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Ool Digital expands to North America

We are thrilled to announce that OOL Digital, our esteemed creative studio partner in Mexico, is extending its services across North America.

In this interview, we have the opportunity to speak with Dan Weissman, Executive Producer & Head of US Sales for Óol Digital. With a background spanning from collaborations with notable artists and extensive experience in the production industry, Dan provides valuable insights into Óol Digital’s journey.

This article explores the core values and trajectory of Óol Digital, focusing on its emergence as a prominent player in animation and tabletop production. Dan sheds light on Óol Digital’s culture, its approach to sustainability and diversity, and the challenges and opportunities shaping the advertising landscape in 2024. It promises to be an insightful conversation with a seasoned industry professional.

What path led you into the business – and after that to Óol Digital?

My journey into the business was quite organic. I was very fortunate having a father working in the industry and supportive of my interests and pursuit to learn and grow.As a kid, I was always running around sets and soaking up the atmosphere. I pursued studies in film and studio production, and after university, I made my way to New York City.

My father, having his own experience in the industry, gave me the best advice as I started my freelancing career. He emphasized the importance of relationships and networking over the paycheck.

Initially, I found myself working in the high-octane world of big-budget hip-hop video productions, workin on set with names like Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Kanye West. However my interests evolved as did the industry, leading me into the commercial realm with companies like Radical Media and Anonymous Content. Eventually, I transitioned into network production, specifically within the on-air promo department at MTV.

In 2015, I made the move to AMC Networks, specifically producing for IFC, the comedy arm of the network. During my tenure, my role expanded to include BBC America and other network verticals, managing content for a diverse range of audiences across five different channels. During my time at AMC, I spearheaded the Content Room initiative, where we worked closely with both agencies and clients to produce custom-branded content.

In 2021 I was brought on to build, lead and scale Shutterstock’s newest custom division on a global scale, Shutterstock Studios. It was during this period that I crossed paths with Alvaro from Óol Digital. We collaborated on a few projects, and I was struck by their professionalism and talent.

In November 2023, I officially joined Ool Digital, spearheading the companies North America expansion, poised to hit the market strategically and effectively at the start of 2024. 

What characterizes OOL in your opinion?// What are the advantages Óol Digital can propose in comparison to real tabletop productions?

Óol Digital stands out to me for its efficiency and specialized services. While there are numerous production companies out there, Óol Digital distinguishes itself with its focus on animation—whether it's 3D, 2D, or CGI tabletop. Our expertise in these areas allows us to deliver high-quality work efficiently, catering to the specific needs of clients in a way that traditional tabletop productions might struggle to match.

When comparing Óol Digital to traditional tabletop productions, the advantages are clear. With digital techniques, Óol can offer greater flexibility, quicker turnaround times, and often more cost-effective solutions. Additionally, our mastery of animation opens up creative possibilities that may be challenging or impossible to achieve with real-world tabletop setups.

What is your niche? Is there something that sets you apart from other companies?

At its core, Óol Digital excels in its specialty services, leveraging the unique advantages of the Mexican economy. With top-tier talent available at reduced cost compared to regions like the US or Europe, Óol can offer the same caliber of work at significantly lower rates—typically 30 % less compared to other creative animation studios.

This cost efficiency, coupled with a diverse range of services spanning animation and cgi tabletop, into virtual and traditional production executions, positions Óol as a formidable player in the market, capable of delivering exceptional results while maximizing value for clients.


How would you describe the company culture at Óol Digital?

The company culture at Óol Digital is one of pride and positivity. Employees are proud to be part of the team, driven by a shared commitment to excellence. We foster a culture that is deeply solution-oriented, where challenges are met with creativity and collaboration, ensuring that we consistently deliver outstanding results for our clients.


Who is the team behind Óol Digital?

The team behind Óol Digital is a dynamic blend of creative, engineering, and production experts, each bringing their unique talents to the table.  Additionally, our operational infrastructure is designed with flexibility in mind, allowing us to seamlessly integrate partnered services enabling us to deliver comprehensive solutions that meet the diverse needs of our clients.

What were your biggest projects so far? Tell us something about them.

Some of our most notable projects at Óol Digital have involved collaborations with industry giants like Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, and Unilever. Among these, working with Pepsi stands out as a particularly rewarding experience. Additionally, we've had the pleasure of partnering with iconic brands like Bimbo, Burger King, and Nestlé ( including projects with their chocolate divisions at our core). These partnerships have allowed us to showcase our creativity and technical prowess while delivering impactful content that resonates with audiences worldwide.


How do you see the future of Óol Digital?

I see a bright future ahead for Óol Digital, especially in 2024. We anticipate significant growth, both in terms of our team size and our capabilities. With a focus on expanding our expertise in 3D animation and tabletop productions, traditionally costly endeavors for our clients, we aim to disrupt the market by offering these services at more accessible price points. By leveraging our efficient processes and top-tier talents, we're poised to become leaders in the industry, providing innovative solutions that exceed client expectations while remaining cost-effective.

How does Óol Digital address sustainability, diversity, and inclusion internally?

At Óol Digital, sustainability and diversity are integral parts of our internal culture and operations. As a Latin America-based company, diversity is naturally ingrained within our team, with a balanced representation of male and female employees. Many of our team members hail from various regions across Mexico, contributing to a rich tapestry of perspectives and experiences. Personally, as one of the few non-Latin individuals on the team, I embrace and celebrate the diversity of backgrounds and nationalities among my colleagues. We prioritize creating an inclusive environment where everyone's voice is heard and valued, fostering creativity and innovation through our differences. Additionally, we are committed to sustainable practices, striving to minimize our environmental footprint and contribute positively to the communities we serve.


What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the advertising industry in 2024?

In 2024, the advertising industry faces a multitude of challenges. One significant obstacle is the shifting landscape of priorities, with traditional approaches to advertising becoming increasingly obsolete. As platforms evolve and consumer behaviors change, advertisers must adapt their strategies to remain relevant. Moreover, there's the constant pressure to maintain the same level of execution with significantly reduced budgets, as clients demand more for less. Balancing these expectations while navigating logistical complexities adds another layer of difficulty. It is exactly here at this crossroads where many companies struggle to maintain, while Ool Digital flourishes and blossoms illuminating our talents and creative effectiveness.  Overall, the key challenge lies in effectively navigating these changes while delivering impactful campaigns that resonate with audiences amidst heightened competition and rising client expectations.


Do you want to add anything important for you?

Absolutely, I'd like to emphasize the importance of Óol Digital's role in nurturing and growing the creative culture not only within our company but also within the city of Guadalajara. Guadalajara is to Mexico City what Amsterdam is to London. Artists naturally gravitate here and in turn, thrive. What sets us apart is our unique approach—we're not afraid to be a little different, and that's what truly distinguishes us. Through initiatives like creating the “Óol Digital Creative Hub”, we have the opportunity to further drive collaboration with our partners and creative extensions such as Mango Films, FFFrame and Semillero Studios.We're at the forefront of innovation, pushing boundaries, and delivering unparalleled creative solutions to our clients around the world.

Learn more about OOL