like "Hi, I'm so and so and I love EyeWonder" that was going to be really hollow.

Wendy: It was UGC! It's very transparent. You can see through something that's not genuine, especially in this business.

Mike: All the things that we measure for our clients we obviously put in our own campaign. We put them under that scope and analyzed how each unit is doing as well as with each of the media properties.

Jason: We're submitting the campaign for multiple awards and the award winners will be announced in this month. Last year's campaign won awards. We think this campaign outshines what we did last year so we're very proud of that. From a performance standpoint we've had unique interaction rates on multiple sites that have been in the 20% area.

Wendy: How do you define that?

Jason: It's defined as an impression that has at least one interaction. It's not a duplicated interaction. Our competitors sometimes talk about interaction rates but their numbers are not based on unique interactions. What they are doing for example is taking a user experience with 5 interactions within one impression and counting it as 5 interactions. The numbers we're talking about are true unique user interactions - the percentage of users who have interacted with the ad at least once - is a metric that's very important to advertisers. Now if we're talking about the total interaction rate, which is the number our competitors often use, EyeWonder's client testimonial campaign averaged an astounding 52.7%, which is a multiple of 9 above the current industry average. We're pretty proud of that.

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Wendy: Are you measuring time-spent?

Jason: That's time-spent as well. On some sites it's averaging as high as 40-50 seconds per interaction.

Mike: And that's an average so it could range anywhere from 5 seconds to 2 minutes.

Wendy: You've expanded your sales force. What's the ultimate measurement of effectiveness? getting the meeting and start a dialog with a prospect?

Mike: Yes and no. It is ultimately about EyeWonder proving our unique value to earn their trust, their business, and then of course their repeat business and the referrals they send our way because they love our service. Awareness is also a good measure of effectiveness, and one way we measure that is by traffic to our site, not just directly from the banner. The traffic that we're seeing to the EyeWonder.com site has increased dramatically with the campaign.

Wendy: Tell me about what your landing page creative

Jason: We have many of those same videos running. It's all about our customers who've been talking about how we deliver on our promises. We've heard that we're an exception to the rule in that regard.

Wendy: Every ad talks passionately about customer service EyeWonder provides. They say it's extraordinary. What kind of people do you hire and from where? How much training do they get? How's the enthusiasm of your team given the pressure to perform on a 24/7 turnaround. What is it that makes your company so good at customer service which all of your clients seem so enamored of?

Mike: Let's go back to something for a moment. You mentioned that you've seen an increase in our sales force on the street. That effort began to take shape at the beginning of this year. Prior to that, going back to a year ago, we as a company made the decision to first grow our service operation and to bring on really high level with people who were trained well ahead of the curve relative to the staff we needed to service in 2006. Instead of adding to your staff when things are at a critical stage, we trained them properly in order to give them the proper ramp up time.

Jason: We were prepared!

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Mike: As you know in this industry, the client wants magic to happen right away. At that time we were already growing pretty aggressively, but when we really kicked the growth into the high gear with the marketing and sales efforts we knew we had to ensure that we didn't run into what I'll call the bottleneck syndrome.

Wendy: What do you mean by that?

Mike: We made sure we would not choke on the volume of campaigns and new clients. We've seen others fail to properly face challenges, particularly as it relates to maintaining the level of service their clients expect. The thinking was that customer service was as important as our products. That was the only way we felt confident that our product's perception would not be unfairly diminished. We built an ad operations culture that really comes from the top of the organization. This has been a key to experiencing tremendous growth without missing a beat.

Wendy: Give me an example.

Mike: Okay. Recently I was talking to one of our clients at a major agency, and we were providing service on only one of their accounts. When I asked why, given the positive passion their team expressed in working with us, this person told me that the client group within that agency basically said we were off limits.

Wendy: Why was that?

Mike: They feared that they might get the B-grade or C-level team from a service perspective for by adding additional clients. I gave them the EyeWonder challenge. If you give us an account from another client you'll get a different campaign management team. Their EyeWonder-assigned "team 1-A" won't be bogged down and distracted from the brand they're working with us now. We add teams. We'll bring in - let's call them EyeWonder "team 1-B." It's really not that complicated when you understand this business and how our clients think. Now the agency is pleased because they haven't seen any drop in service. In fact, with a greater overall strength it's a partnership that works to everyone's advantage. That's why you're hearing that in our client's testimonials.

Jason: What's the expression? "Success is when preparation meets opportunity."

Wendy: How long ago did you have this conversation?

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Mike: We began working with them a year ago with that one client. Now it's grown to 5 of 6 of their brands at this point. To answer your question about what we look for in adding to our team, we hire people who are smart and passionate about what we do. We go the extra mile to find people who are intelligent and can connect the dots to see that we, EyeWonder are an extension of our clients' organization. This is a key difference.

Wendy: Why is that?

Jason: Others in the space may look at it mostly from their own perspective.

Mike: Exactly. We treat our clients like it was part of our own company. We are structured specifically that way. We have campaign managers who act as project leaders, traffic managers who work closely with the agencies and sites on the media plans and production managers who have several designers who work with them to help with anything the agency needs us to do. Collectively they all work as a team with the agency partners. There's no hard dividing line between our groups internally. Clients don't have to call an 800 number. Clients have each of their team member's direct lines, their direct emails, direct cell phones. It sounds simple but you'd be surprised how different that is from the others in this space.

Wendy: How about on the tech side?

Jason: Well, let's take our authoring tool, the AdWonder(TM) Flash Component. It streamlines the creative workflow for the agencies and helps them focus on the creative and the execution of the big idea in the ad rather than the logistics. It's all streamlined. It really allows them time to push the envelope instead of having to dumb down a concept to get the campaign out somewhere near the launch time. Once again, they have a component specialist assigned to them. I know some of our clients will call at midnight on a Saturday night when they're working on the ad and they may have a question. We like to say we have all the service you want and none that you don't.

Wendy: Saturday night? What happens if your person's on a date? LOL!

Jason: They take the call, LOL!

Mike: And we hear about it on Monday!

Wendy: Speaking of the creative, you obviously know the creative capabilities and the tools that you have better than anyone else, I know it depends on the client but how early are you brought into the conversation with the creative team?

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Mike: Ideally we like to be brought in when the concepting phase is beginning. That's a reality at this point with several of our clients. They may actually pitch us concepts and ping ideas off of us to see what "the art of the possible" is to get feedback from our team. It could be a new feature that no one has used yet.

Wendy: Give me a for-instance.

Mike: Sure, we just launched the "click to call" feature about a month ago. Several agency clients took that out to their brands immediately, showcasing it to them right now when they're in the concepting phase. We've had clients bring us in 6 months prior to the ad going live. They consult with us as to how best to shoot video for the web. We have 7 years of online video history. We give every client we have our all. It's not just with agency with interactive experience. It's with those with multiple disciplines within one agency. Traditional agency people may be brought in. Then they're bringing us to those folks so we can show them some best practices for video online. For example, some of the nuances they need to be aware of when they set up their shoot.

Wendy: Integration. Sounds like as you grow the category the category is growing you. So many people use Rich Media as a branding tool. Do you help media teams create metrics so they can measure how their campaign is going?

Jason: Every campaign is unique, so they each specific goals and objectives. The beauty of Rich Media these days is that there's really no limit as to what can be done online. It now has the best of all traditional disciplines; the best TV because its interactive, the best print. Anything you can do in a traditional environment you can do online and you can measure everything. The key is to find out in the beginning what the campaign-specific goal is and make sure that the creative reinforces it. Make sure it's extremely achievable and then measure the campaign's success based upon its specific objective.

Wendy: Sounds so simple. Why is it still so rare?

Jason: Education. Some know it better than others. For example, we have many retailers who offer coupons online that the user can actually print from the unit itself and take it to the store to redeem. These are things that are getting clients and prospects attention to think about Rich Media and EyeWonder in a whole new way.

Wendy: Talk to me about measuring the objectives.

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Jason: We've invested in the future. Our reporting system is second to none. Clients just log on with their password and they have access to their data, in what we call "near time."

Wendy: Near time? (smiling) What's that!

Jason: It's their data with just an hour lag. For all intents and purposes it is real time, especially when you consider some of our competitors reporting systems have as much as a 12-hour lag. And while we report on the standard metrics, there are a number that are unique. It's also open-ended. For as much as we do in helping clients' concept, and program the creative, our work really begins at this stage in what we call the "kick-off call."

Wendy: I bet I know what that means.

Jason: Right. Our team then engages with the client's media and creative teams. Our folks bring a specific checklist of topics and questions they need answered to really make sure everyone's on the same page beginning with chapter one. Not the epilogue. So we go over the creative objectives in the campaign, consult on the creative side and educate the client on possible things we can track and report that they may not be aware of. They don't have to live and breathe it. That's our job. One of things our system does, which is also unique, is record the time the user is on the page of content. We've been way ahead of what Nielsen NetRatings is now saying in terms of time-spent being more important than clicks.

Wendy: This must help them optimize.

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Jason: Right you are. It helps optimize from the creative perspective as much as the placement. For example, our system will show if the average length of time on a page of content is only 5 seconds. Let's say we know that they're primary objective/call to action does not kick in until 10 or 20 seconds. That's critical. The campaign manager monitors that and consults with the client mid campaign to discuss what may be underperforming, which allows clients the choice to go through us and our system and change out creative or tweak the creative so the call to action is moved up to a more optimal area. That's just one example. Our system is very in depth and gives a lot of data and information which will take too long right now to take you through.

Wendy: Is the promise of optimization finally here?

Mike: We think so.

Wendy: Okay, let's talk about categories of growth. Entertainment companies systematically now put their trailers online. What other categories do you see that are using Rich Media?

Mike: The retail sectors and DR-focused clients have begun using Rich Media in a very big way.

Wendy: Can you give me an example?

Mike: Take Beyond Interactive and their Staples's account. Their objective is to drive store traffic. We've worked with them and their couponing system that produces coupons with a 7 digit unique-identifying code so they can't be duplicated. It's on their website and we worked with them to tie that engine into our rich media ads for them. The first campaign we executed this on was scheduled for several weeks and they hit their redemption rate on the second week. It was a similar offer that had been living on their micro site for months, so the performance was clearly a testament to the power of bringing the offer out to more consumers via the EyeWonder ad units.

Wendy: What other categories?

Mike: We're seeing automotive and financial services grow as well. both of these have incredibly high audience expectations where the user is in control of the experience. Consumer's now expect companies to deliver on that promise because consumers themselves are trained, if you will, to seek a deeper level of content. This kind of information is naturally deliverable online with Rich Media. It empowers users the control to go as deep or as general as they wish with what's relevant.

Wendy: I can relate.

Mike: EyeWonder enables our clients to take their deep rich educational content and turn it into a rich media ad. Let's say the campaign is what I call a "fairly high threshold sale" like a financial services organization, where there's a high level of information sharing, EyeWonder is a perfect opportunity to add PDF's and other information for the user to be able to dive into.

Wendy: Okay, let's talk about the competition for a moment. Do you often get into a bidding war with another company? Let's say you meet with a client who has a wish list and then you come back with a campaign designed to achieve those objectives. Do you find yourself in sticker shock-moments when you're working with the marketer directly. What if a competitor comes back with the same campaign but can do it for less, do you tend to negotiate your price? How does that work?

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Mike: I'll answer that in a few stages. First is that EyeWonder's pricing is aggressive and comparable to offerings near-similar to ours. We really stress the value of the 360 degree approach of superior technology, as well as superior service and we offer volume discounts. However when it comes to value and what a client pays we stick to our value prop and believe that what we offer and what we're charging is a fair price to value.

Wendy: What happens when the marketer doesn't get it?

Mike: In instances where a client might be price sensitive and opt for a less robust solution-provider, we may walk away. But we'll still stay in touch. It's often only a matter of time. You know, the client had a nightmare of an experience and they'll come back to us saying, "Gee you were right, our experience was miserable and we failed." Again, we understand where they are. They chose to try to take a short cut. It self-educates them to understand the real value is ensuring the greatest opportunity for success. That's reaffirming to us because then those clients really understand the value that they're getting. It's what I call a "Eureka Moment."

Wendy: I like that.

Mike: The second is that when we have price discussions with media folks who are spending $10-30$ CPM on the media space, they find themselves wanting to trim anywhere they can. We understand and appreciate where they are coming from - it's their job to most efficiently spend their clients' budgets in order to meet or exceed the defined campaign objectives. So the math is simple: is that 25¢ to 50¢ CPM "savings" really worth risking the highest level of success of that campaign, or worse yet, its total failure to achieve the campaign's objective? In those cases, we think it's akin to cutting off your nose to spite your space. As Jason said, as an industry many are still in an education mode and over time they understand the value of our 360 degree program more clearly.

Wendy: EyeWonder has been around a while. You pioneered the Instant Play Video ads in 2000. Now there's video content everywhere. It must seem like it's been a long time for the industry to catch up where you were 7 years ago. Is that fair to say?

Jason: When we pioneered the Instant Play Video ad back in 2000 we were so far ahead of the curve that when we would meet with companies in their offices or conference rooms or at trade shows they would look at it and not believe what they were seeing. We would have to say, "Hey, we're telling you the truth! This is actually happening live!" It was both humorous and more than a little challenging.

Wendy: I can imagine.

Jason: You're right, now the wave of video and rich media has come along like a tidal wave. We've not just been waiting for it, we've advanced our technology lightening years ahead of where we were even then. As evidenced by what our clients tell us, our taking the longview has really paid off.

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Mike: To build on what Jason said in 2001 - 2003, we were ahead of the curve. You could say "We were cool before it was cool to be cool." I was actually summarily dismissed or should I say, kicked out of one or two interactive agencies back then. In 2001 I remember one situation where I came in to discuss the ability to incorporate the brand's video assets into the Rich Media banners and distributing it on line.

Wendy: What happened?

Mike: Well, I really felt for them. It was with an interactive agency division that was part of a larger agency. They had no access to the video production. The Interactive shop I was calling on felt that I was promoting the use of EyeWonder to their traditional counterparts, who they had almost no exposure to. At that time if you recall, mixing the two groups was like water and oil.

Wendy: Oh yeah! Those were the days!

Mike: It was strange, I remember having this "Pink pigs that fly around the screen" moment. I realized that the online division was dismissive of the creative potential for video ads on the Internet. They weren't involved in the video production piece at the time. I felt a little like the guy they thought was trying to take food off of their table. I wasn't - in fact quite the opposite. The mantra back then was that repurposed TV spots didn't work online. It's something I'll never forget!

Wendy: Yikes!

Mike: I thought back then and continue to believe today that there are ways to edit or create original video that may work better in a lot of different aspects. So we've been patiently growing and evangelizing to the community for 7 years. The analogy I once used was that the video wave was coming and you can either stand on the beach and be crushed or get on the surf board and ride it. Like that one?

Wendy: Love it! You've really helped steer the direction of Rich Media.

Mike: I think EyeWonder's definitely led the charge in terms of video. It's been a long process of educating the community to what's possible and really what the expectation should be around ROI. I think we've been at the forefront of that. Video is one of the hottest things now. Video content and the monetization of that. Let me mention for a moment that earlier this year we launched the EyeWonder In-Stream 2.0 Research Initiative. It's another indication of where we are as company and our mindset in taking a leadership role in the evolution of interactive digital advertising; beyond online.

Wendy: Like wireless?

Mike: You guessed it. It's no news to anyone today that next platform of evolution or maturity in the U.S. is with wireless. So today it's online in the in-page space, which we're leading with continuous innovations and new features. Another next step of the evolution is a major research initiative we're fielding with Insight Express. We've enlisted several key advertisers, publishers and technology partners such as NBC Universal, OMD Digital and Akamai as our technology partner. There are others but these are the companies we can announce publicly.

Wendy: Very cool!

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Mike: These companies are really helping to try to take the in-stream advertising opportunities to the next level. They see the unique experience EyeWonder has from our 7 years of knowledge and learning around interactive video advertising. You'd be surprised how much of that translates into creating the most compelling interactive digital advertising experiences for video content and online gaming.

Wendy: Gaming. We haven't even discussed that yet. You just mentioned mobile before and I'm sure you've seen the research which indicates consumers are fairly resistant about having some kind of ad served on their cell phone. Do you think that will change once you're able to create something compelling like we have on the web?

Mike: This is my own personal opinion based on my experience of being in this space for the last 7 years, I think that research was similar to the data available back to the early 2000s about consumer acceptance of almost all kinds of online advertising including online video ads in front of content. It's what you might call "The life cycle of acceptance" which will also happen with wireless devices.

Wendy: I fully believe that as well. I was chatting with Jim Spanfeller, the CEO of Forbes.com recently and asked him if the Forbes video network has seen more or less acceptance with video ads? They run them prior to and during the video. He agreed but said, Forbes.com has never had much pushback because the audience is on average much more sophisticated and so they understand that it's the price of entry, so to speak.

Mike: He's right. Mobile's going to leapfrog consumer resistence much quicker because of that. We'll soon find out from our research.

Jason: There was a study done last year by the OPA shows some of the publishing sites that ran a lot of online video ads actually became a draw for audiences. The research showed that it was in the top 10 of the reasons that people visited the site. It's come full circle. The sites are benefiting from the fact that they're delivering more interactive video ads as opposed to delivering less rich media.

Wendy: So what keeps you up at night? Excitement or anxiety?

Mike: I look at it as what gets me up at 5:00AM. I go onto my back deck and use this time to not focus so much about what I'm going to do that day but open my mind up and think, "What if?" Call it what you want. I think of it as a Jerry Maguire-type business plan. Letting my mind wander in order to consider different ideas. Often they are inspired by ideas I've gotten from others, both internally and what I hear about in the field. I have a pen and a pad and try to get it on paper while their fresh in my mind. It has the effect of getting my juices flowing as I get on with my day. I think everyone should do it.

Wendy: That's the perfect time to do it, before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.

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Jason: I'll answer your question this way. EyeWonder is fortunate to be in the position we are but we have to continue to advance the position we have. It takes a lot of diligence, a lot of hard work and we have a lot of great people here that make that happen and we need to make sure that we keep hiring great people, training them properly and making sure they can do the best job possible for our customers.

Wendy: Sounds like you're both dead-on based on the different roles you play. Okay, last question. What advice would you give a person getting out of school today? Do you have a college intern program or see yourself having one down the road?

Mike: We've had an intern program for years! We are fortunate in terms of our location here in Atlanta to be surrounded with a lot of great institutions of learning like Georgia Tech, Emory University or U of Georgia, Morehouse College as well as the Atlanta Art Institute here in town. We actively recruit from all of those schools and we do bring on interns all year long, many of which grow into being full time employees, which is a core strength of the success we've had.

Wendy: So you're educating them as they're still getting their education.

Mike: In fact some have elected not to go back to school and instead stay with EyeWonder. Many are folks in graduate schools from very prestigious universities who decide that after they spend just a few months with us, they self-elect to take leave of absence. They believe they're learning more here at EyeWonder than in an academic environment.

Wendy: I was an intern and it gave me a real edge, before I even got out of school.

Mike: We hear different things from them, like how very important they realize the value of customer service, which you can't learn in school or help develop new products. There's one person who's not even of legal drinking age! He's brilliant, one of our star developers. It was a joke around the office that everyone had to watch what he was drinking at the company Christmas party!

Wendy: We're all operating at lightening speed. How do you keep people feeling fresh when everyone's working 24/7?

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Mike: I think our CEO John Vincent and our COO Romey Connell get a lot of the credit for that. They're down to earth. It's the difference between loving what you do versus not loving it. It's a really open friendly company kind with a family atmosphere in the best sense of family. Everyone is excited about servicing our clients and seeing the great work they do and have the campaign see the light of day. Our people are dedicated. You can't explain it but we all know it when we see it.

Wendy: I think your clients explain it pretty well in your ad campaign!

Mike: LOL! One of the stories I tell when I interview people is that on Friday we have happy hour in our conference room. There's beer and munchies and everyone files in at 5:30, has a beer, mingles and this amazing thing happens, most if not all of these people hang our for 30, 45 minutes and catch up with each other, then take a beer, go back to their desk and are here for another 3 hour working with customers. We all find it continually amazing. Everyone. It's about individual and group ownership. It's not even a question like it's a job, it's what we want to do. Happy hour is just a time to reinforce that we're all one big team and we've had another week of hard work and we celebrate together and then go back to doing what we do.

Wendy: That's great. I know what that feels like and also know when it's anything like that. When people can't wait to get out the door.

Jason: I'm going to add to that too. You know, it's much more fun to work for a company that has its act together than work for a company that's still trying to figure it out. I've worked for companies like that so I know what I'm talking about when I say that. This company is fun to work for because we do things the right way. And when our employees see these client's that are in our campaign saying great things about us, it makes us all feel great about what we do and makes us want to keep doing it. People want to make a difference with their lives. EyeWonder gives each of us that opportunity. The trade campaign made a contribution to the company that we hadn't fully realized at the outset. People came up to me after it went live said to me, "Wow, I'm working with ___ and he/she referenced the work we did on ____ in the ad! That is so cool."

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Wendy: Mike? Final thoughts?

Mike: I think it's also that we're a focused company in one of the most exciting places to be. We focus on interactive digital advertising and innovation. We're not one of these big holding companies that have multiple divisions that are generalists. Everything we do focuses on digital advertising and innovation. We were the first ones to make flash video 8 standard on every video campaign, we're the first one's making flash video 9 standard on every campaign with flash 8 as the default. These are little things that don't get written in the press about that much, but what we do everyday ensures that campaigns are richer and better on more browsers, more operating systems than any of our competitors. The focus that we have on richer media and innovation keeps our nose to the grindstone and keeps us ahead of everyone else. We're committed to doing that and we'll never lose that focus. Our clients appreciate it and thus we know that consumers do as well. It enhances their lives and gives them useful information that saves them time or stimulates their imagination.

Wendy: Is there anything EyeWonder does on an individual-by-individual level?

Mike: We do everything we can do within the organization to enable people to follow their dreams. We're very open to cross pollenization. We have a lot of folks that started in one area of the company who have expressed a desire to move into a different discipline or if they would like to move to LA or be in sales. That requires that you really listen to each other to make sure the moves work for them. It's also great that our clients said the same thing. People appreciate when their hard work and dedication gets noticed. In the last year we've grown dramatically. We were then a 30-person group. Now we're a group of about 100 people. We don't take this growth for granted. It's something that we must prove to our clients that their confidence is worth it and to each other everyday.

Wendy: Thanks, Mike and Jason. This was great.

Jason: Thanks to you as well, Wendy!

Mike: It was our pleasure!

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Agency Rich Media Lovers Boogie as Palm Gets "Flash-y"

Churchill @ the Mobile UpFront

Google's Buzz Gets Stoned @ the WMC

Don't Go Into the Bathroom!

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