Brand Entertainment Firm PLUM Agency Partners With Mechanizedmules To Deliver Entertainment With Artistic Integrity And Visual Elegance // Together, PLUM and Mules Plan To Take Shameless Out Of Viral And Create Artistic, Emotional Brand Stories
PLUM Agency, a Brand Entertainment firm, announced today their partnership with Mechanizedmules, a company founded by entertainment industry veterans Yul Vazquez, Rick Rodgers and Ed Vassallo to create compelling stories at a fraction of the cost by combining artistic integrity, visual elegance and the latest technology.
Yul Vazquez currently stars in MAGIC CITY on Starz and was nominated for a Tony Award for his role as Cousin Julio in the Broadway play MOTHERF--KER WITH THE HAT, with Chris Rock, Bobby Cannavale and Annabella Sciorra. Rick Rodgers is a director, DP, and editor who spent five years acting in the HBO series OZ. Ed Vassallo, who appeared in HBO’s THE SOPRANOS, is an actor, writer and producer of film and theater. He was recently a producer on the 2012 SXSW hit film KING KELLY, which was shot entirely on smart phones. Mechanizedmules has produced a slate of feature-length, short and documentary films with a very particular artistic aesthetic and rich narrative.
“Our focus is to build audiences for brands in meaningful and long-lasting ways…across segments that mean the most to these brands,” said Taso Mouhteros, co-founder of PLUM and the agency’s creative lead. “That means pet tricks, shock stunts, and college humor may not be a part of the stories we create for our clients. Working with Mechanizedmules will allow us to bring meaningful, resonant, long-form brand stories to consumers.”
Sung W. Lee, co-founder of PLUM and industry-leading marketing strategist, added, “This also means the success of our brand entertainment will not necessarily be measured by the sheer number of views or shares and typical metrics. We’re looking to make the greatest emotional impact with audiences…precisely what we will monitor.”
Mechnizedmules creates and produces highly textured narratives and films with visual elegance. Rick Rodgers, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, brings an artist’s eye to moving images.
“We’re pleased that PLUM Agency has come to us to develop emotionally moving stories for brand audiences,” said Ed Vassallo. “We know there’s a big appetite for the shameless shorts; we’ll stick to doing what we do best and are passionate about…focusing on compelling stories. Working with PLUM, these stories will be developed for very targeted audiences and align with the values of the brands for which we will be creating them. Leveraging the latest and greatest in technology, we are able to bring the highest production value at a fraction of the cost to PLUM clients.”
PLUM has already begun to work in collaboration with Mechanizedmules. F-K was created as a promotional campaign for LAByrinth Theater Company's Celebrity Charades benefit. Mechanizedmules was careful to package it as a short film-with no mention of the event itself, the film was highlighted at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2010 where each “round” went viral and brought a tremendous amount of BUZZ to the event. The eight-minute film features 10 celebrities who try to find “the location.” PLUM and Mechanizedmules plan to evolve the film and continue shooting scenes leading to the discovery of a particularly interesting “location,” with a twist to the story.
PLUM is a full-service agency with a focus on Brand Entertainment. For the U.S. 2010 Census, one of the microcampaigns PLUM developed, “Forward,” was the first-ever nationally running music video TV ad for the U.S. government. The microcampaign included radio, digital, viral video, roadshow music and other executions…an example of TV-led brand entertainment that was successful in moving the needle on Census responses for the largest-ever ad campaign. PLUM has developed a network of Hollywood insiders -- from talent to managers to producers and directors and other entertainment professionals -- to deliver strategic, measurable entertainment for major brands and government agencies. Services include research, campaign effectiveness and creative development and production of brand-owned intellectual property, web series, TV shows (scripted and reality), feature films, documentaries, music, concerts, digital and distribution consulting and management.
An outgrowth of PLUM Agency, Imagination PLUM, LLC, has a number of TV, feature film and web series in development, all at different stages. Their work with the Marine Corps Special Ops as the agency of record on an overall branding and recruitment campaign inspired them to develop a scripted drama called PENDLETON. A major from the Marine Corps has been part of the writing team. Attached to the project is Benderspink, who has a first-look deal with CBS.
PLUM Agency, a Brand Entertainment firm based in SoHo in New York City, focuses on revitalizing brands.
We are at the crossroads of advertising and entertainment, developing entertainment that communicates a brand’s ethos and elicits emotions that influence consumer behavior.
Our marketers collaborate and work closely with our network of entertainment professionals-Hollywood insiders, celebrities, acclaimed A-list talent, producers, directors, managers, agents, musicians and others-to create and distribute fully integrated, multiplatform entertainment for brand audiences globally.
Mechanizedmules has completed two feature films in the past year and a half and is filming their third this summer. After a successful collaboration on two shorts F--K (TFF-2010) and CRASH & BURN (TFF-2011), the Mules launched their feature-length narrative and documentary division. ADAM SHAW and OSSINING were both made in the past year and a half and are both currently in post- production. SWEETS will begin principal photography in July 2012. THE THIRD ACT OF MARIAN SELDES and THE TRIALS OF CONSTANCE BAKER MOTLEY (Feature Docs) are both in various stages of development. The Mechanizedmules are Rick Rodgers, Yul Vazquez, Ed Vassallo and Catherine Kellner.