Mad Genius is a full-service agency, but what does that really mean? Sure, we offer every capability that an ad agency typically does, but how do those capabilities lead to better results for you? How does Creative Fusion come into the mix? The answer lies in strategy—and boy howdy, do we love to strategize.
How we think Design
If we think of Creative Fusion as a quilt, collaboration is the thread that binds it together. That doesn’t just go for intra-office collaboration; it’s also true for the give and take that happens between you and our team.
What makes your brand special informs how we position it. What your goals are and how you want to articulate them helps to determine the key messaging we write. Both the type of company you want to be and how you want to portray yourself become fuel for the campaign boards we create. That shared passion for your brand translates to a look, campaign, and message we can both take pride in.
They say art doesn’t exist in a vacuum. By extension, neither does design. At Mad Genius, we believe that any creative worth their salt draws inspiration from great design that has come before. Work from Ray and Charles Eames . . . Steve Jobs . . . Saul Bass . . .
Banksy—it’s all fair game. (As are those paper sculptures we saw on a design forum and those sweet hand-stenciled t-shirt designs we drooled over on a weekend jaunt to New Orleans.)
We also believe that being informed by what’s come before doesn’t mean being limited by it. We experiment, tinker, and play with various concepts to determine what look is right for your brand. Plus, we research what other brands in your category are doing so that while everyone else is “zag”-happy, we can get our “zig” on.
People still look at billboards. People still watch TV. (They just watch it differently.) And no matter how hard some people work to kill it, print isn’t dead.
Also, as it turns out, people also really, really like reading stuff on the internet. Facebook . . . Twitter . . . Instagram . . . Pandora . . . Snapchat? Yep. People like that stuff, too.
We’ll partner with you to determine who exactly you’re trying to reach and which channels they like the best. Then we’ll work together to create compelling messaging to hit them where they’ll love it the most.
How we do Design
Art & Graphics
As delicious as a tasty headline and a nice block of crunchy copy can be, there’s a good chance your brand is also going to need something pretty to look at. While the words give your brand its voice and can help set the mood, the art and graphics bring it home. Sure, we can (and do) give a mouthwatering description of gelato, but a picture is worth a thousand “noms.”
Our designers—a motley crew of cartoonists, screen printers, doodlers, animators, and type geeks—are the graphic wizards who will make your audience feel hungry, wistful, happy, or inspired. They’re the ones who will stop your customers and clients in their tracks.
Here’s the ugly truth that not everyone will tell you: There’s no guarantee that people will read your branded advertising. But if placed correctly, at the very least, they will see it. With that in mind, we work to create visually compelling print, posters, outdoor, and direct mail pieces that your target audience won’t be able to ignore. Our goal is to make the design so arresting that they’ll want to read the accompanying copy. We use Creative Fusion to marry the language with the design so that the resulting message is more than a sum of its parts—it’s an important chapter in your story.
Who are you as a company? What does your brand communicate now? What would you like it to communicate? How do you want to be perceived by your customers? If your brand were a person, would they be wearing a smart pantsuit, sensible heels, and a high ponytail? Or skinny jeans, faded Chucks, and a mohawk? We’ll work closely with you to find answers to these questions and more. Your brand isn’t just your Pantone palette or the layout on your web banners; it’s an extension of who you are.
Need a new label for your seasoned green beans? Just because your product is canned doesn’t mean its label design has to be. How about a super-chic box in which to deliver your promotional items? We’ve been known to wield wood-burning tools to make it happen.
Whether you need a new look for your consumer packaged goods or an innovative way to present your swag, we’ll work with you and for you to create designs that will elicit that oh-so-coveted reverential “Whoa.”
When we think about your brand, we think beyond your next radio spot or digital campaign. We think about every way your brand is represented: business cards, t-shirts, letterhead, menus—wherever your name and logo are seen in the wild. Especially your logo. We don’t just “do” logos. Designing logos is a passion here in The Lab. So much so, in fact, that there’s healthy intra-office competition to design them, complete with wall checks, design breakdowns, and iterations out the wazoo. With your input and our inspiration, we’ll work together to create a logo that you’ll be proud of and your customer will be drawn to.
How we think Digital
Web Planning & Concepting
Mad Genius takes a deep dive into the philosophical stuff about your business. Sometimes this includes a lot of hard questions, so we recommend grabbing a coffee and getting comfortable. Who are you? Why do you do what you do? Who are your customers? How do they use your services? How do they consume advertising? How do they browse the internet? The answers will drive our partnership and the resulting work we do together.
We continue our analysis by coming up with profiles, or personas, of the types of people who use your services. We keep these personas in mind during design so that when one of these personas visits your website, they find engaging, relevant content suited especially for them.
Your website’s sitemap is designed to according to user experience as well, and its structure is crucial to how users will navigate it and how information will be organized.
Stellar design and messaging have always had the ability to turn heads and change hearts, and that hasn’t changed. What has changed is that by employing sound digital strategy, we can now pinpoint what works and what doesn’t, and we can quantify how far you’ve come and how far you have to go.
We think beyond your website so that your digital identity can be transformed into a fully fledged advertising tool that extends into all facets of your marketing and development plans. In short? Our pixel-pushers know their stuff.
How we do Digital
Mad Genius was the first full-service advertising agency in Mississippi to join the Certified Google Partner ranks. (Fancy, right?) Staying current with search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) trends helps us build measurable digital advertising plans that align with your company’s strategy and budget.
With focused digital advertising campaigns, we’re able to better direct your dollars and your effort where they belong: wherever your customers are looking (and listening). Mobile-optimized advertising and cross-device advertising add extra layers of opportunity. And at the end of the day, converting opportunities to success stories is what great digital marketing is all about.
Web Design & Development
Once a site’s artwork and concept are developed, they become the basis of the rest of our work. We incorporate responsive design so your audience can easily discover your organization on smartphones, tablets, retina displays or 7-year-old desktops.
We bring design ideas to life with the latest web tools, leveraging the power of CSS and SVG animation to make bold designs become a technological reality. Our developers are talented and innovative enough that we have invented tools that other people use on their own sites. We’re able to come up lofty design ideas like “I want the food to start smoking,” and they actually make it happen!
As a Certified Google Partner, we are trained in organizing websites and writing content that is aimed to improve your website’s rankings, i.e. search engine optimization (SEO). We bake it into every page – from the headlines to the description that appears in your Google search results.
Social Media Advertising
Social media sites are now in our blood. While often spoken of as not “real” – they are our tether to family, friends, and the larger world. Keeping up with the rapid ascension and decline of fly-by-night social media properties is something you don’t have time to bother yourself with – you’re running your business. We, on the other hand, are keeping an eagle eye on changes with Facebook, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram, and more.
Leveraging our social media followings to sell stuff can feel gross. Aren’t we here to connect with one another? We want updates on each others’ lives, a viral video to make us laugh, and an informative article that piques our interest. We can find ourselves seeing an ad before it even starts and swiping past to the next post.
Targeted social media advertising, when done correctly, combines art and data science to reach users who want what we’re showing them. Our users are smart; they will know to scroll past an ad they don’t want as soon as it hits the screen. By being immersive, well designed, and helpful, we interact with more people in a deeper way. Our goal is to enhance a user’s social media experience instead of mucking up their feed.
Social media is a tremendous opportunity to serve users with beautiful, effective advertising that shows up when and where they need it. As algorithms improve, and the sites that we visit become more interesting to us, the future of our online experience brightens.
Our love of user interface design and user experience bleeds over into our application development practices, because sometimes a website may not be enough for the business need. We believe well designed and functional applications are packaging plus substance. Designing a user workflow, and integrating it with your back-end application’s business logic is a science and an art.
We collaborate with our clients to visualize what the user’s journey through those applications needs to be or to become, tie in the most ideal visual elements, and integrate the overall application into the experience. Data visualization, form elements, text elements, even buttons can be works of art. Integrating this with databases and application logic is the science.
Your users win when a killer design meets the backbone of your business.
Analytics & Reporting
Once you’ve decided on the goals for your site, we implement a measurement plan that will report your progress. Armed with data from Google Analytics, we can build on what’s working and give you recommendations to improve what isn’t. Analytics isn’t a magic bullet; even with solid data science on your side, there’s still a lot of testing and tinkering involved. But think of it this way: While the other guys are grasping at straws, your guesses aren’t just educated—they just got their PhD.
How we think Video
With the increased prevalence of video integration on the web, video production for the Internet has become a world all its own. Gone are the days of low-budget productions shot on cheap webcams. We work hard to maintain the integrity of your online presence, and our video team supplements that endeavor with superior production value.
Want to put up original content on YouTube or Facebook? Need a book trailer, makeup tutorial, video recipe, stop motion video, or webisode? Whatever your brand and audience may be, we have geniuses to help you concept your video and the recording capabilities to take on the challenge. You won’t expect what we give you, because we don’t believe in simply meeting expectations — we aim for viral.
How we do Video
We use the latest video shooting technologies to turn the vision into reality. When we’re not filming on location, we’re in our 4,000 square foot film studio right here in Ridgeland. If come down, you might see our cameramen shooting various creatures, from superheroes to insurance agents.
Our cameras shoot in ultra-HD so that the final production will look beautiful in every screen resolution. With our studio’s gigantic green screen cyclotron, we are able to add backgrounds seamlessly and control for proper lighting. Finally, we understand that our raw footage cannot be transformed into artful products without high-fidelity sound recording. Our boom microphones and wireless lavalier mics will pick up everything you want, and we’ll be able to tone down what you don’t.
Check out our reel.
Animation & VFX
Sometimes, real life just isn’t good enough! We need movie magic in order to fully express our imaginations. For these purposes, we turn to our animation and special effects toolbox. This box has a lot of cool stuff in it, like composite 3D modeling and single motion graphics. Our two animation suites are capable of providing high-end 2D and 3D visual effects good enough to fool ourselves.
Post-Production & Finishing
All of the raw video, audio, and special effects elements are sent through the all-important grind of post-production and finishing. We perform the industry-standard practice of non-linear editing so that we keep track of all our iterations.
During this phase we implement color correction, color grading, and sound design using a full range of post-production programs, including the full DaVinci Resolve color grading suite, Adobe Premiere, and occasionally AVID. Our post-production suite contains multiple platform-agnostic edit bays capable of editing at ultra-HD resolution to 4K (and beyond) as well as Blu-Ray media authoring.
How we think Photography
With a wealth of stock photography options on the web, why would anyone shoot custom photography? Because, come on, really? Sure, Mad Genius can make stock photography work in a pinch (and often do), but finding just the right shot out of millions can be a challenge. (Never mind the fact that associating your brand with an image you don’t own or control can be a slippery slope.) That’s why we’ve carefully curated the talent, expertise, and equipment to shoot beautiful, practical, exceedingly professional custom photography.
How we do Photography
Headshots are quite possibly the most common type of photography among corporate websites, and one thing is certain: you can’t use stock photography for headshots. (The heads never match.) Sure, you could snap a few pics with a smartphone and call it a day, but why would you? Every headshot is an introduction—a first impression—for every user who visits your website. That’s why they need to look great—and that’s why Mad Genius has studied, practiced, and finely honed The Art of the Headshot. From hair & makeup and your “best side,” to attractive, consistent backgrounds, and just-right light—we’ll make sure that you and your staff receive the most favorable “first impression” possible from each and every one of your headshots.
Places, Products & More
From unbelievable landscapes, buildings & facilities to consumer & industrial products, composite images (two or more photo elements merged into one), and much more, Mad Genius routinely creates arresting images that our clients proudly showcase as their own. You provide the subject matter. We’ll provide the lighting, equipment, art direction and photography expertise.