Palio Communications is the biggest, baddest, meanest advertising agency in the land, and they live right on broadway in Saratoga Springs. The building is beautiful, the insides are extraordinary, and they employ over 100 talented people. Palio must be one of the largest employers in the city.
It was started by a gentleman named Ed Mitzen sometime in the middle of the nineties – Ed has since left the company. The name is based on a horse race in Italy, which is clever. Many of the original members are still there, but I have no idea who is really in charge anymore. InVentiv is now the parent company and folded it into a powerhouse consortium of marketing firms throughout the country. But I do have to ask why do they have an amoeba in their logo?
Palio began by importing some New York City expertise from large ad agencies. They became successful quite quickly, and imported and hired much of the talent in Saratoga and Surrounding areas. It was and still is a boom for the creative types who need to make a living. The word on the street they work every ounce of that money out of each employee. It is not an easy place to have a personal life, but it must be exciting.
Palio does not do a lot of local work, they have a lot of mouths to feed, they hunt for big fish. On their website they have a few local clients that I will focus on.
The Times Union Actually hired Palio for a while. I believe that is was for their TU Jobs insert and Freebie. It slips my mind exactly when they did campaign, but I’ll guess it was five years ago. Before Craig’s List came out and stole that entire market. The print ads seemed fairly common place, but Palio specializes in getting people to remember things, and it was a broad campaign that was consistent in each phase of the delivery.
The TV commercial was produced by Palio, but I don’t know who the film company was that actually created it. No matter how hard they tried, it still had that local feel about it. I don’t know if it was the voiceover speaker, who seems to be on every ad made in the Capital Region, but it didn’t ring national campaign to me.
Saratoga Springs Shakespeare in the Park is a free project that Palio can let their hair down and be creative. I’m sure they write up a brief, create a strategy to project the program into the audience, and a design elements that reach the essence of the acting troup. In the end we get a poster each year, a very nice poster.
Palio is not the kind of design studio that you just walk into and ask for a logo. Mercy! I don’t even know what they would say – probably nothing for less than twenty thousand dollars. Palio Makes the list merely because they are in Saratoga Springs, not because they do much design in Saratoga Springs. They bring jobs and creative people to Saratoga Springs, while employing many more that already live here. Their work cannot be judged in the same way that you can judge other local work because the audiences are so much larger than most local clients. They tend to have a generic yet professional feel that no one else in the area can afford to produce.