Nice to Meet You: Henry Pile

Role at FoxFuel:
Account Manager



Henry’s Favorites

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Favorite Object
My guitar. It was my dad’s. It’s a 1965 Gibson LGO.

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Favorite Fictional Character
Captain Ahab.

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Favorite Netflix Original
Peaky Blinders

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Least Favorite Radiohead Album
I haven’t spent much time with Radiohead. I did see Atoms For Peace at War Memorial. That was awesome.

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Book That Best Describes Your Life
“Catch 22” by Joseph Heller. Did you know he invented that phrase? He considered several numbers but landed on 22. What a legacy.

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Happy Place in Nashville
I freaking love Shelby Bottoms. I walk the dogs, run, play games with the kids… But my favorite thing to do is walk the trails at night on a full moon. There’s just enough light to see the way, but it’s dark enough to focus on the sounds and feel.


All About Henry

Where were you born?
Louisville KY. Grew up in the sticks though.

What is the most frustrating question, comment, or feedback you get related to work?
I don’t get frustrated with much regarding my work. Clients should question everything. It gives me the opportunity to prove worth/value.

What was the first thing you failed at?
Personally, my first marriage I guess. That was an expensive failure. I’m better at my second marriage. I fail as a father daily, but I’m also pretty good. Professionally, I made serious personal investment to launch a business but didn’t push my partners on their commitment. Because everyone could (and eventually did) step away, it was easy to lose focus. I should have demanded more, planned better, and taken control rather than letting go. That said, I’m surprisingly happier now. So, there’s that.

If you could do anything else besides advertising, what would it be?
I do a lot besides advertising. I write for a magazine. I shoot videos for local businesses. I parent. I travel. I play music. I have an amazing life.

What is the best memory you had from your childhood?
Playing with stompers with my brothers under the huge tree in the back yard. We’d lay in the grass to be eye level with the little trucks. We got dirty and drifted into our imaginations.

Who is your favorite fashion designer?
Tom Ford

What do you look forward to the most every day?
Sunshine and the unknown.

If you had to choose between driving a 1996 light blue Ford Taurus and living in Omaha Nebraska for the rest of your life, which one would you choose?
I drove an 85 Ford Taurus sedan and, later, a station wagon. Both were maroon. Both were terrible. Both did the same as any other car I have ever driven. Honestly, unless it’s a classic, badass car, I just don’t care about cars. So, give me Omaha. Give me the home of Warren Buffet, big-ass steaks, and midwestern sensibilities. I bet the houses are cheaper than those in East Nashville anyway.

Mind Your Language

In January, I started a semester-long journey as an instructor at a local art school teaching art direction to senior design students. These kids are preparing to enter the world as designers, developers, and art directors. The whole scenario takes me back in a sort of time capsule.

As a student, I was completely encompassed by the aesthetics of the world around me and how I can affect it or improve it. Posters, tv ads, logos, menus, you name it. But in that journey I never captured the meaning of what those vehicles were meant to do—which was communicate. Communicate ideas, thoughts, concepts, emotions, and stories.


Kelsey, Colton, and Michael prepare for a client brand pitch.


Language defines things, and as any creative professional worth a damn will tell you, communication trumps style every time. Why does this matter? Kind of like a backup singer, good design plays its part by staying out of the way of the big idea. It’s just there to amplify it. If you are flashy and a brash show off, your product is going to suck. Likewise, you also need to understand what your creative work is actually saying.

When your team starts a project, it’s vital that everyone is using the same language. That way you communicate your message clearly. What could be more fundamental?

“Language defines things, and as any creative professional worth a damn will tell you, communication trumps style every time.”

As a student, someone told me that learning to write well will make me a better designer. I’ll be honest; at first I thought it was just a copywriter trying to justify his career to me. It took several years of working around smarter, faster, and more talented people until I learned what that really meant. And it’s one of the things that I tell prospective hires and students the most.

Why? Because language sells your work. Language opens the door for collaboration and education. It’s the play between those worlds that makes my job the unbelievably challenging and rewarding process it is.

Michael is the chief creative officer of FoxFuel Creative. He loves British music, vintage German cars, and American history—and his sarcasm know no borders. #DreamBig

Nice to Meet You: John Paul

Role at FoxFuel:



John’s Favorites

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Instrumental Song
“Lambada de Serpente” by the Aaron Goldberg Trio. A lovely trio piece. I love the tenderness in which everyone plays. The bass solo in the middle is especially delicate.

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Happy Place in Nashville
Williams Fine Violins. I started playing cello in September and, since then, I try and drop in to this shop once a month to look around. The instrument selection is wonderful and the owner, Dustin, is always willing to talk shop or show you a new instrument.

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Language You Don’t Speak

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Shirt to Wear to Work
I wore it to FoxFuel picture day! I got this shirt when I moved to Nashville. This was my attempt “blend in” in the Nashville aethstetic after moving here from New Orleans.

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Sarah Harding from Jurassic World (Novel canon, not that movie horsesh*t). Seeing Jurassic World inspired me to do my Jurassic homework. I ended up reading all the books and watching all the movies. In the books, Sarah Harding is the protagonist in The Lost World. She’s fearless; saving several of the male characters. I found her instinctual push to do the right, difficult thing to be inspiring. In the real world, I really enjoyed Lean In by Sharyl Sandberg. She’s got a background in leadership and technology, which is a great context in which to discuss modern gender equality.

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Recent App, Site, or Cool Techy Thing
This is a really cool project. I saw it for the first time at SXSW last year at a music tech meetup. I like this technology because it brings music composition and performance square in line with corporeality. I’m hoping this idea brings a lot of new, exciting applications to music performance…sort of like the Wii did for console gaming.


All About John Paul

What’s the most frustrating comment, question, or feedback you get related to your work?
I find it frustrating when we build a really fancy CMS for a client, train them as to how to use it, then the client totally forgets they have a CMS in the first place.

How long can you hula hoop?
30 to 40 seconds

If you could create your own bubble of your perfect work environment, what would it look like?
Quiet is a top priority for me. I tend to lose focus if I can zero in on the conversations around me. I like Scandinavian design. The cleaner and glassier the better. For the collaborative parts of the project, some big war room tables are a must. An instrument near by is also a nice plus :)

What are you currently most excited about in the Nashville creative/tech space?
The growth in small startups tackling specialized problems. We have more programmers in Nashville than we’ve had in a very long time, which means that a lot of ideas can be built, improved and validated quickly. In addition, these communities tend to look out for their members, much like the way songwriters in Music Row have a “class” in which they rise up together.

What does the last text you received say?
“I think the best thing about Tom Ashbrook is his ability to ask any question by using one single adjective.” From my friend Jordan. He and I have a long-running fetish with NPR’s Tom Ashbrook. We see him as this poetry-loving, sensitive man who loves connecting with people. Like a cultural Teddy Roosevelt.

How do you get yourself out of a productivity rut (when lacking productivity, that is)?
At first I read this as, “What do you do when you find that you are just being TOO productive?” haha! Physical exercise. Short runs or swims help me refocus. They also help me with coding confidence. I know it sounds strange, but part of writing good code is knowing you can write good code.

Would you rather always have the same song stuck in your head or have the same dream every night?
o0o0o0o goooood question. I would pick the same dream for two reasons: The first is that, when songs get stuck in my head, it is already very crippling, and having it more often sounds pretty grueling. Now the same dream every night–that sounds like the kind of thing that could drive a person crazy. And I like that.

Newcomer Agency of the Year Nominee

FoxFuel Creative Named Finalist in North American Excellence Awards


NASHVILLE, TENN. (Feb 2, 2016) – Nashville-based FoxFuel Creative announced today it is a top three nominee for the North American Excellence Awards Newcomer Agency of the Year.

Colton Finger Guns

PEW PEW PEW (Colton’s finger pistol noises)

(Here’s our actual FoxFuel inside the office language) Holy crap, we are BLOWING UP!

“We have clients that trust us and give us an open launchpad to conceptualize, execute and deliver on the great creative ideas that come from our collaboration,” said CEO Colton Mulligan.

“Six months ago we were working in my basement, then we moved into a Nashville high rise, and now we’ve been recognized by the North American Excellence Awards as a finalist for the Newcomer Agency of the Year. I can’t believe that we started from the bottom, and now we’re here.”

The North American Excellence Awards is a global organization which hosts a yearly award ceremony to honor the most outstanding achievements of marketing and communications professionals in the field. The jury is comprised of 30 leading professionals from companies like Visa, Coca-Cola, Marriott, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This year, the organization received over 2,600 applications. 

Winners in other categories include:

  • Southwest Airlines – Communications Team of the Year
  • ESPN – Entertainment and Culture
  • Mars Food – Food and Beverage
  • Special Olympics World Games – Change Communication
  • Southern Comfort – Launch
  • Taylor Guitars – Relaunch 
  • PepsiCo – Issues and Reputation Management

A complete list can be found here.

These are the other winners—basically this is who we’ll get to celebrate with in April when we go to the New York awards show: Volvo, Dell, MasterCard, Visa, Epson, Whirlpool, Bank of America, Citi, Unilever, Novartis, Maytag, Boston Market, Colgate-Palmolive, Microsoft, Samsung, ConAgra, Subaru, Philips, Delta Faucet, CSX, Lockheed Martin, and KAYAK.

To be honest we don’t really know why we won, but here are some projects we think had something to do with it (or check out this weird blog post Colton wrote explaining what we do, by comparing it to his philosophy on dating in Nashville).

Saint Thomas Health
Nashville Goes Red


Agent Village
Real Estate Web App

Saint Thomas Health


Oceans Healthcare

Ben Folds

Kid President
Kid President Live


About FoxFuel Creative

Creativity is best when it is simple, honest and based on strategy. Through collaboration with our clients’ experience and FoxFuel’s marketing expertise, we make relevant and powerful connections with an intended audience. Founded on January 1, 2015, we are located in the L&C tower at 401 Church Street Suite 1400, Nashville, TN 37219. More at

Colton Mulligan
CEO, FoxFuel Creative LLC
(615) 933-9369

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