Beyond the Wow Factor: Storytelling and Virtual Reality

Internet Week NY – Hosted by Ruder Finn

Norm appears on panel alongside incredible visionaries….

Join us & Ruder Finn, Inc. this Wednesday at this exclusive ‪#‎VR‬ event as part of ‪#‎IWNY‬. Our CEO will be on a panel with representatives from The New York Times (Sebastian Tomich) & Nokia (Norm Levy), Koncept VR (Joergen Geerds) and Futurism (Luke Kingma).

Experts agree: virtual reality will completely transform how we interact with each other and experience the unexpected. As we all grapple with how to take advantage of this new technology, representatives from Ruder Finn, The New York Times, Nokia and other thought leaders will walk you through how brands can best leverage VR to build experiences and showcase hands-on examples of VR campaigns. Ruder Finn, the agency who helped live-stream the first ever rock concert in VR, will host this session in their future headquarters in mid-town east.


  • Panelist Background Information 

Scott Schneider, Chief Digital Officer, Ruder Finn (Moderator)

Scott is the Chief Digital Officer of Ruder Finn, overseeing the agency’s digital innovation strategy for major clients and programs. With over 16 years of award-winning experience in the digital industry, he spearheads the digital growth of Ruder Finn and its full-service in-house digital shop, RFI Studios. Together with his team, Scott has worked on innovative digital platforms for client partners like Nokia, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, Tivo, Citi, Amgen, Pepsi Co., The Michael J. Fox Foundation, Samsung, Home Depot, MetLife and L’Oreal and the NAACP. In the last several years, Scott has been instrumental in leading RFI Studios into the next frontier, bringing a strong focus on user experience, experiential activation development, bots, VR and the Internet of Things. Prior to his tenure at Ruder Finn, Scott worked as Senior Producer at R/GA.


Sebastian Tomich, Senior Vice President, Advertising and Innovation, The New York Times

Sebastian Tomich serves as Senior Vice President, Advertising and Innovation for The New York Times. In this role, Tomich leads The Times’ “T Brand Studio” — a team that creates and distributes native advertising for brands and steers the company’s advertising innovation efforts. Since its launch in November 2015, the T Brand Studio has been the leader in virtual reality journalism, distributing more than 1 million Google Cardboard viewers to subscribers and debuting a VR viewer app that became the most successful product launch in Times history. Tomich also oversees a number of The Times’ national integrated sales teams across the US.

Before joining The Times, Tomich was the director of East Coast advertising at Forbes Media. He was named to Advertising Age’s “Creative 50” list in 2014.


Norm Levy, Sales Support Engineer, Nokia

Norm Levy is a live stream and cinematic VR expert who recently joined Nokia to support the continued rollout of the OZO, the first professional-grade virtual reality camera. Prior to his role at Nokia, Norm served as CEO of ShoutOmatic, a voice overlay platform, which allows voices to be heard across social networks, web sites, blogs and TV screens. He also founded Media Street, where he helped to develop the world’s first printing solutions that allow ink to last beyond 100 years before noticeable fading or color shift, as well as the world’s largest wide-format printers. Additional prominent projects created by Norm include the first of its kind “web-based” digital photo frame solution, “LifeGoRound,” and “Beyond.FM,” a music content portal where consumers buy music, videos and photos directly from performing artists.


Joergen Geerds, CEO, Koncept VR / Freedom360

With a background in art, film-making, photography and art direction, Joergen Geerds has been a key driver in the cinematic VR space for the past 5 years. The original inventor of the modern fully spherical video camera array, 360Rig, Joergen’s understanding of technology allows him to push the language of VR filmmaking with well thought out compositions and dynamic movements for commercial clients around the world. Before entering the VR space, Joergen served in various Senior Art Director roles for Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, Digitas, Ogilvy and Wunderman.

Luke Kingma, Director of Content, Futurism

Luke leads content strategy and production at, one of the web’s fastest growing digital publications. Futurism reports on the technology trends that are shaping our future—artificial intelligence, aerospace, 3D printing, robotics, renewable energy, and bioengineering, to name a few. Most recently he oversaw the launch of Virtuality, now the largest virtual and augmented reality community on Facebook. Prior to Futurism, Luke spent three years working with Gary Vaynerchuk at Vaynermedia, where he led creative teams in the company’s Los Angeles office.

New York Raises Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour Over Next Several Years

Governor Cuomo Signs $15 Minimum Wage Plan and 12 Week Paid Family Leave Policy into Law

Increases to Begin by End of 2016

Under new legislation, the New York minimum wage is generally expected to rise as follows:

  • For workers in New York City employed by large businesses (those with at least 11 employees), the minimum wage is expected to rise to $11 at the end of 2016, then another $2 each year after, reaching $15 on December 31, 2018.
  • For workers in New York City employed by small businesses (those with 10 employees or fewer), the minimum wage is expected to rise to $10.50 by the end of 2016, then another $1.50 each year after, reaching $15 on December 31, 2019.
  • For workers in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, the minimum wage is expected to increase to $10 at the end of 2016, then $1 each year after, reaching $15 onDecember 31, 2021.
  • For workers in the rest of New York State, the minimum wage is expected to increase to$9.70 at the end of 2016, then another $0.70 each year after until reaching $12.50 onDecember 31, 2020—after which it will continue to increase to $15 on an indexed schedule.

Excited to Announce 3 New Record Label Activations This Week!







Continuing the incredible momentum and successes of my powerful social phone technology, I am thrilled to announce 3 new Artist activations this week with Sony RCA, Atlantic Records and Velvet Hammer.

Stay tuned for the exciting campaign details for each!

ShoutOmatic’s “Social Media Phone Number” technology is helping to make a tremendous impact for Artists with increased exposure, fan engagement, sales and data acquisition.  Conversion rates range from a staggering 45 to 96%.

Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz uses Norm’s Technology to Promote CruzCrew App

Presidential hopeful, Senator Ted Cruz, uses Shout Hotline technology to Dummy-Proof the method to get his CruzCrew App download link delivered directly to his supporters hands.. literally.

When supporters call the Ted Cruz Hotline they hear a special message from the Senator.  After they hang up they receive a message from the Senator’s number thanking them for the call and with a link to download his CruzCrew App.

“It will take a new generation of courageous conservatives to reignite the promise of America, restore our Constitution, and bring back morning in America, but I’m confident that with your help, we can do it together. Download the app to join our grassroots movement.”