As a professional brand copywriter, I do a tad more than talk the talk. I continue to walk the walk after retiring from the corporate world with 35 years of consumer products brand management and advertising agency know-how along with a bunch of achievements.
My experience includes several years as Chief Marketing Officer for two packaged-goods national advertisers and stewardship for many familiar national brands, including Duraflame firelogs, Life Cereal, Aunt Jemima brand, Celeste Italian foods, Luster’s Pink Oil Moisturizer brand haircare products, Luster’s S-Curl and many more.
On the advertising agency side of the business, I spent more than a decade as Vice President, Account Management for a major 4 As consumer products advertising agency. Here, I lead the successful development and execution of large-scale campaigns for national brands, including Kellogg’s, Pizza Hut, Sears’, Schenley Distillers, Discover Card, Amoco Oil, Ameritech and Johnson’s Products, among others.
“Watu Wazuri use Afro Sheen!”b
I was building brands that propel small businesses into global giants before most of today’s copywriters were born. I learned the principles of branding and advertising in the 1960s as a young brand manager at the Quaker Oats Company. There, I was the junior guy in the corner of the room permitted to observe legendary advertising giants Bill Bernbach, CEO of Doyle Dane Bernbach and creator of Life Cereal’s “Mikey won’t eat anything!”, and Burt Manning future CEO of J. Walter Thompson, create jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring, phenomenally great advertising. These advertising geniuses subsequently were inducted into the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame for their remarkable contributions to the advertising profession.
Later in my career, I was privileged to have a long-standing collaborative association with another future AAF Hall of Fame inductee, Vincent T. Cullers of Vince Cullers Advertising. Vince made Don Cornelius’ Soul Train a “must watch” 1970s/80s Saturday morning ritual for millions of Americans, including me, with the clarion call: “Watu Wazuri use Afro Sheen!” I still have photos of me in my bell-bottom pants and platform shoes with a humongous Afro.
Stayin’ Out of Mischief
In retirement, I stay out of mischief by providing brand advertising and content copywriting solutions to business owners. Without exception, my clients are serious about winning the marketing wars despite the daunting challenges, which is why they willingly suffer through a couple of rigorous brain-picking sessions with me to uncover their brand personas. They want to win as much as I hate losing. I also do marketing coaching in branding and marketing strategies where I’m passionate about using my knowledge and experience helping to grow SMBs.
When I’m not plying my craft as a copywriter/marketing coach, I write about advertising and marketing solutions as a regular contributor to the online publications of the Houston Chronicle, the Arizona Republic, the San Francisco Chronicle and many more. Since permanently retiring in 2008, I’ve written and published over 300 articles and still counting.