April 18, 2019


Contributed by FIFTEEN

It’s a question we get asked a lot...how did your agency come up with its name? Of course, after meeting one of our founding partners, Zack Schneider, that question is answered pretty quickly.

You see, Zack was born with only one hand. For his entire life he’s had to devise creative physical workarounds to the everyday tasks the rest of us take for granted. Tying, typing, and “here is the church, here is the steeple” have all been reinvented. It forged in Zack a uniquely resilient approach to problem-solving, and an underdog’s conviction to do more with less—if only to prove he could.

This mentality became the bedrock of the agency Zack launched with his longtime friend and partner, Greg Neundorfer, 10 years ago this month. They named it 15 Fingers because, at the time, all they had to start with were their combined 15 fingers (and a pretty snazzy orange couch...more about that later).

15 Fingers grew from the motivational spark of two people making a living by doing what they love to the 20+ person agency you see today, with capabilities including branding, media buying, public relations, website development, animation, video production, experiential and content marketing. Every year, 15 Fingers grew in terms of people, profits, clients, and accolades.

Then in 2016, 15 Fingers rebranded itself as FIFTEEN to better reflect the agency’s evolution and vision for how the human experience serves as the basis of advertising. Along with the new name came a spiffy new space at 599 Delaware in downtown Buffalo, website and social media identity on each of its platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn).

It would be easy to look back over the past 10 years and say they’ve made it. With current and former clients like Upstate Farms, Intense Milk, Bison Foods, Catholic Health, Rich Products, Ru’s Pierogi, Meals on Wheels for WNY, Launch NY, CleanSlate UV, Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps and Black Diamond, no one would fault Zack or Greg for resting on their laurels and saying FIFTEEN is “good enough.”

That’s not how Zack and Greg think, though, and that’s not how we’re approaching this milestone anniversary. Inspired by our humble origins and fueled by our innate ability to figure things out, we’re looking at the next 10 years with a simple mindset: to be different. To figure out solutions in ways others wouldn’t even have thought about.

We want to advance our clients’ goals, regardless of their challenges, by combining superior design and innovative technology to create unique experiences that foster audience engagement, interaction, and activation.

And that orange couch where everything started? Well, to celebrate another 10 years of throwing orthodoxy to the wind, we’ll soon have a new addition to the office that compliments the original. It’ll serve as a tangible reminder that as the agency and its capabilities have grown, we know it’s important to never forget the past. Because working harder, overcoming obstacles and not understanding the meaning of the word ‘no’ is all we’ve ever known. We’re not about to stop now.

Return to all Stories