About Unique

WHO ARE WE?

Unique is a new series of video and interactive guides that present a selection of unique, must-visit locations in some of the great cities of the world.

Our Microguides has a distinctively editorial feel and is devoted to those must-visit places that are essential to experiencing each city’s authenticity. Restaurants, cafés, bars, experiences — Unique presents locations that best capture the DNA of each destination.

The Your Microguides application allows you to easily create your own Microguides of the cities you know and love so you can share your favourite spots and discover those of other users.

OUR MICROGUIDES

Unique puts aside well-known tourist attractions, like museums, monuments, churches and ho-hum tours, in order to focus on a selection of must-visit locations — restaurants, cafés, bars and experiences — that reflect the DNA of each great city. Our focus is on the quality of our selections, not the number of locations listed.
There are two ways to access content for each destination:

1) Au Menu
Four three-minute interactive videos.
The interactive videos present themed itineraries — DNA, LUX, BUZ and HIP — that draw you into a virtual tour, allowing them to “live” a day in the city, from dawn to dusk. At key moments in the tour, you can choose to visit one location over another.

2) À la Carte
Approximately 40 locations. Every selected location in a given city is presented à la carte, and you can explore each one’s entry, video and related information (addresses, contact info, links, etc.).

Editorial angle
A location only meets Unique’s criteria if it’s authentic: if it transcends the city’s culture and is recognized by both locals and experts. To keep our location lists “micro,” we’ve favoured establishments that serve local cuisine — cuisine that is unique to each city. That being said, we have occasionally broken away from this guideline to include must-visit locations that serve non local fare, so long as they are truly representative of the city in question.

We also strive to offer lists that equally reflect all four themes developed in the Au Menu section: DNA for absolute musts; LUX for high-end experiences; BUZ for trendier locations; and HIP…well, that one’s self-explanatory. ;-)

The location list for each city is compiled by a team of experts using a variety methods, including cross-referencing a wide range of travel guides, using a variety of local consultants and fixers, networking on social media sites and searching every corner of the Web, from corporate sites and forums to the most obscure of blogs. Essentially, we’ve explored every available channel so that you don’t have to.

Of course, there’s no such thing as a perfect list. We do not pretend to be providing the absolute and definitive list of unique locations in a given city. But we can guarantee a rigorous selection process that gives travellers access to some of the most unique, must-visit locations.

It should also be made clear that our selection committee is completely independent. We do not receive any remuneration or accept compensation of any kind for mentioning the locations that appear in our guides.

YOUR MICROGUIDES

Your Microguides gives you access to useful, easy-to-use tools for sharing your address books.

The idea for Your Microguides came about because friends were always asking us for suggestions regarding New York, Berlin, Paris and other cities. And because there’s a lengthy copy-and-paste process every time you prepare a long list of addresses. And because we constantly see requests for travel advice in Facebook statuses: “Leaving for Barcelona next week. Where do I go?” And because we realized that we all look to our friends first and foremost when planning a trip.

It’s a simple concept: You can easily create, save and share your own Microguides of the world’s great cities. Just choose a destination, and you can then add your favourite places, comments and photos and share your address books.

Your Microguides isn’t only for travellers who have already had the chance to discover these cities; it’s also perfect for anyone who’s about to. Simply use Facebook Connect to see which of your friends have created a microguide of your destination.

MANAGEMENT

Paul Verdy- President and Founder

For over 25 years, Paul has been working in the Quebec communications industry. Having served as a designer, director, co-founder and creative director at Cossette Interactive – and as the founder of e-marketing business, Messagia – you could say that Paul is a bit of a multimedia renaissance man. As we speak, he is hard at work establishing Unique as the benchmark for destination guides.

Philippe Lamarre- Co-Founder

Philippe Lamarre is president of TOXA the creative studio and publisher of URBANIA, a quarterly magazine with an audacious tone and design. Philippe received the Phyllis-Lambert Award from Design Montréal in 2008, as well as title of “Producer of the Year” in 2010 from the Canadian New Media Awards. He also is the president of the Société des designers graphiques du Québec (SDGQ).

OUR VISION

It’s become fairly obvious that the Web, tablets, and smartphones are bringing about a real mutation in the world of travel. It’s affected how we find inspiration and how we explore, book, visit, and share. That said, there’s still a lot of work to be done to ensure that the nomads that we’ve become have access to content and tools that are truly adapted to our new reality.

Unique wants to reinvent the destination guide.

We’re a start-up. We may not have a lot of preconceived notions but we’re not short on vision either. Here it is:

Our microguides are all about a multimedia experience – filled to the brim with video, and pretty things you can click on – as well as encounters which will literally bring addresses to life and give voice to an array of craftsmen, chefs, restaurateurs, waiters, and “places”.

Our microguides are expressly created for computers, tablets, and “iPhones” – (full disclosure: we’re real Apple fanboys here…)

Our microguides will be a real jolt to the system: an overload of style and characters (140 max. @unique_guides), a pinch of attitude, and about a million moving pixels conspiring to charm your pants off.

Finally, our microguides will be “Your Microguides”. We will churn out – with your input – simple, powerful tools which will allow you to easily create and share your faves with your friends and your networks – we really “Like” Facebook Connect.

Oh,“and one last thing” (from The Holy Book of Jobs): our microguides will be also free. Yup, “free” free.

New formats, new formulas. We believe that the potent hybrid between sharp content put together by a stellar editorial team, and content that’s generated by you, the savvy community, will make this whole endeavour pretty damn… Unique.

You’ll let us know… ;-)

TEAM

A Unique Microguides production

Creator : Paul Verdy

Producers: Paul Verdy- Philippe Lamarre

Designed by Toxa

Director: Mathieu Vachon

Associate producer : Raphaelle Huysmans
Line producer, interactive: Julie Beauchemin
Production manager: Vivian Ramos Siancas
Line producer, video: Claudie Bouchard
General manager: Estelle Lai
Accountant: Adeline Maître

Art director: Martin Laliberté
Interactive designer: Jean-Yves Perrodin/ Julien Perrier
Graphic artist : Julien Lauzon
Motion artist: Samuel Jacques

Camera: Jean-Sébastien Desrosiers Gabriel Brault-Tardif Julien Fontaine

Post-production manager: Olivier Barthomeuf
Editor: Maxime Dumont
Assistant-editor: Olivier Barthomeuf

Head Researcher: Gary Lawrence
Copywriter: Pascal Henrard
Translation: Semantikos

Researchers and advisors:

Brussels: Sabine Grégoire, Pascal Henrard
London: Elizabeth Winding, Patrick Welch
Madrid: Alicia Fierro Clavero
Paris: Stéphanie Curtis, Alex Lobrano, Élodie Berta
Rome: Armando Manni, Marielle Lacroix
Toronto: Mathieu Chantelois

Original Soundtrack :

XS, La Petite Boite à Musique
Montreal, Toronto, London : Jean-Phi Goncalves
Rome, Paris : Philippe Brault
Bruxelles : Alex Mc Mahon

Voice-over: Catherine De Léan (fr.)- Sara Bradeen (en.)

Mix: Audiozone

Production coordinators:

Brussels: Sabine Grégoire
Madrid: Alicia Fierro Clavero
Paris: Adrien Charignon
Rome: Valeria Iannozzi
Toronto: Isabella Sallas
London: Maude Éthier-Boutet

Technical team: Turbulent
Executive Producer: Marc Beaudet
Technical director: Benoit Beauséjour
Project manager: Vicki Dubois
Programming: Patrice Fortin & Frédéric Dénommé
Integrator: Eli Penner
Flash: Kim Reeves
Vidéo: Alex Leduc
Network administrator: Alexandre Mallais

Produced with the financial participation of the Canada Media Fund – In collaboration with Sympatico.ca

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© Unique Microguides, 2012 - Made possible through a financial contribution from A production

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