Marketing Category



From case studies to critical analysis, we go behind the hype to show you what’s new, what’s noteworthy, and what’s nonsense. This section covers all aspects of marketing: advertising, branding, design, SEO, social media, overall business strategy, and more. Sometimes serious, occasionally satirical, frequently skeptical, never stale.

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
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
marketing during a pandemic
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Former “Walking Dead” Fan; Poster by Mark Baker via Creative Commons… It might feel like the eve of the zombie apocalypse. And while conditions are serious, at some point societies and markets will recover. In the meantime, here are some marketing tips for companies of all types…Read More
Pabst Blue Ribbon Casino
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Guy Who Doesn’t Believe Beer Goes With Hot Air… Just when I thought I had said enough about all this “authenticity” nonsense (here and here), a friend sent me this beguiling case study about Pabst Blue Ribbon. It starts off fine, explaining how the Fizz Agency turned PBR from a sinking ship into a hipster staple. Then came the A-word…Read More
Mark Ritson in MarketingWeek
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Guy Who Resists Stereotypes; above image and bio from MarketingWeek… I’ve long railed against the lazy stereotype “millennials” (see my post about the L.A. Rams’ misguided marketing). In fact, I recently barred my students from using the word “millennials” —  along with “Gen X/Y/Z” and “Baby Boomers” — in class assignments. (I also banned “authentic” for various reasons.) My censorship appears to have improved their analytical work, so I’m now considering other words to prohibit.Read More
frustrated copywriter
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango LLC + Copywriter for over 30 years; photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash… For a school project, my copywriting students were upset that their client (not me) had rewritten their work. They asked me what they could do. I thought, “Welcome to the real world…”Read More
Outsource Marketing Makeover
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Branding Junkie… I’m digging the rebranding of my friend Patrick Byers‘ agency, Outsource Marketing…Read More