A Modernly Defined Advertising And Branding Agency

The Fantastical is a modernly defined Brand Consultancy and Advertising Agency that defines and creates great brands by developing an authentic voice across all channels: digital, social, foundational branding, research and strategy. We are highly experienced creative tier-one agency brand builders and orchestra-tors founded by award-winning Creative Directors Michael Ancevic and Steve Mietelski.

We use strategy to help clients solve hard business challenges by delivering on-brand strategically-driven results. And we do it on budget and at the speed of a social feed.

 
$25,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2012
Show all +
Boston, MA
headquarters
  • 33 Union Street, 4th Floor
    Boston, MA 02108
    United States

Reviews

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Advertising Campaign for Health Insurance Company

"They took what we were already doing and added a sophisticated, simplified dimension."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Aug. 2016 - Aug. 2017
Project summary: 

The Fantastical helped to develop a marketing campaign that included TV and radio ads, printed collateral, and social media. 

The Reviewer
 
501-1000 Employees
 
Worcester, Massachusetts
VP of Corporate & Marketing Communications, Healthcare Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The campaign significantly increased awareness, familiarity, and consideration among the target audience. The Fantastical aligned their creativity with the company's overall goals. They asked insightful questions, expanded a complex concept, and integrated seamlessly with the internal team. 

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

For a little over 12 years, I’ve been VP of corporate and marketing communications for a health plan in central Massachusetts with about a quarter of a million members from every level of society. We have Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial membership.

One of my responsibilities is to communicate our brand promise to our very broad audience. We get help from ad agencies like The Fantastical. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with The Fantastical?

Our internal staff focuses on marketing, communication, and execution, including direct mail and collateral. We have a digital team, so we also use social media. Most of our transactional and operational communications are done internally.

About two years ago, based on some strategic decisions, we came up with the creative theme "Moving Forward.". That theme addressed how we were evolving as an organization; we used it a lot internally and to a certain extent externally.

"Moving Forward" positioned us to say we had our customers’ backs. Graphically, we showed people walking away, riding away, or jumping into a lake. By focusing on the back of individuals, we reinforced the message of moving forward and avoided the situations when viewers hesitate to stay with you because the individuals in the communications do not look like them.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Michael [Managing Partner and CCO, The Fantastical] and Steve [Managing Partner and CCO, The Fantastical], took what we were already doing and added a well-received dimension: “Moving Forward. Together.”We were very pleased with their execution. They used the same idea of people in motion, t positioning the camera from behind individuals in their TV, flat print, and digital executions.

Our work with them was principally a TV campaign, which expanded into an interactive digital project. We had had an ongoing relationship with a media buying firm, which they accommodated. Some agencies say it's all or nothing because contact strategy defines success as much as creative strategy.

They accepted our media buying firm, a small shop in New Hampshire that we continue to use.

The firm continues to do our tactical media buying and a lot of social media. We now do the creative internally, and it's all based on "Moving Forward. Together." It lives on.

What is the team composition?

We had an account manager, but Steve and Michael met with the senior team several times and were always in the room for planning and creative execution. They are very easy to relate to, and I welcomed their ongoing interest in the account. Working with them was just easy.

How did you come to work with The Fantastical?

We were looking for an agency that understood what we were trying to accomplish creatively and could make it better and broader. Without a doubt, The Fantastical listened to our goals and accepted them. We looked at various agencies before we went with them.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We absolutely saw a lift after the campaign. For brand work, we observe and measure our defined target audiences. Following their creative work, we saw unaided awareness go up, we saw aided awareness go up, and we saw familiarity and consideration go up.

Some agencies act like they sit at the “cool table” in the cafeteria. They don’t relate well to our internal agencies. The Fantastical hasn’t been like that. I worked with three different ad agencies before The Fantastical. Those companies were creative, but not always on our terms. They came up with ideas but didn’t necessarily use the pilot light of our internal work. I spent a lot of time trying to align the external creative execution with the internal creative execution, which was more of a heavy lift than it should ever have been.

How did The Fantastical perform from a project management standpoint?

They were good. I've had better, and I've had far worse. That individual that works there is no longer on our account. What did you find most impressive about them?

The depth that they took to understand us, and the work that they did to express what we're trying to achieve.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. I told Michael that, based on my experience, I would be back at his door should there be another opportunity to work with them.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were right on, accepting a very challenging deadline and executing it locally. They understood that we needed to keep costs in line but also make it happen very quickly.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They did a great job of understanding us and collaborating with us.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would recommend them because they're not bureaucratic. We got Michael Steve very quickly, even though we were not their biggest account. That access was very meaningful.

Global Brand Campaign for Shoe Company

They're conscientious, kind, and really want to work hard for their clients.

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Aug. - Nov. 2017
Project summary: 

The Fantastical contributed creative design elements for a fashion company’s Fall 2018 campaign. Branded content included print, digital, video, copywriting, and production of photo shoots.

The Reviewer
 
501-1000 Employees
 
Boston, Massachusetts
SVP Global Marketing, Footwear Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Working within brand guidelines, The Fantastical elevated the quality of existing creative content, and took customer involvement to a more illuminated level. Principal staffs’ involvement with content creation yielded high quality deliverables. The team was talented, conscientious, and hardworking.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the senior vice president of a global fashion company. We manufacture products that are distributed in our own stores and e-commerce sites, and with wholesale partners around the world.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with The Fantastical?

Our main goal was to evolve our current creative platform. While we didn’t necessarily change the positioning or our overall strategy, we brought a little more life to the creative.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The Fantastical provided creative design elements for our Fall 2018 campaign. Deliverables included print, digital, video, copywriting, and production of photo shoots that were aligned with the brand guidelines we gave them. We showed them our existing materials, defined our brand pillars, and outlined the creative look and feel of our partners expected us to deliver.

The team helped us elevate the look to a higher standard. We had all the information that they needed, and didn't have the luxury of time for them to conduct further research. Our company is fairly well in tune with what our international partners are looking for.

What is the team composition?

I've worked with seven team members from The Fantastical. The principals were very much involved at all stages, which is always a refreshing quality for an agency to have.

How did you come to work with The Fantastical?

A friend of mine who owns a media buying service in Boston highly recommended them. The principles had also worked at the same agency I had, long ago. I was familiar with the caliber of work they produced. We looked at a few different companies, but the fact that they were nimble was the deciding factor. I knew we would be working with experienced staff, not just junior level employees.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together around August 2017, and they finished everything for our sales meeting in November. Our product will launch to consumers in Fall 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The feedback on the quality of their creative has been very good. We accomplished our main goal, which was to take our existing creative and involvement to a more illuminated place. They certainly did that, and it's been very well received globally.

How did The Fantastical perform from a project management standpoint?

They did an okay job, but their stronger suit is producing creative.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The fact that their senior leadership is involved makes them unique. The two senior partners are real creative pros, so having their involvement is a testament to the outcome.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The project management could be tightened up a bit.

4.0
Overall Score They’re very talented and good people to work with. They're conscientious, kind, and really want to work hard for their clients.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Project management required some handholding, but we did make deadlines.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It would have been a five, but we put a lot of extra time in with the project management. One would expect the agency to do more in that area.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Their creative content was stronger than project management.
  • 4.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    With more work on the project management, the copywriting would've been even better.

Branding for Management Consulting Firm

"[The Fanstastical] involves the client as a partner in getting to the right solution."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jan. - Apr. 2016
Project summary: 

The Fantastical assisted with branding and graphic design with the goal of establishing a consultant’s credibility. Their work included a new website, business cards, a logo, and other marketing materials.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Toronto, Canada
Susan Helstab
Principal, Helstab Advisory Inc
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The Fantastical is reliable and collaborative, and traffic shows that client prospects spend time looking through website pages and learning about the business. They’re proactive in implementing feedback and managing projects. The Fantastical's team is creative and honest.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

My company is Helstab Advisory, and I’m a consultant to companies that are primarily in the hospitality or lodging industries. My former role was with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. I was the global head of sales and marketing for that company. I have known Michael Ancevic in particular, and The Fantastical for a long time. My relationship with Michael started when he was with a different firm, which was the agency of record for Four Seasons. I worked with Michael and that firm for at least five years. He was the art director on the Four Seasons business. Michael and The Fantastical has also done work for Four Seasons, but it wasn’t done with me. They also worked on a project for my current company, Helstab Advisory.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with The Fantastical?

We were starting from scratch, with the goal of launching my company. I needed a strong identity for the company that would position it as a credible organization, and me as a credible consultant.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They did the graphic identity for my business. They built out my website and business cards for my existing business. It was a new company, and I worked with them on all the launch materials. I had a fairly good idea of how I wanted to position myself. I had the opportunity to brainstorm around that with Fantastical to arrive at a language and look and feel that I thought captured how I wanted to position the company. The logo for my company was also part of the project.

How did you come to work with The Fantastical?

We had a long-standing relationship when I was with Four Seasons. I didn’t look at other agencies when I started my consulting business. Michael is a very talented individual, and I was happy to be able to work with him again.

How much have you invested with The Fantastical?

I’d rather not provide that information.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project ran from January to March or April of 2016. I think the website was launched a little later.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

I have gotten good feedback on the website. I know that every prospect and the clients I’m currently working with have spent time on the website, familiarizing themselves with me and the nature of the business we’re doing. So, I’m very happy with how effectively it seems to communicate and position the company.

How did The Fantastical perform from a project management standpoint?

I thought they did a great job. I didn’t have to do a lot of follow-up, and they deliver when they said they would. They provided multiple options for the website and business cards. The feedback process for that was really great. I go back to my experience with Michael over the years. He’s tremendously collaborative, so there was a lot of conversation. He gave me a really broad range of ideas and designs, and I was able to talk to him about the things I thought were more effective than others.

He was very open to the feedback. He was very clear in his own mind about why some things were designed the way they were, and why he felt it was a viable option. We got to a place that I thought was really terrific. I was very happy. He has a lot of integrity, and he stands by his work. At the same time, he involves the client as a partner in getting to the right solution.

What did you find most impressive about The Fantastical?

It really is about Michael for me, his talent and ability to think strategically, as well as that collaborative way he works with clients.

Are there any areas The Fantastical could improve?

My experience was terrific.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They helped to manage my expectations really effectively.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It was great.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The quality was there and they were timely.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have referred them.