Ogilvy & Mather founder David Ogilvy once wrote that the best copywriters come from the ranks of direct-mail catalog writers. I agree completely, particularly since my first writing job was for The Sharper Image catalog. TSI had no retail outlets at that time, so my words were the only ‘salesmen’ the company employed. This taught me a lot about writing effective, persuasive copy that results in sales.


ALL OF A SUDDEN, I’M THE NATION’S TOP CATALOG WRITER.

At TSI, I quickly became the favorite writer of the company’s President, Richard Thalheimer. Vice President John Koenig used to say my copy ‘could make warm toast sound exciting.” And to top it off, I soon won the Direct Marketing Guild’s John Caples Award for best catalog writer.


CHIAT\DAY ASKS ME TO WRITE ABOUT APPLES.

Chiat\Day, then considered the world’s most creative agency, called after the Caples Awards. Apple Computer was about to introduce a new computer called a “Macintosh.” They felt that with my experience writing about innovative electronics at TSI, I could help.


ADVERTISING THAT WINS AWARDS VS ADVERTISING THAT SELLS.

Winning creative awards was nearly mandatory at Chiat\Day. But, in my humble opinion, the kind of ads that effectively sell products aren’t always the kind that wins awards. Nevertheless, I was determined to combine the two approaches.

Things worked out. I won multiple awards during my three+ years on staff, including two Clios, the advertising equivalent of the Emmy or Oscar. But more important was the praise I won from clients for ads that generated traffic and sold products. In addition, agency founder Jay Chiat often praised my informational long-copy ads for Apple Computer, Intel and Holland America Cruise Line.


365 NIGHTS IN BANGKOK.

Of course, I've taken occasional detours on the road less traveled, like the two years I spent writing screenplays at a monastery in Big Sur, California. And another year spent exploring Buddhism in Thailand, while simultaneously creating ads for their large ex-pat community. You'll see some of those ads in my online portfolio.


MY RATES.

Clients tell me that my rates are extremely reasonable and that I am easy to work with. I can quote you an hourly rate or give you a solid bid on a project. I’m open to both freelance and permanent staff positions.

I hope you enjoy my online portfolio. I have a hard copy portfolio too, with expanded print ads and award-winning TV and radio spots. Let me know if you’d like to see it.

-- Joe