MONCTON – BrainWorks‘s video team took a bunch of new gear out for for the first time this week to shoot regional commercials for Jungle Jim’s restaurants, whose head office is in Newfoundland. The marketing company recently made its biggest investment ever in video equipment – six figures worth – so it can serve clients further afield, both in Canada and abroad.
“We are absolutely now going after a national and international calibre of work. We’re proactively going after it, so we’re hearing about opportunities or we’re seeking them out, and we’re going to meetings in larger centres,” said founding partner and president Brad LeBlanc, who will be in New York this week to pitch “a very large potential client” in the startup accelerator sector.
“We do have clients that we’ve done work with in Montreal, we have some clients in Toronto. So, markets where we’ve done some work already, we’re pursuing those.”
The investment is a way for the company to show that great things can happen from New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada, LeBlanc added.
“We’ve always had this belief that you can do anything, you can do world-class work from right here in New Brunswick, from right here in Atlantic Canada. So this is a little bit of us walking that talk, making the investment to be able to do work that is world class that competes with firms from all over,” he said.
It’s also thanks to pressure from clients and the video team, which didn’t exist three years ago but is now the busiest part of the agency.
Brainworks has been growing organically in the past few years. Founded in 2012, the company now has 15 people in its team and is onboarding a 16th. It also has job postings out for three more positions. It has served local clients as well as national clients like Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada, and international clients like Dr. Oetker.
But the new equipment will allow the company to ramp that up.
“We look at this as an opportunity to heighten the level of service that we can provide, heighten the level of quality that we can put out,” LeBlanc said.
The investment covers three sets of equipment. The first set will allow BrainWorks to do high-definition live streaming at events using multiple cameras controlled through a tablet.
The second set of equipment allows the company to do the kind of work it already does today – corporate videos, philanthropic documentaries and others – in 4K resolution, or ultra high-definition.
And finally, likely the most expensive piece of the equipment, is the RED Digital cameras and its accessories, which enables BrainWorks to shoot at 6K resolution and do more post-production editing.
This means BrainWorks can also produce short films that can be submitted to film festivals because the quality of the video will be good enough for a theatre screening. That’s something its video team has been interested in, though the company plans to stick to its commercial base as well. Plus, LeBlanc said from a technical and creative standpoint, the company can now even produce a Superbowl commercial.
“We’re now able to have these conversations with big players and be able to deliver this quality of work both creatively and from a technical standpoint that we can’t do today,” he said.
LeBlanc said BrainWorks wants to access more clients from outside Atlantic Canada to make the pie bigger for its peers too.
“We’re very very focused on importing money, importing projects from outside Atlantic Canada because that’s new tax revenue, which we need from an economic development standpoint. Of course, the best thing in the world would be to get international work,” he said.
While making such a large investment is “terrifying,” LeBlanc is excited about what the future holds.
“The reality is there will always be more and better gear right around the corner … But in the coming years, if this goes as well as we expect it to go, with that perfect combination of hustle and heart, it won’t be long before we’re doing this again. That will be our ambition and our hope as we take the deep dive.”