Big Agencies and Freelance.
In 1985, after 7 years working for some of the largest and best agencies in the country like FCB/Chicago and DDB/NY, Follis began a freelance collaboration that started his entrepreneurial career. With fellow admen Jon Bond and Richard Kirshenbaum, Follis helped win a half-dozen new accounts for the agency start-up and also helped create a dozen attention-getting ads for a young, unknown shoe designer named Kenneth Cole. That landmark campaign helped establish Kenneth Cole as a famous brand and helped propel Follis's entrepreneurial career.
Follis & Verdi: Hot New Agency on Mad Ave.
Via the successful, attention-getting Kenneth Cole campaign Follis attracted freelance gigs with some of the top creative agencies in New York. His growing creative reputation also attracted an entrepreneurial account man; Ellis Verdi. Eight months later Follis & Verdi splashed onto the scene with a hot, new account and attention-getting campaign. The campaign for Sorrell Ridge Fruit Spread was so successful it was featured in Forbes, ADWEEK, CNBC and a Harvard Business School case study. New accounts including No Excuses Jeans, The American Stock Exchange, Solgar Vitamins, and French Toast Clothes soon followed. So did major ad awards and more press in USAToday, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. And in 1991, the duo were honored at The White House for F&V's award-winning national campaign against child abuse. After just two years Follis & Verdi was one of the hottest young agencies on Mad Ave.
Follis DeVito Verdi makes it to the top.
To assist with the growing workload freelance creative man Sal DeVito was brought in. 16-months later DeVito was added as partner and Follis & Verdi became Follis DeVito Verdi. In '93 the young agency reached a peak when it was acknowledged by The NY ADDY Awards as the second most awarded agency in New York, just fours years after its founding. Additionally, agency co-founder and creative director, John Follis, was acknowledged as "One of "New York's 12 Best" by The New York Ad Club.
Foreseeing the coming digital shift Follis left his award-winning agency to start something more in line with the evolving media landscape: Follis Inc. And, in '96, Follis Inc. became one of the first agencies online with its award-winning, 450 page website. Throughout the 90's Follis continued creating press-worthy, results-getting work for its clients now in both traditional and non-traditional media. That included a groundbreaking guerrilla marketing effort covered by The New York Times, USAToday, TIME and a Prentice-Hall marketing textbook. After 14 years the client remains a Follis account today.
With the new millennium came another new business model, Follis Marketing Therapy which addressed the growing needs of a 100 billion dollar market: entrepreneurial businesses. In the process the Follis brand was expanded to a worldwide market.
In '05, John Follis coined the term "G-Cred", for Google credibility, which came to national attention in his ADWEEK article. Staying on the leading edge of marketing and social media Follis added two more websites in early '06: a blog The Follis Report and podcast The Marketing Show with John Follis. In 2007, John was accepted on Wikipedia as an industry leader and innovator. And, in late 2010, a G-cred ebook and website was completed.
Today. And, tomorrow.
Follis and his team continue helping clients around the country in all media. The Marketing Show is now syndicated on iTunes with top marketing thought leaders from around the world. And, Marketing Therapy continues to serve business owners across the US. In 2012, Follis Inc was acknowledged by the U.S. Commerce Association with an award recognizing it as a business that "has achieved exceptional success" and "enhanced the image of small business through service to their customers."
John is a featured blogger for three nationally respected blogs: AOL/ADWEEK's "Fuel the Future", Small Business Trends, and his own Follis Marketing Report. As a nationally respected thought leader John continues to receive speaking requests which have included The Social Media Conference in Chicago, The World Business Academy in New York, the 2012 New York Business Expo, and The Yale Entrepreneurial Institute.