Creative Award: Fallon

From 1995 to last year’s BMWfilms, they’ve been bringing great creative—and big clients—to interactive media. When you think of Fallon, you don’t think “interactive agency.” You think of a traditional shop. And that is what Fallon is. Founded originally as Fallon McElligot in America’s heartland in 1981, they quickly became one of the countries most-recognized creative powerhouses and brand-builders, doing work for such clients as United Airlines, Time Magazine, Holiday Inn, and even MTV.

Their first foray into the interactive media was in 1995 for Magnavox, Ameritech, BMW, and Purina. It was rare for an agency in the offline sphere to even talk about interactive advertising, let alone do it. This was at a time when most agencies were still trying to figure out how to spell “www.” But Fallon was quick to do better than that and was soon spelling “chrysanthemum” and “antidisestablishmentarianism.”

Of course the world knows about the groundbreaking work they did for BMW earlier this year online [see page 40]. The five film shorts done in coordination with Anonymous Content was one of the most innovative and engaging uses of the interactive medium in 2001, if not ever. But Fallon has done more than just that.

They have been working with archipelago, the new electronic network just approved to become an alternative online stock exchange, building their marketing site.They’ve also been signed to redesign Timberland’s site and have done work online for Microsoft’s Pocket PC, producing interstitials, banners, and other rich-media experiences.

It isn’t just about building sites and making creative units, however. “We can do anything from a branded demo to actually communicating how the brand can affect a consumer’s life,” says Kevin Flatt, Creative Director for Fallon Interactive.

“We have a different take than most interactive shops because we come from a background of traditional advertising. We did not start as a web design shop like lots of interactive shop, who find themselves swimming upstream to get to the brand.”

The difference with Fallon is that, as a result of their traditional agency network, they have more permanent and robust relationships with their clients than most interactive standalones might. This gives them a more holistic sense of the client’s brand and what role interactive is to play in a larger context of their marketing efforts. That, and working with “smart branding and smart creativity,” can pay off several times over. “The mantra of Fallon is ‘use the power of creativity to solve our clients’ problems,’” says Flatt. “The best tool in the tool box is creative thinking, and we just apply it to the digital space.”

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