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Sportsnet features Vital Media

We were recently contacted by the creative director at Sportsnet in regards to featuring a piece of our work. Blue Jays Central used it as part of their opening teaser before the start of game 4 of the American League Championship Series. Here is the original video. The track was recorded and performed by musician and songwriter Matt Metcalfe from Burning the Day.


The Chechen Wolf Is Hungry For Gold

Arthur Biyarslanov is a Russian born Chechen who made Canada his home in 2005. Now he is fighting for Canada tonight in what is sure to be an exciting gold medal Pan Am bout. Biyarslanov’s fight for survival started long before it happened in the ring.

Arthur Biyarslanov was a preschooler when his family made a terrifying escape to the border, in order to leave war-torn Chechnya in southern Russia for the neighbouring Azerbaijan. His mother gave money and her children’s legal documents to Chechen soldiers in case she couldn’t keep up. If she didn’t make it, at least they would have a better life. 300 people were with them when they left, only 150 made it.

“The soldiers were carrying me and running with me, taking us to a safe place. I could hear bombs exploding and bullets whizzing by us. They asked me my name and I told them my name is Nohcho Borz, Nohcho Borz, it means Chechen Wolf. You’re supposed to be scared of the wolf, but my father told me you’re supposed to be like a wolf. So I was Nohcho Borz.” That name would follow him into the ring.

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Two weeks before the Pan Am Games, Biyarslanov moved into Atlas Boxing Club where he trains, and made it his home. He slept in the middle of the ring every night, focusing his intentions on winning gold. His dedication and focus seem to be paying off.

Biyarslanov started the Pan Am Games with a definitive win over an Argentinian light welterweight (64 kg) named Lucas Gimenez. By the third round he showed no signs of fatigue and almost KO’d Gimenez twice. Gimenez’s only saviour from Biyarslanov’s devastating right hook, his favourite punch, were two standing eight counts.

Then on Wednesday evening he was matched with another challenging opponent, Venezuelan Luis Arcon Diaz, silver medalist at the Worlds and bronze medalist at the Olympics. The Chechen Wolf worked Diaz over, with precision right jabs, straight lefts and inside combinations. Diaz’s efforts included low blows and shots after the break, while countering as Biyarslanov moved in. With Diaz having a longer reach, moving inside was a smart decision on behalf of Biyarslanov.

Now Biyarslanov is anxious to finish what he started. Tonight he fights a formidable Cuban fighter, Yasnier Toledo. Toledo won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics and is a two-time world championship silver medallist. Is The Chechen Wolf apprehensive about his opponent’s experience?

“He’s just a human being just like I am,” Biyarslanov said. “I’m not scared of any human being, the only person I’m scared of is God. I don’t care who it is. I’m going in there and show him who The Chechen Wolf is.”

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~Vital Media



The Long and Short of Online Video

Marketers and advertisers have long debated whether short format video is better than long format and vice versa. Hell, there still seems to be some confusion on the benefits of online video in general. I’m not going to bore you with the stats for online video content, but they are incredibly impressive.

 At this stage of the game, if companies are not including online video marketing into their annual budgets, they are emphatically, unequivocally, and let me make myself absolutely clear on this… missing the f’ing boat. It’s like being late for a boat party where people have a great time, make great connections, the food is fantastic and the drinks are free and you’re left standing there on the dock.


If you knew the boat was stopping at another location to pick up other guests, would you high tail it over there? It’s not too late to get on board.

 Businesses have to understand the scope and reach that one video can have in this day and age. One video can be uploaded to multiple formats and social media outlets giving you a wide audience in which to be seen; all right at your finger tips, literally. And unlike television, there is no charge when broadcasting your video online.

 Big companies can supplement their television commercial campaigns with strategic online video. Smaller companies now have a chance to compete by incorporating online video into their marketing plans. Businesses now have a chance to become their own broadcaster via video hubs on their websites and become leaders, informing the public of their expertise, products or services. SEO loves it. People love it. And social networking sites are making it easier than ever for you to take advantage of it.

 We all love a good story. And we all have one to tell, including a business. Some “experts” say that a video should be no longer than 90 seconds long in order to keep a viewers attention. I believe creativity should never be tamed. If the story can be told in 90 seconds, so be it. All good. It still needs to engage, inform and/or entertain. And that goes double for long format video. Though TV still has a place and is no doubt an effective form of advertising, when it comes to the Web, we no longer need to limit ourselves to television’s 30 second spot rule. In fact, companies should go back in advertising history and take a lesson from it’s past. The single sponsor model, in particular.

 ‘In the early 1950s, the DuMont Television Network began the modern practice of selling advertisement time to multiple sponsors. Previously, DuMont had trouble finding sponsors for many of their programs and compensated by selling smaller blocks of advertising time to several businesses. This eventually became the standard for the commercial television industry in the United States. However, it was still a common practice to have single sponsor shows, such as The United States Steel Hour. In some instances the sponsors exercised great control over the content of the show – up to and including having one’s advertising agency actually writing the show.’

 A great example of the single sponsor model making a comeback for long format video is the online series Raw Craft, hosted by Anthony Bourdain.



Other than one well-placed product placement, the message behind the Raw Craft series is not focusing on the product at all, but on craftsmanship itself. Craftsmanship is definitely associated in the creation of a good Scotch and this series is a fantastic way for The Balvenie to promote their brand and engage the viewer without a hard sell.

 Determination, focus, persistence, dedication, conviction, perseverance, etc… are all words a company would like to have associated with their brand. This next creative video has all of these elements and more. A well placed banner in the gym, or simply a logo at the end of this film is all a company would need to include, in order to create a campaign behind any of the words that describe this fighter.


 The single sponsor model is where long format video can really get creative and fully engage an audience, while a company rides that message as it’s own. Consumers aren’t dumb though, a company can’t just propagandize a video throughout and expect a positive response. But, if a company sponsors the production and subtly incorporates their brand within an intriguing, entertaining, and memorable piece, then the long or short of it does not matter. At the end of the day it’s all about the message and bringing that message to life.

~Vital Media

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The Chechen Wolf – featuring Canadian Boxer Arthur Biyarslanov

Canadian boxer Arthur Biyarslanov is a young man on a mission. This film was made to support that mission. We are proud to feature this rising star as he fights for Canada at the 2015 Pan Am Games. His story is one of survival, passion, and perseverance. Please show your support by liking and sharing this film.

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Great Marketing, Perfect Timing, Online Video is King!

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, Sauza 901 Tequila drops a real marketing gem. Sure it helps that Justin Timberlake is behind it, but that’s besides the point here. This could be anybody. The bottom line is that a brand saw an opportunity to do something a little bit outside the norm..and its working. Not only is the ad funny, but its beyond what 30 seconds of television time can facilitate. Online video campaigns allow brands to take advantage of the longer format capabilities to tell they’re stories without boundaries. Not to mention the timing with Cinco de Mayo upon us. Buen Trabajo Sauza 901 Tequila! (nice work) Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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Brands thinking outside the box

A lot of ads out there today are stiff, lame, and usually predictable. But there are some brands that refuse to fit that stereotype. Much like this UK cloud-based software platform Thunderhead. This is not only outside the box, its basically outside the stratosphere. A lot of people think there has to be a hard sell for people to get the picture, but only the real forward thinkers understand that all you have to do is find a way to make them remember you. Blow their minds with something they’ve never seen before and they’ll be lining up.

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Anthony Bourdain Has No Reservations About Online Video

The TV host with the most… air miles, has made a surprising move to online video advertising. Anthony Bourdain, an American chef and TV personality, is widely known for his New York Times bestselling non-fiction book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.

This led to a number of popular ‘foodie’ television series’ including No Reservations, The Layover and most recently, CNN’s Parts Unknown. Bourdain is known as a culinary bad boy, someone who does not refrain from using profanity and sexual references when on camera, a persona that swaggers, while rock’n the shit out of his own drum. But now this rock star chef wants to be a sell out and endorse a product? For shame!

Hold your horsemeat! Bourdain isn’t stooping to the level of a Guy Fieri. He’s not putting his face on everything from salsa to cookware. Eeesh. I shutter every time I see Guy putting his sausage fingers into a dish that someone is still preparing, and then sucks on them with orgasmic pleasure. But I digress. Bourdain is still keeping his cool roots intact by endorsing Scotch, The Balvenie to be exact. And he’s doing it in the same laid-back style as his TV series’, where he travels the US showcasing artisans working at their craft.

Check out the first video in the series, where Bourdain meets up with two metalworkers in Syracuse, New York and is shown what goes into creating cast-iron skillets by hand.

 Other than a few well-placed product placements, the message behind the Raw Craft series is not focusing on the product at all, but on craftsmanship itself. Craftsmanship is definitely associated in the creation of a good Scotch and this series is a fantastic way for The Balvenie to promote their brand without a hard sell. Viewers will appreciate the entertainment and creative value these videos have to offer, while learning something new along the way. They are a great example of how a company can produce long version online content that keeps a viewers interest, while subtly promoting their brand. No doubt, having a huge television personality like Anthony Bourdain as the designated driver is a major bonus, to say the least.


Vital Media

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Philip Bloom – The Wonder List

No matter how much you think you know about creating truly inspiring content, or the art of cinematography, choosing the right equipment, or the best way to tell a great story…there will always be more to learn.

Philip Bloom is a filmmaker that we’ve got a lot of respect for. Why? Because he loves what he does, and he’s damn good at it. Not only does he produce beautiful and inspiring work, he also takes the time to share his knowledge with aspiring filmmakers. He happily walks you through the equipment he used, how he used it, and why he decided to use particular pieces of equipment over others. Not to mention how he goes about colour grading, which software he uses, what frame rates he shoots, and why he chooses specific lenses and aspect ratios, etc.

Of course when creating any form of art, there is no ‘right answer’ But the beauty of Philip is that he doesn’t claim to have the answers. He just creates work he’s passionate about, and shares his process.

We continue to learn from him and follow his career closely. What we love most of all about Philip Bloom above all else is that he is completely egoless. He knows there is enough out there for everyone. He’s not worried about holding onto all his production secrets in fear that someone might come along and do it better. No wonder he’s so successful. We’ve been following him for almost 3 years now, and have always known that he was a guy we wanted to see succeed. Which is why we’re so excited for the new documentary series he shot for CNN called ‘The Wonder List’ He travels to all corners of the earth capturing unbelievably incredible footage. We’ll be looking out for it, and if you want to learn from the best… you should too.

We knew it was only a matter of time. Philip..if this post ever finds it way to you, thank you from

Check out the trailer!



We never get tired of shooting with The Keg

A few times a year we shoot for The Keg. As you can imagine…we look forward to it. As a matter of fact we don’t eat the day before the shoot, and probably don’t eat again until 2 days after the shoot. Tough life right? Here are a few screen grabs from the shoot.

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Online video

Custom Videos: The Way to Successful Online Marketing

Whether you are starting a new business or launching a new product or event, multimedia serves as the strongest tool to move your audience effectively. Online marketing is an essential activity in order for your business to reach its probable audience.

Custom online videos have the potential to inspire action, control discourse, and spread ideas in ways that are not attainable by other traditional advertising media. No doubt, custom video production has been a successful contribution in recent marketing strategies.

As the saying goes, a picture can paint a thousand words, so imagine the impact a video can have on targeted customers. In this fast paced digital world, it is imperative that you embrace online video marketing, in order to express your brand’s message efficiently and effectively.

There are many benefits to online video content:

- Today is the age of the Internet. If done in a creative and entertaining way, a video can go viral on social networking sites. Thus, your brand reaching far beyond its expectations. Video has the potential to grab the attention of more potential consumers than other online advertising formats.

- Branded video is a far better way to engage an audience, especially when it comes to mobile. Online video advertising is a powerful tool for mobile, which engages an audience on a level that surpasses traditional advertising methods like print, signage and banners.

- The message or the concept should directly appeal to your particular audience. It is a better way to give a vivid demonstration of the services you provide, while doing so in a creative and timely fashion.

- If done right, online video content should incorporate a consumer’s emotional attachment with the service or product. Thus engaging the viewer on a more personal level, which in turn leads that person to buy.

The current state of online video advertising should be enough to convince businesses to implement an online video strategy. Online video is expected to reach 90 percent of all web traffic this year. With statistics like that, online video is a must-have standard piece of a business’ overall digital marketing strategy

A professionally produced video is recommended. There are many elements that need to be considered for the creation of a video that gains consumers trust. You might think that using your mobile cell phone is enough to create online content, but will it make a good impression? All the elements from video quality, lighting, sound, editing, music, etc… need to come together in order to make your business look professional and trustworthy. If one of theses aspects isn’t met, and the quality isn’t there, what will that say to potential consumers? If you are thinking of doing it yourself just to have content on your site, DON’T. It will defeat the purpose and potentially damage your credibility.

Take a look at this example produced for Reebok CrossFit East Woodbridge. Their marketing relied on pamphlets, email and word of mouth, which wasn’t working. After having an online promotional video produced, they saw enrollment to their classes increase immensely.

It might not be as expensive as you think. The cost of producing high quality video has come down in recent years and has allowed businesses to allot more of their marketing budgets to the online space. So, if you take your business seriously, then there is no excuse not to invest in professionally produced online video content. At the end of the day, it will pay for itself and you will find your money was well spent.

~Vital Media