Two of the biggest names in commercial visual effects will be combined, with parent company Technicolor Creative Studios announcing that it will integrate MPC Advertising into sister brand The Mill.
This move will create a single global studio network under the brand name The Mill. It will be chaired by former CEO of The Mill, Josh Mandel, who will take on the new position as head of advertising at Technicolor Creative Studios, based in Los Angeles. Mark Benson, CEO of MPC Advertising, will take over as Executive Vice President, to lead the global visual effects business.
“What we’ve seen in terms of both our agency partners and brands is that they want us to be bigger and more inclusive,” Mandel told Ad Age.
He added that the new entity would offer clients and agency partners a global scale while giving The Mill “the ability to compete locally at the boutique scale.” It will also be able to offer a broader experience especially in growing fields such as real – time game engines, extended reality, spatial experience and creation for the metaverse.
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“Over the past four or five months, there has been an expansion of conversations about the metaverse, virtual avatars, and virtual representations,” Mandel said. “This is a space that we’ve been quietly developing over the last three or four years. We have a lot of tech brand partners, and given the capabilities we have on the visual effects side and premium visual work, our partners are asking us how far we can push that on some of these platforms. brands to us for trying to figure out, a) how good can I look in a space and b) what spaces do I have to be in?”
The Mill studios located in London, Berlin, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Bangalore will merge with MPC Advertising studios in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Shanghai, New York and Los Angeles. Everything will be renamed The Mill. The company is also opening a new studio in Seoul, Korea, in February.
Mandel said the new structure will also mean that advertisers will also benefit from expanding services and talent, including in design, administrative and pilot work.
“If you are coming to us as an agency or a brand, you will see three very large studios in London, New York and Los Angeles, which will become hubs for the global network, as well as local studios in Europe, the Americas, Asia and hopefully by the end of the year in Latin America.”
The Mill and MPC work with some of the world’s leading advertisers. Recent work by MPC (who was Ad Age VFX of the year in 2021 and 2020) has included a Lego holiday ad, Burberry’s “Festive” and “Open Spaces” ads and Microsoft X-Box’s “Power Your Dreams” starring Daniel Kaluuya. More recently, The Mill’s work includes the 2021 Amazon Super Bowl titled “Alexa’s Body,” HBO’s VR demo work “Lovecraft Country” and the Amazon Prime Video vacation site “Improbable Friendship.”
The move comes as Technicolor organizes its creative studios into four brands, each with a different focus on the industry: The Mill for Advertising, MPC for feature and episodic films, Mikros for animation and Technicolor for gaming.