MOONDOG Responds to Evolving Ad Scene with New Service Model
There’s a new MOONDOG rising over the advertising landscape. In a major reorganization and rebranding, ECD Pete Kasko and Managing Director Bernadette Quinn, co-owners of Moondog Edit, have transformed their post production and creative editorial company into a new model for doing business in a fast-changing advertising environment.
The MOONDOG divisions that previously offered creative, live action production, visual effects and music under several different brands will adopt new identities and missions. The overarching goal is to offer agencies standalone services or integrated solutions that run from concept through completion.
Accordingly, a new division called Moondog Creative has been formed to offer original creative work for selected direct-to-client assignments and relationships. In addition, the production company formerly known as Gypsy NY has become Moondog Films, a full-service shop that offers a roster of award-winning live action directors. The visual effects studio known as Hectic New York, which offers effects, design and finishing with a specialty in fashion and beauty, is now Moondog VFX. And the music company Sound Foundation, which provided music branding, licensing and supervision, is now Moondog Music.
Moondog Edit – where it all began over 15 years ago – will continue to operate under the same name. Led by Kasko, its founding editor, the creative editorial boutique works for a wide-ranging roster of agencies and brands.
To support and guide this transition, MOONDOG, as the parent company will now be known, has brought on Sophie Gold in the new role of Director of Business Development. Gold (seen at center in the photo above, with Kasko and Quinn) joins from Looker and The Station. Information on the service offerings, talent rosters, showreels and management for each of the MOONDOG companies can be found on a new web site, www.MOONDOG.nyc.
Leading the MOONDOG companies is a group of experienced production, effects and music talents whose expertise complements each other. It includes veteran agency and production company producer Jeanette Gonzalez, who leads Moondog Films as EP and Head of Production; Jeff Spangler, who leads Moondog VFX as Creative Director; and Matthew Evertsen, who serves as Creative Director at Moondog Music, working with EP Meredith O’Leary. Courtney Law continues as EP of Moondog Edit, a position she’s held since 2011.
The decision to transform itself into a group of associated departments that can operate individually or in concert was the result, explains Kasko, of a desire to offer the option of a turnkey solution to agency creatives and producers as well as for direct-to-client work. “At our core, we’re a tight-knit group of creative professionals whose goal is to provide clients with a seamless experience from concept through execution and delivery,” he notes. “We accomplish this by combining the crafts, services and disciplines that have traditionally been viewed as separate entities, but here at MOONDOG they co-exist under one roof.”
Re-branded Divisions Cover Full Range of Services
The divisions being rebranded grew out of Moondog Edit’s editorial and post work. Over the years, its deep relationships with clients resulted in their asking the edit house to provide them with more expanded services – hence a visual effects arm was formed, as was a production capability and a music division, as well as the assembly of ad-hoc creative teams to develop campaigns and strategies. The company’s recent work for Pepsi, for which MOONDOG has created and produced animation, end-tag branding and short videos used in advertising, digital media and promotion, is a perfect example of this kind of growth.
“We found the best results came out of our having an organic workflow,” says Quinn. “Our ability and experience in executing from production to finish allowed us to deliver high-level creative that proved to be both effective and cost-efficient to produce. It’s how we’ve fostered so many relationships and repeat business within the industry.” For example, she notes, Moondog Edit has worked with the beauty agency Roberts & Langer since it first opened its doors, and continues to this day.
As the company’s range of services and volume grew, Kasko and Quinn saw the need to take their offering to the next level. As a result, Gold was recruited to help define the MOONDOG strategic vision and extend its reach and engagement with clients across the agency spectrum. A veteran sales and marketing leader, Gold’s career has encompassed everything from line producing to sales in areas as diverse as advertising production and post, experiential marketing and event marketing.
She brings a set of strong agency connections to her new post, both in the US and in the UK, where she got her start. She helped introduce US companies such as Elias Arts to the agency scene in London and Amsterdam, and has worked closely with such shops as BBH, BBDO, 180, 72andSunny, DDB, Arnold and many others.
Talent Lineups in Each Division
The Moondog Films directorial roster includes Rogier van der Ploeg, who won a Grand Prix in Cannes for his Rolo spot and has racked up numerous Lions, Clios and other international awards over the years. Also on the roster is Gerald McMorrow, a visual storyteller whose short, “Thespian X,” screened at the Berlin and Tribeca Film Festivals and whose first feature, the noirish thriller “Franklyn” (2009), was hailed as a compelling mix of genres. McMorrow has directed numerous spots for some of Britain’s top agencies. Rounding out the Moondog Films roster are Dayburn, Trevor Owsley and the directing team of Alex et Niko.
Moondog Edit is home to a group of editors whose storytelling skills span categories, genres and techniques. In addition to Kasko, this list includes Vincent Garguilo, Arthur Kendall, Ed Kisberg, Patrick McCarthy, Lisa Mogol, Stuart Shevin, Garrett Tezanos and Claudia Reda Walker. They’ve shaped commercials, web videos and other forms of content for such advertisers as Revlon, Neutrogena, Aveeno, Budweiser, Avon, Remy Martin, Calvin Klein and many other brands.
Moondog VFX is a collective of artists who, under Spangler’s direction, balance a diverse body of effects and finishing work. From its origins as a Flame house known for re-touching of high-end fashion and beauty work, the studio has expanded into design, technical direction, compositing, 3D modeling, animation, CGI and motion graphics.
At Moondog Music, Evertsen and O’Leary strive to identify the right track or artist to create the perfect aural identity for a brand or campaign. Their work for clients like Victoria’s Secret, Pepsi and DSW has been called out by both marketing and consumer media outlets, and they’ve secured music from a who’s who of breakout acts, including M83, Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, Blood Orange and Betty Who. They also host an intimate live performance series called Silhouette Sessions. Open to music industry professionals, agency creatives and guests, the events showcase rising artists in an unassuming and welcoming setting.
“Each of the MOONDOG departments can partner with clients in either an integrated or standalone fashion,” Gold points out, “which allows for total flexibility in terms of budgets, deliverables, scope of work – just about everything. It lets us tailor options for each project based on its respective needs, regardless of size.”
“We believe the secret to the success of any company is the people behind the scenes, and that’s certainly been the case at MOONDOG,” says Kasko. “Our core philosophies of commitment and collaboration have helped us attract some of the most dedicated and talented creatives, directors, editors, effects artists and music producers in the industry.”
Supporting them is the casual yet hyper-focused nature of the MOONDOG environment itself. “In order for our clients and our people to do their best work, we need them to feel at home in a genuine and stimulating atmosphere that lends itself to the creative process,” says Quinn. “Our office is indeed a home both to our talent and our clients, and we extend this relaxed energy to everyone who walks through the door. We feel it’s what helps us generate consistently great work.”