With global giants such as Microsoft as long-time partners and collaborators, Seattle-based worldwide creative agency OLV excels in innovative customer-led experience - something many business leaders have recognised as the next way to engage millennial and Gen Z customers.
Experiences create a bigger emotional connection and therefore drive greater brand loyalty, but they can be the most ambitious way to achieve this, requiring brands to develop and apply innovative technologies that help cut through the noise and impress consumers. That’s where OLV steps in, to assist with ambitious ventures.
Visualisation from the Very Beginning
Brands begin the collaboration process with OLV at the onset, drawing upon the team’s artistic concepts to help shape their ideas. CEO and partner, Michael Christopher says: “We work with a brand’s design team remotely through our channels so that everyone can view how a store is going to look within the platform we’ve created, no matter where they are in the world. Our technology is implemented across businesses to bring everyone together and create a sustainable way of working. This also makes our process faster, more cost effective and more efficient than others. Our tools are not only designed for visualisation but for continued maintenance of a brand’s store. As they evolve and change, we can easily visualize new concepts for them through our platform.”
OLV are currently building an online platform for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help them implement machine learning algorithms for global health applications and are also building video wall content and VR experiences for the Woodland Park Zoo - Thrive annual fundraiser gala.
At the Forefront of Technology
Looking at the vast scale of their work, trying to define OLV is something of a conundrum. On the surface it appears that they are a VFX and content production company who also make software. However, that would be an oversimplification of the value they provide their partners. Perhaps to understand the true scope of OLV’s ability, you could think of them as unbound by traditional industry labels. They bring into existence tools that have never existed before and deliver large-scale solutions for companies as if they were their own.
To answer the increasing demand for personalisation and online retail, OLV have developed a 3D Commerce Configuration platform that allows website visitors to customise, accurately visualise and purchase their own unique products. The American sporting goods company Rawlings has embraced this platform for all of their custom products including baseball, softball and football uniforms as well as the official helmet and glove of Major League Baseball. Once customised and paid, products get sent directly to manufacture, ensuring accuracy and increased client satisfaction. With their ability to create bespoke technology, OLV have provided a much more efficient and streamlined business solution for the Rawlings’ and many others.
To help visualise custom content in physical contexts, OLV have helped various clients to turn their existing spaces or architectural models into dynamic 3D and VR experience. This platform is used by Seattle Seahawks to evaluate the impact of large-scale advertisements in their stadium at Centurylink Field, and Microsoft to help future campaign launch planning.
OLV is also a trusted partner of Cranfield University, one of the premiere PhD universities based in Bedford, UK. Working with their Centre for Competitive Creative Design, OLV is collaborating with the university to advance the fields of machine learning, AI, AR and XR. They are also sponsoring PhD students to help them pioneer the next generation of tech.
When you consider the team at OLV, it becomes clearer as to why they hold the power to solve even the most obscure challenges - they each possess decades of expertise across the industry spectrum ranging from creative, film, sports and development, experiential reality, visualisation, business execution, machine learning and beyond. They are digital transformative chameleons.
Michael, also affectionately known as ‘the disco ball’ comes from a traditional media and film background but has specialist experience in motion control and building robotic systems for e-commerce purposes. He says: “I realised what a great space it was, no one owned it yet. I started OLV with my wife, Dalia, who originally came from a career background running a pharmaceutical company in Latvia. With her business and legal background, she’s the one who pushed me to pursue OLV as she could really see its potential from an early stage. She’s the organizational brain behind us, blended with my creative background.”
Dan Benson, global creative director, has foundations in Hollywood, having directed and marketed movie trailers for over thirteen years. He went on to join Microsoft in Seattle, working on interactive experiences from video walls to flagship stores and that’s where he came into contact with OLV.
“I really believed in OLV’s vision so when Michael asked me to join the team, it was a perfect fit,” he says. “I love that we can do anything. Nothing is impossible. From machine learning to visualization and XR, I have no qualms about pitching anything to a client because I know that with our super talented team, we can pull it off.”
Global studios director, Jaime Palmer’s diverse background and experience in global leadership has provided a foundation for company growth. “I’m fascinated with next generation technology and like Dan, met OLV through some pivotal projects I worked on for Microsoft. At OLV I’m able to draw upon my broad range of experience within operations, entrepreneurship, business development, experience design and film/VFX production.”
With offices in Seattle, Latvia, Lithuania and London, the global team collaborate remotely through their built-in systems, allowing OLV’s ‘digital nomads’ to enjoy a flexible life wherever they choose to be in the world. Powered by technology, the company is focusing its growth on client services and products built for digital distribution.
As consumers continue to demand more from brands, it seems unbound innovation is what many will be hunting down. A company for which nothing is impossible, OLV are clearly proving to be a big contender within the creative field - right at the forefront of innovation, technology and digital creativity.