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November 5, 2020

Unmasking the Truth.

The pandemic is opening a window to a more earnest and insightful approach to marketing research. All we need to do is go beyond the mask.

COVID-19 has advanced our internet-everything culture, along with the role of online research. Daily pandemic-polls, consumer behaviour research, brand perception studies, and COVID-19 data-driven insights fill our feeds.  

Qualitative, face-to-face research is taking a hit from the pandemic. There's no room for social distancing in focus groups or one-on-one interviews. The role of a talented moderator in any scenario is their ability to read people. Interpreting body language, facial expressions, and feeling is critical to hearing what people have to say. Add a facemask to the mix, and you eliminate the ability to read the room, probe provocative questions, or get to the heart of the matter. Well-documented research by professor, Albert Mehrabian, suggests that communication is only 7% verbal and 93% non-verbal. Non-verbal language is 55% body language and 38% tone of voice. Therefore, a facemask eliminates nearly 45% of context in conversation.

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October 15, 2020

Goodbye Brief. Hello, Inspiration.

There's been a lot of focus on changing the creative brief. We got rid of it and opened a whole new door to creativity.

As we know it, the creative brief hasn't evolved since the heyday of the Mad Men era of the '60s. Social media was 35 years away, Mark Zukerberg wasn't even born, and phones had rotary dials. Today, everything has changed, but the brief. Many agencies have tried to make them shorter, which usually leads to the same amount of information only under fewer headers. Others have changed the design without changing the content. 

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July 24, 2020

Don’t Get Robbed of a Good Reputation.

Brand reputation impacts everything from pricing to attraction and retention of talent, to competitive advantage and intent to purchase. It’s time to protect it.

Before quarantine, I went to the bank to sign some paperwork. The bank was closed due to an “incident.” While waiting outside for the bank to reopen, a man approached the door and demanded that the employee on the other side let him in, saying he was a private banker and didn’t care about the incident. He escalated into a swearing tirade against the employee who was merely following protocol.

Brand reputation is at the constant mercy of events often outside of a company’s control. As customers, we expect companies to act with empathy, but we rarely have it in return. A bank robbery should not rob a bank of its reputation, but in today’s social media reality, it doesn’t take much to wreak havoc.

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June 18, 2020

It’s Time to Outperform Performance Marketing.

In our industry, we tend to measure what's easy. But just because something can be measured more easily, doesn't mean it performs.

The past two decades have been a golden age for advertising technology. This time has given rise to mainstream digital advertising, programmatic, trading desks, data, performance marketing, metrics, analytics and a myriad of other tools designed to drive effectiveness. But during this period of technological innovation, these sugar-coated, short-term activations have narrowed our focus, causing advertising effectiveness, creativity, and long-term brand building to fall desperately short.  

For too long, there's been too much focus on building better hunting traps when nobody wants to feel hunted. Pop-unders, spam, interruption, click-bait, fake news, data abuse, media fraud, and so many more tactics have led to the glut of advertising that goes mostly unnoticed, which is leading to ineffectiveness, waste, and brand erosion. 

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April 19, 2020

Same Same, But Same.

Has the Pandemic washed our hands of creativity? 

During a time when brands have an opportunity to stand apart, it appears our lack of creativity as an industry has brought them closer together. 

Across the globe, we have seen the big brands and big agencies produce a swath of COVID-19 response advertising. While I commend those involved in reacting so quickly, our short-termism and narrowness of focus have washed so many brands of creativity and distinctiveness during COVID-19. 

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March 26, 2020

What’s the Best That Can Happen During COVID-19?

There is a positive side to COVID-19 when you ask, What's the best that can happen? 

Our brand philosophy at Full Punch is an antidote to complacent marketing. We are calling on brands to embrace positivity and seek better outcomes, have a purpose and chase their dreams, follow through with brave strategy and bold creativity. What's the best that can happen?

Today, its meaning couldn't hold more truth. We all need to come together and chase positive outcomes. Not just in advertising and marketing, but in our everyday lives. Many of us remember 9/11 in 2001, the SARS outbreak in 2003, the global financial collapse of 2008 and the H1N1 Pandemic in 2009. Those times were hard. The COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020 will be much harder in many respects.

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February 12, 2020

Is it Time to Rebrand?

There's no such thing as a static market. Consumers are constantly evolving, technology is forever changing, culture is continuously growing, and product enhancements are never-ending. To keep up with these shifting sands, brands need to rebrand to maintain their relevance and performance occasionally.    

A good brand communicates what your company does. A great brand communicates how and more importantly, why your company does what it does. A great brand builds credibility and motivates your customers. And like you, a great brand evolves, consistently and methodically over time, to persevere and retain relevance. The goal, of course, is to strive to be a great brand, one that can stand the test of time, but also be strong enough to lead the evolution of those around them. 

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January 14, 2020

Distinct or Extinct.

Mother nature and advertising share a lot in common. The notion of adapt or die has evolved species in remarkable ways, yet, brands are dying at alarming rates with few evolving before it’s too late. The fact is, most brands do not stand out. 89% go unnoticed and of the 11% that are remembered, only 4% are remembered positively.* Few do what it takes to stand out or have the ambition needed to survive.

Some of the world’s most recognizable companies have learned the harsh lessons of survival of the fittest. From Kodak to Saturn, Blackberry to Panam, Borders to Tower Records, and more recently, Sears and Toys"R"Us. Ad agencies are in a similar state of flux, causing the biggest agencies to adapt or die. But is consolidation true adaptation? We’ve recently seen such consolidation through the mergers of legacy titans such as JWT being mashed up with Wunderman and Y&R with VML, as well as the slow death of recognized giants like Lowe Roche.

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January 7, 2020

Why Full Punch?

Many people have asked about the origins of our name - Full Punch. Not surprisingly, it has its roots in boxing. But it also plays well into the current state of marketing.

In boxing, the most dangerous thing a boxer can do is throw a half punch. This leaves the boxer off-balance, vulnerable, and worse, it's ineffective. Today, we're seeing too many brands throwing half punches. It's why 89% of brands go unnoticed. In marketing, this ineffective approach leads to familiarity and indifference.

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December 10, 2019

Our Story.

It all started when we asked, "What's the best that can happen?"

When we launched Full Punch in late 2018, it might have seemed like a crazy thing to do. The economy wasn't doing well, and there was already an abundance of agencies out there; a few were doing well, but many more were struggling. Without question, this continues to be a confusing time for agencies: digital agencies are becoming more traditional, traditional agencies are still trying to be more digital, media agencies are under the gun, and consultancies are trying to be more like agencies. We still have large agencies attempting to be nimble, while many small agencies are desperately trying to scale, and CRM shops are trying to be data shops. Or is it the other way around?

Despite the headwinds, these are precisely the reasons why Full Punch exists. While the world doesn't need another agency, brands need better outcomes. We've set out to create the next great agency from the ground up.

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