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.

by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Not A Doctor (I Don’t Even Play One On TV); mad scientist image from the 1940 movie Dr. Cyclops (public domain via Wikimedia Commons)… Sorry, real scientists, I understand these times have been brutal for you, given the willfully ignorant troll in the White House, plus the hyperventilating hordes of anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers, and global-warming deniers. No wonder Scientific American endorsed a presidential candidate for the first time in its 175-year history. (Hint: it’s not Trump.)Read More
Great Depression food line
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Professional Who’s Been There, Survived That; photo of a Great Depression soup kitchen created by gangster Al Capone… This makes four. Over the course of my 30-year career, I’ve survived three other recessions: 1990-1991 — The inevitable collapse of Reaganomics. (Borrow, borrow, borrow… wait, we have to pay it back?) 2000-2001 — The first dotcom bust — the most painful one for me. I was riding high as a web nerd, then hit bottom. I even got rejected for a bookstoreRead More
Q: Dear Freddy: I recently graduated with a master’s degree in communication, and am hoping to find a full-time job in marketing. In the meantime, I’m interviewing for a part-time, independent contractor gig with a small agency. This could include more responsibilities than average, such as project lead for new clients. The agency’s most recent email asked me for my hourly requirements. I did some research and found a huge range of hourly rates for marketing contractors. How should I respond?Read More
public diplomacy magazine
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Ardent Foe of Laugh Tracks… I know little about diplomacy — indeed, I occasionally dish out some rather vicious tweets — but I do know media manipulation…Read More
proud to announce
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Copyeditor with an Attitude; photo by Free To Use Sounds on Unsplash… I’ve noticed an odd writing habit on LinkedIn — and I’m not talking about my pet peeves, the abuse of “authentic” and “humbled”…Read More
Freddy Nager and Bobby Borg
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + A Man With A Plan (Or Three)… In another chat with musician and fellow USC Annenberg adjunct professor Bobby Borg, we delve into the value of marketing plans…Read More
Driving In America
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Road Trip Lover; photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash… Last year I was interviewed by Ford about the future of driving. The interviewer asked me what I thought Ford should do now that young adults no longer want to own cars or even get a license. (Ford was in such a panic that they wasted money on invested in a scooter-rental company.) My answer: don’t worry, drivers will be back…Read More
Advertising Account Presentation
Q: Dear Freddy: I received an interview offer from an ad agency for its account management intern position. Do you have any tips on acing the interview? — A in LARead More
Networking In The Music Industry
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Veteran Networker Who Hates Networking… I love networking. Most of my jobs — particularly in teaching — have come via people I met in other contexts. And, yes, I hate networking. More exactly, so-called “networking events”…Read More
XFL-for-the-love-of-football
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Hardcore Football Addict; photo from the XFL website… Yes, in the midst of this stampede by the Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse (2020 edition) — Pandemic, Recession, Climate Change, and Republicans — I’m writing about football. That’s because: I’m a lifelong junkie. Go Steelers! Go Trojans! Football has long served as my distraction from real word duress. The collapse of the XFL is symptomatic of our times. Now, if you’d rather read about marketing amidst mayhem, please see my post, “WhatRead More