Industry Profile: Vidico co-founder and creative director Michael Pirone

7 January 2020

Our Industry Profile takes a look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry.

This week we speak to Vidico co-founder and creative director Michael Pirone.

Time at the company:
Four years.

How would you describe what the company does?
Vidico is an award-winning video production company that produces high-performing video content for fast-growing startups, and tech companies like Square, Uber and Amazon. In Australia, we’re best known for our work with Koala (the hilarious mattress company ads you see on television and Instagram).

What do you do day-to-day?
Companies working on complex products find it challenging to communicate their message to audiences at large. I work with a truly talented team at Vidico in coming up with pitch-perfect video narratives.

Define your job in one word:
Electric.

I got into production because:
My two main passions are: storytelling through video, and the world of tech startups. Turns out that those two passions really go hand-in-hand.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
Working at Vidico is like being in a time-machine. We get amazing previews into the most groundbreaking tech in the market, though coming up with messaging that has little in the way of inspiration means we’re under pressure to be highly original, all the time.

What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?
More pressure on the universities to implement stricter curriculums around time spent in programs like AfterEffects and Illustrator. There isn’t enough being done to prep graduates for prime time, which as forced us to engage with overseas talent that have simply received a better education when it comes to video production and animation.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:
I went from university to co-founding Vidico with my brother, Evan Pirone.

Notable campaigns you have worked on:
Vidico has generated over 1.1 billion views in the last twelve months, with ads for Koala (The Koala Story), Square (Square Terminal - The New Way to Get Paid) and Reckon (Accounting Software for Busy People).

Who has been a great mentor to you and why?
My dad, Mario Pirone — even though his career has been in insurance, he is an excellent leader who people listen to, and has a solid playbook for managing people (whether he likes to admit this or not).

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?
Make content for companies working on hard things.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:
Working on another tech startup.

My mantra is:
“If it doesn’t feel hard, you’re probably doing it wrong.” I came up with it, and it works to motivate me and push me to do better each week. I don’t think it’s a good thing to get comfortable in your career if you’re under the age of 50.

My favourite advert is:
Nike SB — Today Was A Good Day

It captures the spirit of skate culture perfectly, and is very well timed. Besides being great, I am also most certain this helped sell a tonne of Nike product.

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to? 
I go between pretty firm techno, and softer piano playlists used for study.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I do actually relax. But my relaxing is usually in making things; designing, writing, researching and playing piano.

In five years' time I'll be:
This current role at Vidico has given me the fortunate position of viewing hundreds, if not thousands of different business models and technologies which are on the cusp of innovation in their respective fields. I have learned a lot in this time, so by 33-years old, I would hope to be: working on something related to video, that solves a problem experienced by a lot of people around the world.

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