This month we sat down with our copywriter, Adam Hansen, to learn a little bit more about where he came from and how he got started in the advertising industry. Read on to get to know our office jokester a little better!
1.) Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Marshall, Minnesota—a tiny midwestern town that’s only known for Schwan’s trucks, ice cream and frozen pizza.
2.) What got you interested in the marketing/advertising industry?
I originally went to college for music production but always loved English classes. When I realized that music wasn’t a good fit, an advisor suggested I try advertising to stay within a creative industry. Once I started the program, I realized how much I loved it and knew I wanted to do it for a living.
3.) What are some challenges you face in your role at TJA?
Since I work on projects for nearly every client at TJA, I have to flip a different switch in my brain dozens of times throughout the day. This helps me write in a different voice for each brand. It can be challenging at times, but definitely keeps me on my toes and ensures every day is interesting.
4.) What success have you had in your role at TJA?
I’ve worked with the team to bring some really fun, interesting ideas to life. From talking kabobs and corned beef sandwiches to in-depth bios for imaginary people, we’ve created memorable work that’s backed up by real-world results.
5.) What is your favorite part about your job?
I love having the the chance to work with each of the departments within TJA. Depending on the project, there’s a good chance that I’ll get to collaborate with someone different each day.
6.) What do you know now that you wish you knew at the start of your career?
I wish I had known how much of a role social media would play in our everyday lives and the way brands communicate. There’s really no other medium quite like it, so it takes a whole new way of thinking about your message and how it will translate to that space.
7.) What are some tools you use everyday that are specific to your role at TJA?
I always end up using two things on a daily basis: a thesaurus and Google images. Looking through synonyms helps me find new twists on headlines, body copy or even entire concepts. Similarly, browsing hundreds of different photos while I’m writing can jumpstart new ideas or help me think of something that was hiding in plain sight.
8.) What’s trending now in your department? What do you see happening in the future?
I think both established and new brands are seeing a lot of success when they concentrate on storytelling. This is true for advertising, but also extends to social media and in-person interactions. Providing people with memorable, relatable stories helps them form an emotional connection and can lead to life-long brand loyalty. This is especially important now that consumers have endless choices in pretty much every product category.
9.) What kind of work were you doing prior to TJA?
I began working in the creative industry during college. I started out as a design and photography intern before realizing that I’m better with words than pictures. I also worked as a DJ and marketing coordinator at an independent radio station in North Dakota that played indie and metal music for anyone who would listen. Once I moved to Phoenix, I started writing for brands in many different industries and locations—including McDonald’s, Talking Stick Resort, The State of Arizona and international brands in China and Europe.
10.) What would you tell someone who wants to start a career as a copywriter?
Learn how to translate any concept into a thousand different executions. It’s important to ensure your idea will work for every medium while remaining recognizable and cohesive. That way your target audience gets a similar experience each time they interact with the brand, no matter where they are or what they’re doing.