PRODUCER || HEARTMATH & MINDFULNESS COACH
MOST RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Merchant’s work as an award-winning producer is distinctive in the advertising world, because he strives to bring an awareness of Heart connection and Present Moment Awareness to the production process and each personal interaction.
A Licensed HeartMath® Coach, Daryll helps Creative Professionals, Producers and Business Leaders access the power of their Heart’s Intelligence to reduce stress, increase productivity & improve their Lives. The result – incredibly innovative and meaningful work without the requisite angst that is so normally a part of working at the highest levels.
When he was first approached in 2015 by JWT, ATL to produce the Pennzoil “Joyride” campaign. Merchant knew that the intense production and complex project would allow him to employ his Heart-centered production leadership on a global scale. “Joyride” is currently Pennzoil’s greatest advertising success story. The Joyride series to date has increased the brand's web site traffic from a weekly avg. of 2,749 unique visitors to over 13,290 unique visitors. With $20M in free media coverage, and 40.5 million+ views, the films have generated over 500K direct online consumer engagements as well as more than 45K comments by consumers.
Merchant was distinguished as the producer of the third-place finisher out of nearly 6,000 entrants in the 2011 “Doritos-PepsiMAX Crash the Super Bowl Contest.” His entry, “House Sitting,” struck a chord with Super Bowl XLV’s estimated 111 million TV viewers, coming in third according to the ACE Metrix. This win earned him and his team a $425,000 prize as one of the top three airings according to the USA Today Ad Meter, garnering 91% in the FOX Super Bowl ratings for the most views, best ratings, and the most “good” category votes from viewers.
Whether on a frozen lake in Kananaskis, northern Canada producing Pennzoil, or in a tiny apartment shooting “Crash the Super Bowl” Merchant always applies his Heart Math Coaching skillset to facilitate a healthy, communicative production flow.
Pennzoil and “Crash the Super Bowl’s” success came on the heels of Merchant’s 2010 tenure as executive producer of experiential marketing for Deutsch, Inc. L.A. where he oversaw experiential creative production for Volkswagen, HTC and Sony PlayStation.
From 2001 to 2008, Merchant served as vice president and head of production for TRUE, a full-service agency created in alliance with TBWA/Chiat Day, specializing in broadcast, experiential, traditional and non-traditional advertising targeting the Transcultural™ market. In 2007 Merchant and TRUE were recipients of the coveted Gold Effie award for their “Infiniti In Black” campaign, for which he was the creative/producer.
Merchant’s passionate work for TRUE’s client, Nissan, included spearheading the ten-city “Electric Moyo” (Electric Heart) tour, wherein artists, authors, thought leaders and other visionaries discussed their thoughts on the concepts of “Freedom, Access & Respect.” Advertising Age Magazine voted the campaign the fourth most successful, non-traditional ad campaign of the year.
Merchant was asked to helm TRUE, after his role as a senior producer at parent-company TBWA/Chiat Day L.A. Before that, he helmed his own DJM Film & Television Productions, Inc., and Third Wave Productions, Inc. Under his own banner, he was a recipient of the MTV Award for “Best Rap Video” for Grammy Award-winning, Arrested Development’s “People Everyday.” His work also earned several Telly Awards, the CLIO and CEBA (Communications Excellence To Black Audiences) awards for additional impactful works.
Other significant Merchant productions include the martial arts-inspired “Five Deadly Women” series of commercials for Coca-Cola U.S.A.’s Sprite brand, directed by award-winning film director Antoine Fuqua.
From 1984 to 1990 Merchant was executive producer and later head of production for Burrell Communications Group, Chicago, where he was responsible for the production of national commercials for McDonald's Corp., Coca-Cola USA, Proctor & Gamble, Sears, the California State Lottery and Ford Motor Company.
Merchant was an Executive Producer of The Elevate Film Festival, from 2006 – 2008, whose mission was to create media experiences that not only transform audiences but also the way contemporary cinema is experienced. He oversaw the production of four feature length documentaries and 52 independent shorts spanning a variety of genres, as well as music video and commercial films shot around the world. The Festival screened before an audience of 3,500 at Los Angeles’ Kodak Theatre, and 6,000 viewers at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, and was recognized as the world’s largest one day, single-screen film festival.
Merchant is also the Co-Founder and President of Affirmation Labs, LLC, a leading developer and programming company specializing in mobile apps for Apple iOS Devices, which provide users life-enhancing tools intended to create a sense of personal well-being.
Merchant is an alumnus of Columbia College of Chicago, where he studied film and television production. He also served in academia at the prestigious DePaul University of Chicago as director of Media Productions. He is currently a member and past board governor of The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and the Independent Feature Project, as well as a former board member and member of The Chicago International Film Festival and The Association of Independent Commercial Producers.