South Bend Creative Firm, NewGroup Media, Enters an Artistic Field of Dreams

NewGroup Media is doing more than simply landing accounts and placing spots on major TV outlets such as Comedy Central and MTV. The South Bend, Ind., company is spreading a message of ‘possibility’ for local small businesses and entrepreneurs.
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Oct. 25, 2011 - PRLog -- South Bend, IN – NewGroup Media (NGM) could be in the process of putting much-maligned South Bend, Ind., on the map of cutting-edge Art and Design, high fashion, and high-tech gaming innovation. An award-winning creative company specializing in digital media production, NGM has been selected by San Francisco’s prestigious Academy of Art University – the country’s largest privately-funded university of art and design – to produce a series of 33 promotional segments; several of which have already received extensive airplay during Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report.

The Academy of Art University is the largest private university of art and design in the country, with over 18,000 students, and offers majors in progressive fields such as Animation, Architecture, Fashion and Graphic Design. In NGM’s procurement of the account there is – according to NGM partners Christopher Salvador and Larry Bilinski – a lesson to be learned by business owners and corporate leaders in South Bend, many of whom are currently feeling the pinch of the economy and the uneasiness, and lack of confidence, that has been the result of numerous recent episodes in which South Bend has received bad press in the national media.

“To see our work airing behind something as huge as ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’ is really rewarding – as it is to be working with a major art institution from which many of the future art and design leaders of the world will emerge,” said Producer/Director Chris Salvador, a partner at NGM and the creative point-man, director and business-lead on the AAU account. “On another level, we are really proud to be a South Bend company emerging into a national player in its field. I think we all can learn from this; a leading, national art university looked here, to our city of South Bend – out of all the places on the map – for a creative, media solution. There’s a lesson in there…It’s not, ‘If you build it, they will come,’ but, rather, ‘If you build it RIGHT, they will come.’”

NGM – the recipient of numerous awards for productions that have carried the team from the boardrooms of New York to the steel mills of the Midwest to the museums of Istanbul – is producing a total of 36 TV spots for the university, along with five longer promotional videos. The television spots have, to date, received airplay on hugely-popular national outlets such as the aforementioned Comedy Central, along with MTV, MTV2, G4, Syfy Channel and Cartoon Network. In having the chance to produce spots that are national in scope and – thanks to a production team bolstered by NGM partner Doug Thomas (Director of Photography) and Associate Producer Todd Boruff – indicative of NGM’s high-gear approach toward creative quality, NGM partner Larry Bilinski said that the company has indeed entered something of its own artistic ‘Field of Dreams.’

“It is challenging, without a doubt, to be able to work closely, at an artistic level, with an institution that is producing the next wave of art and design experts in professions such as fashion, animation, advertising, Film and TV and game design technology,” said Bilinski, who serves as the Director of Post Production for NGM, and who spent numerous weeks editing the various pieces for AAU. “But you have to challenge yourself. You have to want to work with the best. For a company like ours, which specializes in digital media production, it’s a thrill to be working with such an established and respected institution of art and design. And it’s a thrill to see our work on such major outlets. We deserve to be there; the proof is in the pudding.”

NGM, Salvador said, is also pleased to be involved in yet another substantial project that works to support the aims of higher education. As the majors offered at the Academy of Art University represent emerging professions that are, increasingly, in demand the world over, NGM feels like it is doing its part in the global job-formation process.

“As a creative agency based in South Bend – which is, like most Midwestern cities, struggling economically to provide living-wage jobs for its workforce – we see our work with the Academy of Art University as more than just another account,” explained Salvador. “This is more than just a chance to make a mark, artistically. It’s a chance to support an institute of higher learning that is training the next generation of artistic innovators for the workplace of the 21st century. We know, firsthand –as a creative media company – just how vital this is.”

NGM, which produces national content on a daily basis and has worked with companies all over the globe, fields a production team that spends a great deal of time on the road, executing award-winning digital production projects  for an array of clients. But NGM’s home base, and world headquarters, is its South Bend office building on East Monroe Street – and both Salvador and Bilinski would have that no other way. In fact, both men believe that NGM’s most recent success serves as an example for other South Bend-based businesses trying to develop greater agility by branching out into regional, national, and even global markets.

"South Bend can be a great hub for expanding your business opportunities," Bilinski added.  The beauty of small business in 2011, is that you can be anywhere – and any perceived disadvantages can be overcome.  Technology can really level the playing field. We are here, in South Bend, and we are competing with the top creative media agencies in the world.  I'm amazed, when I think about how we used to have to FedEx video tapes to clients for their feedback. Now, the advent of media files and internet connectivity have drastically changed the game. There is a whole new level of responsiveness for those, like us, who harness technology.  We are now able to post work three or four times a day for client review. By taking the time to understand and implement available technologies, we have truly increased our scope and sharpened our capabilities; to such an extent that we feel we can compete with anyone, anywhere.”

Susan Toland, the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Academy of Art University, seemed to indicate a similar message – of the cream rising to the top – in describing why the university chose NewGroup Media to spearhead its all-encompassing and comprehensive promotional campaign.

“Having worked with NewGroup Media on almost a dozen projects, now, I find they are really astute at understanding our needs and goals, and they consistently produce brilliantly-executed products that meet our marketing and communication needs,” Toland said. “They are willing to go the extra mile and are unfailingly efficient and productive in their approach to projects. With NewGroup Media onboard, I have the confidence that both the production and the final product will be beautifully executed and professionally polished, project after project.”

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About NewGroup Media:
NewGroup Media is a full-service creative communications firm that specializes in documentary work, television programs, television commercials, industrial videos, institutional and training videos, promotions, events and live staging. A full-scale production company that crafts video projects from concept to completion, NGM – based in their own office building overlooking downtown South Bend, Ind. – has produced on location in Asia, Europe, and Latin America and throughout the United States. NGM’s creative team leverages years of all-around experience – along with core strengths in concept development, scripting, staging, production and post-production – in crafting award-winning segments of all kinds; from local television commercials to international documentaries to full length independent films. For more information about NewGroup Media, visit
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