Saturday, May 02, 2009

inVentiv Ad Agency Palio launches Innovative New Web Site

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY, May 1, 2009­–Imagine landing in the middle of a company's virtual logo, or brandmark—Palio's to be specific. What do you see? A fortress against ordinary thinking? An enclave for behavior-changing ideas? A meeting place or piazza where history is made?

Today the agency launched its new Web site (, which takes viewers on an exploration of the destination that is Palio. As the agency celebrates its 10th year in the business, they've set their sights on getting people to take the time to discover the power of ideas and original thought.

The site may make some uncomfortable because it forces us to slow down. The Saratoga Springs, New York advertising and communications agency is trying to change the way people interact—less about how fast something is or can be done, more about the thinking behind the actions. "We're trying to create a richer experience, a deeper connection to the ideas that drive us," said Guy Mastrion, chief global creative officer. "There needs to be a place that allows this to happen, and that place is Palio.

And the possibility to exchange ideas is built right into the site. Visitors log on and choose an avatar of a historic persona/icon to ensure they are part of the discovery process. As visitors explore the rooms—watching videos, reading ads on the walls, reviewing case studies—they are encouraged to engage with others they encounter by opening up dialogues and sharing ideas.

The idea behind the unique site revolves around Palio's desire to tell its story in a deeper, more meaningful way. Metaphorically, what could get deeper than being dropped inside a company's brandmark? As the hallmark of Palio's brand, the logo not only reflects the vibrancy of the agency and the passion of its people, but also the way in which they strive to take their clients’ brands to a higher level—to enable them to break away from the pack and make their own moment in history.

“Our logo has an organic quality that is a bit unexpected and speaks to the artisanship of what we do and our willingness to drive original thought. It was the force that drove the development of the site,” said Mastrion.

Also having an impact on the creative vision for the site was Palio’s print campaign, which brought the quality of Palio's logo evolution to life in a different way, departing from Palio’s now iconic launch campaign. The campaign features the agency's definitions of Slick, Hardwired, Street Smart, Diva, and Yes Men. "We used the logo and how we define the words above as inspiration and challenged the site developer, Ignite Health, to create a Web-based brand experience that not only reflects ideas behind both, but also uses the latest interactive technology, which deepened the understanding of the Palio brand. Ignite helped create an unforgettable experience for the new site. They used a combination of the latest Web technologies to create an immersive destination for visitors to interact with each other as well as explore a 3-dimensional environment where they can experience Palio,” said Mastrion.

“We used sophisticated Flash action-scripting in conjunction with a Flash Media Server to allow site visitors to move around this virtual logo via keyboard or mouse and see, as well as chat, with other users as they move around the same environment in real time. One of the key components to the overall experience of the site is that it allows people to actually meet and interact with one another,” said Les Yates, director of motion graphics at Ignite Health (

Each room within the logo explores a key department within Palio narrated by a key Palio leader:
  • Diva: Mike Myers, president, discusses how each voice has an equal say and an equal stake in success.
  • Globalista: Guy Mastrion discusses the agency's global approach to building brands.
  • Slick–Todd LaRoche, executive vice president/managing director of creative, discusses how the agency is really excited about ideas because it’s the ideas that matter.
  • Yes Men: Dan Bobear, executive vice president/managing director of client service, discusses how a good strategic partner will lead clients to the tough answers by asking the tough questions along the way.
  • Street Smart: Bob Mason, executive vice president/managing director of brand strategy, discusses how brand strategy is about bringing the insight to the work.
  • Hardwired: Andy Smith, executive vice president/managing director of global operations, discusses the organic process the agency has developed to ensure delivery of its best work.
One of the added benefits of the site is the opportunity to receive the Provocateur, the agency's premier online thought piece that compiles up-to-date marketplace information that engages and gets people thinking. All visitors have to do is fill out the online form.

“Literally and figuratively, Palio has become a destination for marketers­—unique in location, culture, and thinking,” said Mike Myers, president of Palio. “With agency partners throughout the world, we are creating truly global marketing solutions for our clients. We do our homework, take risks, raise our clients’ expectations, and stand for great work. What client wouldn’t want that passion and energy behind their brand?”

Palio, an inVentiv Health (NASDAQ: VTIV) company, is a full-spectrum advertising and communications agency headquartered in Saratoga Springs, NY, that excels in brand creation that changes the way people think with execution that will Never be For more information on Palio, visit

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