From the desk of James Nolan:

Dear friend,

Here is the short of it:

We write words that sell sh**.

Though this last word may still offend some as crude, it is one of those few words in the English language that by popular consent has come to mean the exact opposite of its originally intended use.

“Hey, man, now that is some cool sh**!” (Don’t even get us started on the possibilities of the word ‘cool’).

Now, our slogan “We write words that sell sh**” is of course rooted in an idea.

The idea that, somewhere along the line...

Advertising has lost its way.

What was the cause of this, or whether there is a single cause, we are not sure – but the effects are everywhere.

Companies, or those assigned to work on their behalf, throw together a fast and loose content strategy...whip up a few ads...plug them into their preferred media channels...collect a few leads by way of contact forms or tired presentations...bombard them with pitches and flash discounts...and hope for the best.

Customers churn, lists are constantly refreshed or discarded, and growth stagnates or destabilizes.

True – it has never been easier to advertise, never been easier to sell a product or service, but with so many people playing the game, from brands and solopreneurs alike, it has also never been easier to mess it all up.

Technology has created immense possibility.

But technology by definition is a vortex of efficiency, and if companies are not careful they quickly become its victim rather than its master.

We forget the foundational principle of good advertising, modified to suit the modern age, that at the other end of every computer screen, tablet, or smartphone is but one thing…

A warm-blooded human being.

A warm-blooded human being with wants, desires, frustrations, pains, and problems.

A product satisfies these once; a brand satisfies these forever.

Let me tell you:

My grandmother – bless her soul – was an avid Pepsi drinker. My fiancé's mother, on the other hand, swears by Coca Cola.

There is not one thing that either of these lovely women might have said to the other to change her mind.


Because their preference had not as much to do with taste as with perception and – loyalty.

Myself, I won’t wear any shoes but Adidas – my brother, well, he is a just do it kind of guy.

But how do companies become brands?

How do companies entrench themselves into our daily ritual, remain the continual answer to our desires, and become our habitual preferences – without us even knowing it?

They excite engagement, establish community, and surround us with their presence.

Sound processes, cohesive systems, and technical infrastructure – these things support their enterprise.

But without the thread that weaves these components together, without the one thing that makes these functions work, these brands would never have become brands.

And that is the Architecture of Storytelling…

Or, plainly put:


Damn good copy.

Copy that discovers, not manufactures, desire.

Copy that stirs the passions and integrates.

Copy that understands consumers better than they understand themselves.

And, of course, copy that proceeds from the principle that our customers are, ever and always, warm-blooded human beings.

Great companies, it seems, never perish, and it is language that enshrines them.


James Nolan

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