Full Contact: A look back, a look ahead, a look within.

September 23, 2014
September 23, 2014 Marty Donohue

Recently we undertook a fascinating and rather ambitious rebranding assignment that spanned many months and will ultimately affect every piece of messaging for our client moving forward.

What made it so fascinating was who that client happened to be: Us.

That’s right, Full Contact Advertising became the client of Full Contact Advertising. And, boy, were we difficult to work with.

The truth is, through this process, Full Contact the agency discovered a whole lot about Full Contact the brand. We conducted the same deep dive of our own company that we do for many other brands, including a full competitive analysis, interviews with our clients and our employees, and a comprehensive review of all our best work to date. The insights we gathered from our look within have already had a big impact on how we tell our story. Hence our terrific new website www.gofullcontact.com. Hence this first official blog post from our terrific new website. Hence me using the word “hence” more often.

It also gave us a chance to reflect on where we’ve been and plan on where we’re heading – something that we don’t get the chance to do often enough. For any brand that hasn’t done this in a while or ever, I highly recommend it. There’s no greater motivator and unifier for a company than knowing why you’re here in the first place, what makes you different, and how to tell the world about it.

Tim Foley and I opened Full Contact eight years ago in Boston with two folding chairs, a card table, a meagerly paid intern and zero clients. It was the ultimate start-up operation. The bathroom in our office didn’t even have the toilet installed for the first month. What Tim and I did have, however, was a tremendous partnership (going on 23 years now) as well as the confidence that we could make a huge impact for any client that gave us a chance.

For a veteran creative team like us, Full Contact was the ultimate creative opportunity. We knew we could spend the rest of our careers creating great campaigns for a lot of wonderful brands (and that will always be our intention), but we also saw this as a chance to make an entire company from scratch, fill it with amazing people, build a culture around it, do work that makes everyone stop and pay attention, and watch what happens next.

A lot did happen next. We won our very first client, Au Bon Pain, four days after we opened. A few months later, we won our very first competitive pitch for the Boston.com account. In time we added other terrific brands to our expanding client roster like Cumberland Farms, Zipcar, Arbella Insurance, Safety 1st, New England Baptist Hospital and most recently Papa Gino’s and D’Angelo. We’ve achieved incredible and, in many cases, game-changing results for these clients. Along the way we also created and produced a whole lot of fresh and unforgettable work that has resonated with consumers and award show judges alike.

And with every new victory, every new campaign, every new client relationship, Full Contact continued to evolve as a brand. Pretty soon we weren’t just a company or even an ad agency; we had become a fresh new way to set brands apart.

Our Full Contact approach has ultimately become what defines us:

  • We use every means necessary to deepen the engagement between brand and consumer. 
  • We innovate – not for the sake of innovation or the attention of the trades, but for the sake of propelling our clients and their businesses forward. 
  • We transform and energize every manner of brand that comes our way, from the intrepid start-up to the 95-year old stalwart. 
  • And we do it all by being down to earth and thoroughly enjoyable people who work with our clients in a way they tell us is both rare and refreshing.

Full Contact has come a long way from where we were on January 1, 2006.

For one thing the toilet’s long since been installed. That meagerly paid intern is now a better-paid, most excellent producer of all things digital and broadcast. Today there are dozens of tremendous people in the Full Contact family working on a variety of awesome regional, national and global brands.

We also have a fresh new way to tell our story to the world, which will continue to unfold over the coming days, weeks and months. Starting here.

As I said earlier, building this company has been the ultimate creative opportunity for Tim and me; an opportunity that we, along with all the remarkable people here, try to make the most of every day.

It’s been great fun, it’s been great work, and it’s been a great joy to have all of us come together and build this brand to what it is today.

And we’re just getting started.



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