“The Free(lance) Life, Ramadan Style” By Zaar Taha, Minneapolis-based Freelance Copywriter/Creative Director

by / June 1, 2018 /

After 23 years in the advertising business, for the first time ever, I’m doing Ramadan a bit more on my terms. In the past, as I’ve fasted from food and drink from dawn to sunset every day for a month, I’ve had to endure a litany of agency barbecues, client meeting pizza leftovers, and “donuts in the kitchen!” It’s like free food just knows when Muslims are doing Ramadan. Now, on my ever-more-flexible freelance schedule, I find myself sleeping in a wee bit later, not around the of[Read More]

“The Free(lance) Life, Month 1” BY ZAAR TAHA

by / May 14, 2018 /

After just 30 days of being out on my own, untethered by the too-fast-or-too-slow-moving agency clock, I find myself in a highly unfamiliar position. It’s 11:27 am and I’m home, lounging on my living room sofa, writing this piece. It’s neither billable nor due at any particular time. So weird. I’m either caught up with all my work or I don’t have any work to be caught up on. Glass half empty or half full, it’s an unsettling feeling.

For the past 24 years, I’ve been gainf[Read More]

“Experienced gut matters” by Zaar Taha

by / April 25, 2018 /

“How long will three ad campaign concepts take?”

“Two weeks.”

Not entirely sure which century this conversation took place in, but the answer has certainly held up nicely over the years. Two weeks to kick off the project, noodle on it, stress over it, come up with heaps of concepts, decide which three have the most promise (or which three suck the least), make the copy sound less salesy, and design the heck out of it all. Ah, those magical two weeks.

Truth is, [Read More]

“Ramblings of a Copywriter” by Zaar Taha

by / February 1, 2018 /

As I sift through brief after brief chock-full of segmentation profiles and mandatory personalization variables, my mind longingly wanders to the good old days of advertising. Well, the ones I’m old enough to remember at least. It was a special time for copywriters like me where a single headline spoke to everyone, not just this segment or that segment, and a righteous call-to-action (one, of course, that always included a phone number) was all you needed in order to claim your ad was “ef[Read More]

Doug deGrood has something to say. 12 things, actually.

by / September 28, 2017 /

This year, GdB (Gabriel deGrood Bendt) turns 20. That means, the agency opened its doors just before the turn of this century and right at the cusp of the digital age. Since then, the shop has gone through more than its fair share of changes, including becoming part of Clear Night, a marketing services platform with a new office in the North Loop. Long-time agency creative director, Doug deGrood here ruminates on some of what he’s learned over the past 20 years.

“Tell me[Read More]

Q&A with Jason Dailey, Partner Development Lead at Facebook

by / July 7, 2017 /

Written by Brooke Nelson, organic social strategist at Rocket55

On a sunny Friday in June, the world of digital marketing converged on the Saint Paul RiverCentre for the annual MnSearch Summit: a one-day marketing conference that brings together marketing and business professionals from around Minnesota and the greater Midwest for a day learning from an elite lineup of keynote and session speakers.

One of those speakers was Jason D[Read More]