All posts by Freddy Tran Nager



Freddy is the Founder & Creative Strategist of Atomic Tango. He also teaches at the University of Southern California (go Trojans!), shoots pool somewhat adequately, and herds cats. Freddy received his BA from Harvard and his MBA from USC.

Watch Branding

Posted On June 25, 2018By Freddy Tran NagerIn Marketing

Branding? Try Harder Than This…

by Freddy J. Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango LLC + Guy Who Likes Watches And Brands… Knowing I love watches, Amazon recently recommended an Italian brand I’d never heard of: Brismassi Esetti. At least it sounds Italian. And at first glance, it looked pretty sharp: a clean design, only 8mm thick, with an Italian leather band and a Japanese movement. Yet at only $45.88, the low price waved a red flag — why so cheap? So I started scrolling and, underneath the header “Customers who viewed this brand also viewed,”Read More
Deer In The Headlights

Posted On May 1, 2018By Freddy Tran NagerIn Missions

How To Think On Your Feet: Cold Calling And Euphemisms

by Freddy J. Nager, Founder Of Atomic Tango LLC + Professor Who Loves To Cold Call His Students; photo by Fabrice Florin [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons… Picture yourself in a class or business meeting. You don’t have a pressing thought or opinion on the current topic — indeed, your mind is wandering to what you’d like to have for dinner — when suddenly you hear your name called along with the question, “What do you think?” For some, that’s reason to panic — subtly, of course (i.e., you don’tRead More
Instagram Vending Machine
by Freddy J. Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango LLC; photo and video by Vasily Sonkin… It’s no secret that most social media data can be faked. Likes, followers, views, even comments — name it, you can buy it. What most people don’t realize is how easy it is to do so. How easy?Read More
Atomic Tango

Posted On March 17, 2018By Freddy Tran NagerIn About Atomic Tango

Time For A Third Party

America’s traditional two-party system has us mired in the muck, with neither side willing to question itself. Here at Atomic Tango, we prefer to stir things up. Ideally with a swizzle stick. Although launched as a marketing consultancy, we’ve evolved into a creative strategy company involved in publishing, launching new ventures, conducting marketing forensics, celebrating creativity, and questioning the answers — even our own. Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, “Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.” We agree. And if you do, too, then come joinRead More
competitive strategy

Posted On March 17, 2018By Freddy Tran NagerIn Marketing

Competitive Strategy (A Sweet Demonstration)

by Freddy J. Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango LLC + Guy Who Loves a Challenge… Never shy from competition. You’re going to have it, if not now, then as soon as you create a viable market. So if you see a field of competitors, don’t give up, even if they have a head start. Challenge them by being DIFFERENT and BETTER — particularly if they play the traditional way…  Read More
Caitlyn Jenner Humble Brag

Posted On March 13, 2018By Freddy Tran NagerIn Media

How To Humble Brag (Hint: Don’t Say “Humbled”)

by Freddy J. Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Guy Honored to be Humble… Every day I challenge my computer to chess. “Bring it on!” I say. And every day I vow, “Today’s the day I turn the tables on that non-sentient tormentor!” But every single day my computer beats me soundly. That humbles me. Sometimes I look in the mirror immediately after a workout and think, “Not bad, old man.” Then I look in the mirror immediately after I wake up in the morning and think, “Age is aRead More
"The Post" Movie Poster

Posted On January 3, 2018By Freddy Tran NagerIn Media

Start The Presses: Why Every American Should See The Post

by Freddy J. Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Journalism Junkie… How could I resist an invitation to see The Post? Newspapers have not only informed my life, they helped shape it. My father graduated from USC’s School of Journalism (now called the Annenberg School) where I teach today (no, that wasn’t planned — life just has an odd way of working like that). I served as editor of my high school newspaper for 2 years, and in college I took photos for the campus daily. After graduation, I wroteRead More
Dan Roam, "The Back Of The Napkin"

Posted On January 1, 2018By Freddy Tran NagerIn Media

Drawing Conclusions: Dan Roam Presents “The Back of the Napkin”

by Freddy J. Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango LLC; an earlier version of this story appeared on Jawbone.TV… For author Dan Roam, it began with a living nightmare. As he writes in his book, The Back of the Napkin, a colleague in his consulting firm had a medical emergency, so he asked Roam to cover for a speech the next day. Roam agreed “only to learn later that the speech was to take place in Sheffield, England (we were in New York) to an audience of educational experts appointed byRead More
zombie economy
by Freddy J. Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Guy Who Did A Fair Amount Of Shopping This Xmas; Photo by Daniel Jensen on Unsplash… Just this summer, many “experts” proclaimed the death of American brick-and-mortar retail, and that Amazon would eat everyone’s lunch. When Amazon subsequently bought Whole Foods (make that “organic free-range lunch”), the same experts sang dirges for all the supermarkets. Consequently, the stock of competitors like Costco plunged. (BTW, I’m still waiting for one of these experts to explain the contradiction between “consumers are shifting toRead More
MacBook Air

Posted On December 9, 2017By Freddy Tran NagerIn Materialism

Air Apparent: Why I Rushed To Buy A MacBook Air

by Freddy J. Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango LLC + Apple hOStage… I didn’t need a new computer. My 2010 MacBook Pro is somehow still running strong — now 2 years longer than any previous computer I’ve owned over the past 30 years. (Knock on wood — just by typing this I may curse my Mac.) Plus, my 2010 MacBook Pro includes features no longer available on a new Mac, such as a matte screen (glossy = annoying reflections) and a built-in DVD player (yes, some of us still useRead More