Author Archives: Tim Murakami

Young Glory – AAU Dominates

This morning, Young Glory released its results for January’s round and to be honest

The Academy killed it.

To see the results, go to:–student-results

Congrats to Jesper & Daniel for taking 1st place!

Congrats to my group: Insight & Execute (Tim O’Connell, Dudley Duberry, Rahul Sawant, and Tim Murakami) for taking 2nd!

And to the haters who think I’m tooting my own horn:

We’re in Advertising and I’m sell the best product I know: ME (If you’re reading this, you may also be awesome).

Crowd Sourcing

As Roger Muller at the Academy of Art says, “Friends, Family, and Fools” are the best source for students to get help with their projects.

I’m going to add Potential Friends/Classmates/Future Fools to that list.

For November’s Young Glory Brief, Insight and Execute  (a group of talented AAU students) is seeking your help.

Our request is simple:

-Shoot video or snap a shot of you or your friends or your family or your fools saying “Thank You”. And send it to us.

No need to look pretty. Shoot it from your phone. 5 seconds. Or 10 minutes. Depending on your level of tech savvy.


So easy I did it.

“Why?” you may ask. We are putting together a video for a proposed project that (in part) connects recipients and donors for disasters like Sandy and we want diverse images of people showing their appreciation for donations.

Deadline: November 25th.

So I’m going to ask you, “Will you be my friend, family, or fool?”

Pretty please?

Email to: tim.murakami[AT]

They is plural.

Art Directors & lazy Copywriters beware. This is a grammar post. Account planners, you can consider this a topic for future focus groups.

As a Copywriter, I love that I can play fast and loose with grammar. Periods, em dashes, semicolons, and ellipses —colloquially known as dot-dot-dots— get thrown around with intentional, almost reckless, disregard for how much our Honors English Teacher would approve. Or disapprove.

Which, of course, is the reason that Mark Edwards and I ended up in a friendly discussion (i.e. loud argument) regarding the use of “they.” As a progressive nonprofit worker living in a very progressive city —San Francisco— and a freaking art student, it’s common place for me to use a genderless pronoun when referring to people. “He” and “she” often times become “they.” A copywriter should always be aware of their audience. Mark disagrees. And is right (arguably).

Technically, Copywriters should always be aware of their audience. They is plural.

But what is a copywriter to do when faced with the need for a singular gender-neutral pronoun? Default to the technically correct but pseudo patriarchal he? And piss off feminists, LGBT activists, and Freedom Fighters for Uni-sex Bathrooms? No, gender non-specific sir.

My (unqualified & unrequested) advice:

  • Know your audience.
  • Speak their language.
  • Even if it’s grammatically incorrect.
  • Learn the rules so you can break’em.
  • FTW

Oh and your teacher, boss, and partner are always right.

Even if they is wrong.

Don’t Be Afraid, Get Paid

Freelancing happens.

It starts off innocently enough. Friends-of-a-friend ask you to make a website for their new business, a flyer for their upcoming show, to take pictures at their party, or head-shots for their future acting career. Sure, why not? The question about money never comes up or if it does, you awkwardly say, “Just get me a drink the next time we’re out.”

Then, networking happens.

Your friends tell a friend. Who tells two friends. And you start getting the friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend’s friend hitting you up. This time when the issue of money comes up, you fall into the “try before you buy” pitfall that all young/eager freelancers do. If you’re lucky, they have a budget (i.e. someone else’s money) and they insist on paying. If not, it’s rinse, lather, repeat. Do not pass “Go.” Do not collect $200.

As a busy student, I fell into this cycle doing event photography. “Sure, why not?” was my go to phrase. I’d occasionally mix in some graphic design work. All to, “build my book.” All for Freelance.

But then I got paid.

And everyone likes getting paid.

But getting paid did more than put some extra money in my barren pockets, it showed me my own worth. The fear of “not doing a good enough job to get paid” suddenly subsided. The once annoying feedback from teachers about presentation and professionalism, suddenly made sense. It also validated my feelings that I should put those jobs on my resume. Hell, if one person felt I was worth $100 an hour, others will too.

And once you start getting paid, start keeping all your receipts. But that’s a topic for another post (“Creative Accounting 101” – hint: under $600)

New, New (Friend Request)

It’s a fresh new year (academically). We have fresh new (to us) digs. New fresh faces. And (hopefully) fresh new talent.

While the elevator at 410 Bush may have an old soul (I swear there is a ghost that keeps those doors from closing properly the first time), now is the perfect time to make new friends. As our esteemed Copywriting Director, Mark Edwards, put it this morning – 410 Bush puts our talents within walking distance to some major advertising agencies: Goodby, Venables, Ogilvy One, 215Mccan, and so many others.

What does this mean for us? Even more of an excuse to pull a “Don Draper” and hit up some bars. I mean “network with potential employers.”

No one will probably take this advice, but smart ladder climbers should cruise the “About Us” sections of their favorite SF agencies. You never know, that dude who just rudely cut in front of you at the coffee shop might just be Jeff Goodby or Rich Silverstein. Instead of slipping him the finger, slip him your book.

Suggested (Only minorly awkward) Opening Lines: