Mehul Mahicha is an Animation Film Director, Producer, and Co-founder at Vivi5 Studios. He is an exceptional film designer in the business of storytelling. Along with his partner, Co-Director Rita Dhankani, the duo aims to help growing brands reach their true potential by connecting them with their audiences, through engaging-impactful film communications!
The Initial Journey
Animation is something that interested Mehul since childhood. It was magnified after his post-graduation in Animation Film Design from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad in 2002. He started working in the industry as an Animation Director and worked as a Content Creator for Kids’ Channels in India. During this period, he also worked under some illustrious mentors like Sir. Rammohan at Graffiti Multimedia, Prakash Moorthy at Miditech, and Eeks Suresh at Famous Studios.
In 2009, he started his journey as an entrepreneur Co-Founding “Vivi5 Studios” with fellow NIDian & partner, Rita Dhankani. And in the past 14 years, they have partnered with some of the renowned Advertising Agencies, Corporate houses, Startups, and NGOs; in the country and across four continents.
Unicef India, UNDP, Ashok Leyland, Dentsu Webchutney, McCann, Leo Burnett, DDB Mudra, Tata Sky, Tata Elxsi, SBI Card, Amazon India, DataShurbs, Razorpay, are some of their esteemed clients over these years.
Mentoring is Mehul’s second love after filmmaking and he is ever ready to guide his team at Vivi5 Studios, film students, and aspiring designers in this domain. He is also an External Advisory Board Member for MIT Design Institute, Pune, and a frequent External Jury member at Srishti School of Design.
About Vivi5 Studios
Think, design, create, and connect to bring impact!
Vivi5 Studios is an award-winning one-stop Film Content and Design Agency building stellar Brand Stories for growing businesses.
“When I say stellar brand video content, I mean we do what it takes to grab your audience’s attention, make them pause and hear what you have to say, and ultimately take action to bring you results. How do we do that? By blending storytelling mediums, and design thinking,” states Mehul.
Both Mehul and Rita, come from multidisciplinary backgrounds such as animation, film, art, design, advertising & film-making. And as avid design thinkers and mentors, they make sure they cultivate the same in their teams and help them develop as design thinkers first and then as designers or animators. They nurture a creative team to cater to varied sectors but also multiply the studio’s expertise as a multidisciplinary film and design agency.
Apart from a good quality product/service, every growing business needs a good story to communicate its ‘brand’ value to the customers. Vivi5 Studios help them to do so by designing and developing unique custom-made engaging stories to build up this brand awareness amongst their users for greater returns.
Their USP is a varied story-telling palette such as 2D & 3D Animation, Stop Motion, Motion Graphics, and live action. In short, they do what it takes to help their clients sell better when it comes to creating promotional and awareness films in the most effective ways across varied platforms and geographies.
Their main offers include Content creation from Concept to Screen, Brand Identity, Advertising Films, Brand Films, Corporate Videos, Promotional Films, Explainer videos, Education Films, and Brand Design Consultancy; for both Broadcast, Digital Platforms and at times for print media, as well.
As brand communication experts, their job is to get an in-depth understanding of the brand/client, their requirements, and their target audiences; and bring them the right kind of film and design solutions.
Mehul is proud to share that his partnerships with clients are for the longer run, and his client’s success is his success “What helps us create unique solutions is our design thinking process. It is the magic mantra to building success stories for our clients,” adds Mehul.
Wall of Achievement
- FOXGLOVE Awards 2022 – Best use of Animation for PSA ‘BHOOK’ The Hunger
- ANN Awards 2022 – Best use of Animation for PSA ‘BHOOK’ The Hunger
- FOXGLOVE Awards 2020 – Best CSR Film for ‘HAPPY EARTH DAY
- FICCI Award 2017 – Best Animation Ad for Y K ORGANICS MYNTRA, INDIA
- FICCI Awards 2016 – Best Animation Film (nomination) For ‘Wahga Time’ I Khalifa University, UAE
- TASI Awards 2015 – Best Animation Film (nomination) for Right to Education I UNICEF, India
Cherishing a Collective Growth-Driven Environment
One thing that keeps team Vivi5 going is their common love for storytelling for brands. The company works for diversified industry verticals such as Automobile, Fintech, Healthtech, Lifestyle, E-Commerce, Fashion, FMCG, Health, E-learning, Telecom, Electronics, Consumer Products, Banking, etc. Their primary aim is to create content that touches the hearts and ignites the minds, of all their stakeholders.
Vivi5 Studio’s vision is to empower collective growth for all its Stakeholders: Clients, Teams, and companies. That’s their 3-win formula.
The Studio believes in collective growth and that’s what keeps Mehul motivated. His studio provides consistent in-depth design knowledge, why-s & how-s, and practical experience while unparallel scope on upgrading creative skills for its employees through day-to-day learning and knowledge sharing that is at par with any international design institute.
Current Market Trends
Today’s content has become more user-specific. It’s not simply limited to one celebrity using a product that influences many buyers. Rather it’s the buyer, who is now a celebrity influencing the sales. Personalised content has taken over center stage as there has been a remarkable sales increase of 20% when brands nurture individual customer relationships. Nearly 92% of the buyers trust individual recommendations.
- Influencer marketing is the most evident trend and has grown multifold, especially during the lockdown. B2C and D2C communications seem to have a great scope when it comes to content creation and business generation. It is in fact, responsible for the fast-growing technology solutions that are equally influencing marketing and advertising strategies. When one sees nearly 4000+ apps being created every day globally, one knows it’s an internet swaraj.
- Reels are on fire. It’s one trend that every brand is leveraging. Unscripted or scripted, polished or crude; these reels are welcomed by audiences who are content creators or are aspiring to be one. Live videos are helping brands attract leads, get rich customer data, and generate new businesses, and most stay future-ready.
- Interactive storytelling content is yet another promising format that works well for the current shorter-attention-span criteria for effective communication. More and more brands are building interactive and immersive storytelling content, as they don’t want to lose their audiences amidst many brand promotions, where each is working on bringing more impressions with every post. Brands are moving to bring an immersive storytelling experience.
“If you observe any of the content today, it’s within the first 2 to 3 secs of the video you see the CTA appear to hold the viewer’s attention from clicking the ‘skip ad’ option. Hence, businesses are moving towards more engaging and immersive storytelling narratives now more than ever,” states Mehul.
All in all, it’s a chain effect. With a focus on personalised advertising, there’s a change in the way content is being designed, optimized, and showcased. Storytelling for brands is changing to a concise format to engage the audiences of today, in the quickest way possible.
Getting Future Ready
Vivi5 Studios aspires to assist more and more businesses on their potential growth path through its expertise. “Storytelling has always been as immersive but translating it into a physical space experience is something we are aiming to do,”– explains Mehul. The company is currently in talks with brands to collaborate where its designers, animators, and visualizers can work with programmers, engineers, and data specialists to come up with immersive storytelling solutions for its clients and audiences. With a symbiotic association as such in the upcoming times, Vivi5 Studios aims to expand its horizons and reach a wider audience base.
“As a creative content agency, we will always face new challenges while keeping up with the latest trends in the marketing and advertising industry. We also need to bring more awareness of the importance of capitalising on immersive storytelling video content to growing businesses. And how can they make the most in their social media and the digital marketing campaigns to enhance their brand positioning and generate more value.”– says Mehul.
To bring this awareness, Vivi5 Studios is actively talking about creative storytelling and its need for the hour, through its publications on LinkedIn Vivi5 posts.
They are also developing IPs to help create effective yet affordable video content for brands, who want to engage with their users on regular bases but find it tough to test the waters at a cost that is way beyond their marketing budgets.
A Promising Time
“As we move from the Internet of Things (IOT) to the Internet of Place (IOP)and the Internet of Ownership (IOO), we foresee a paradigm shift in all sectors. Metaverse and Web3 will transform every aspect of the business narratives. Challenge it that it’s going to change how you interact with customers, how we work, products and services we offer, how we make and distribute them, how we run and operate our business/es, everything in-between and beyond.”
Vivi5 Studios is excited to take up this new challenge as it is working towards building content that will be easily adaptable to this versatile, evolving, expanding continuum. Being a multidisciplinary creative agency that is known for creating excellent content in the past amongst its partners, and where information can seamlessly be transformed from 2D to 3D to Live action, Mehul is sure that Vivi5 Studios is ready as it already has the expertise and tools to hone the upcoming new trends of communication of the future.
As an executive director of the studio that offers creative content, design, direction, and production, Mehul aims to explore new ways to ‘immersive storytelling’ in the Metaverse that will shape the future of content in the coming years.
Words of Wisdom
“These are exciting times for all of us as we see 5G on a rollout in India, leading Metaverse & Web3 to come into play. There will certainly be more competition and more challenges, and we all will be part of it. But in the end, a good-story will always be at the core of it all. And it will be our focus, all the time.” – Mehul.