All posts by Freddy Tran Nager



Freddy is the Founder & Creative Strategist of Atomic Tango. He also teaches graduate-level marketing communication courses 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.

US Forest Service Cocktail Construction Chart
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Amateur Mixologist… Let’s drink a toast to men of creativity and humor in official positions. More specifically, let’s drink a toast to Cleve Colbert “Red” Ketcham, the late great U.S. Forest Service Regional Engineer who gave us, for perpetuity, the Cocktail Construction Chart. Immortalized in the U.S. National Archives Catalog as item #7035823 (download your copy here), the chart was created shortly after Nixon resigned in 1974 — a very good reason to celebrate. Given the names of the people whoRead More
Pickpocket Warning Sign
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Writer Who Likes Numbers; photo by Cory Doctorow via Wikimedia Commons… Digital advertising these days is like wandering into a room full of pickpockets. Obviously, you should avoid doing that altogether — you do have other choices — but if you must go, watch your wallet. I know this from experience. About a year ago I noticed some interesting ads at the ends of news articles. Instead of promoting a product or service, these ads featured other articles on other websites.Read More
Amazon Dog
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Amazon Customer Since 1998… Call me an Amazon loyalist by default. As in, it’s da fault of the competition.Read More
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder Of Atomic Tango + Guy With A Hang-Up About Phone Calls… As I typed my very first email in 1994, I thought, “Writer’s dream come true!” No more fumbling for the perfect words while speaking on the phone. No more trying to end a rambling call in a polite yet immediate way. And no more timing my calls to suit someone else’s schedule or mood. Today, texting lovers have taken those anti-call sentiments a step further. And on an enterprise level, chat tools like SlackRead More
CALEXIT Comic logo
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + American Happy To Be In Cali… Sometimes creative expression hits too close to home — and a nerve. That’s definitely the case with CALEXIT, a comic book series depicting a hypothetical California secession from these not-so-United States. The secession is precipitated, of course, by the election of a certain orange fascist… Written by Matteo Pizzolo and illustrated by Amancay Nahuelpan, the comic book comes from indie publisher Black Mask Studios, which is “bringing the punk rock ethic to comics.” CALEXIT’s pages expressRead More
No Exit Strategy
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Entrepreneurial Advisor; photo by Valentin Antonini on Unsplash… Too many entrepreneurs treat their startups like Hollywood relationships: the affair begins with a lot of passion, it’s great for gossip and headlines, and it might even lead to deals, but as soon as things get a little rocky — or something better comes along — the entrepreneur is outta there. These zero-commitment capitalists proudly call themselves “serial entrepreneurs,” which, in relationship terms, would make them philanderers. But hey, whatever consenting adults wantRead More
Parker Jotter in GoldenEye
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Guy Who Believes The Pen Can Be Mightier Than The Sword… You know what product attribute doesn’t get enough hype? Tactility — how something feels to the touch. While today’s manufacturers obsess over size and weight, promising us larger and larger capacity and lower and lower weight, that’s fine for phones and planes — but not enough for us creative professionals. In fact, sometimes we want our tools to be heavier and less modern. Whether the instrument is a keyboard, camera,Read More
Retail Hell
by Freddy J. Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango LLC + Guy Who Will Miss Shopping In Stores; modified illustration from Weird Tales magazine 1941… Deep inside the HQ of Rapacious Retail Inc. — an office so sterilized and bathed in artificial light that live plants wilt within seconds — we find the head of marketing — Bob Boberts: Marketing Ninja. Uh, OK, Marketing Ninja — Bob: No, make that Marketing Visionary. Yes, that would look great in my Twitter bio… Marketing Visionary Bob Boberts, a generic male exec in his 40’sRead More
How To Fix Retail And What To Drink
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Talking Enthusiast… Move aside, Sriracha, there’s a new claimant to the spicy condiment crown: Tajin Clasico. In my latest podcast, I explain why I prefer Tajin, and how it’s a key ingredient in a killer summer barbecue beverage, the chelada. But first, I address one of the most talked-about topics in business right now: the implosion of retail stores in America. In my previous podcast, I noted that the dizzying decline has less to do with the Internet and more to doRead More
Marketing Plan For New Business
Q: Dear Freddy: I’m setting up my own business in India where I’ll be teaching meditation and techniques on “mind management.” I’ve gotten a certification from the appropriate agencies and I also teach well, per the feedback I’ve received across different countries. How should I prepare my marketing plan and conduct local research? — A.S. in India A: Dear A.S.: Regardless of the country, these basic steps toward creating a campaign should work: Define both THE PROBLEM your new company will solve (e.g., not enough meditation practices in the market) andRead More