As a blissfully freelance, St. Louis-based writer of copy, content and entertainment, I’m thinking big and living large. At least in my own imagination. Luckily, my imagination is also my livelihood. (Whew!) See a few scenes from my typical writing day of writing, brainstorming and pacing in the video above. Then examine the resulting creative work throughout this site, with examples of my:
The Advertsing Club of St. Louis asked its members for unusual “Addy Memories,” referring to the club’s annual St. Louis Addy Awards show for advertising and marketing. I have nothing BUT unusual Addy memories, and so I was happy to raise my hand and share a couple of them. Warning: red underwear is involved. Lucky red underwear.
By the way, these intertwined stories are true. I won my first of four “Best of Show” Addys in 1988 for a single sheet of paper, a Microsoft Word doc. The “Warm, Personal Letter” was a one-pager introducing my business to friends and prospects. I guess the judges found it funny: it won a Gold in self-promotion, a Gold in print collateral, then (shockingly to me) that night’s Best of Show. Accepting the latter, I had to wing an unprepared speech in front of 1,500 people at Powell Symphony Hall. The red underwear remark was improv that grew into something… weirder.
P.S. Thanks, Halski Studio, for shooting this little story. Let’s do a longer director’s cut!
Winner of “Best in Show” in the National Healthcare Advertising Awards, this rebranding campaign for Central Baptist Hospital system in Lexington, Kentucky, expressed the health care brand’s combination of high-tech… and “high-touch.”
The hospital wanted to advertise its new technological advances. Writer Walt Jaschek and client agency Maring Weissman wanted to ensure those advances were communicated via their very human benefit, the one every single patient wants most: getting back home, healthy.
Walt wrote the new tagline, “This is Care,” then used the “this is” phrase as the structural basis for a series of print ads, TV spots, banner ads and outdoor boards. Here are are few of the print ads in the campaign, a series of double-page newspaper spreads. Credits below.
Headlines: “This is the machine that healed Alan’s heart.” / “This is Alan’s heart.”
Headlines: “This is the CyberKnife™ that saved Donna’s life.” / “This is Donna’s life.”
“Steve’s Blood Flowing”
Headlines: “This is the stroke-preventing device that keeps Steve’s blood flowing.” / “This is Steve’s blood flowing.”
Headlines: “This is the monitor that keeps close tabs on Nathan.” / “This is Nathan.”
Here are two more of the mounted ads from Walt’s portfolio.
Left ad: Sensitive Mom. Headlines: “This is the highly sensitive digital mammogram that saved Mom.” “This is highly sensitive Mom.” Right ad: Ben’s Back. Headlines: “This is the procedure that fixed Ben’s back.” “This is Ben’s back.”
The integrated “This is Care” campaign was extended into all media, including radio and television. Here’s “Alan’s Heart,” as seen on TV.
Client: Central Baptist Hospital
Agency: Maring Weissman
Writer: Walt Jaschek
Designers: Paul Maring, Chuck Hart
Creative Director: Paul Maring
TV production: Arbor Group
In 7th grade, I wrote a gushing fan letter to Stan Lee. The letter was subsequently published in its entirety in Captain America #107, November, 1968. A thrill. Here’s the cover, by Jack Kirby (another hero:)
But it got better. Stan deemed the letter worthy of a “No-Prize,” his inside-joke “award” for fans – an envelope with literally nothing inside. So when, a few weeks later, said envelope from Marvel arrived, my 12-year-old head hit the ceiling.
This is my way of saying… RIP Stan, entertainer extraordinaire, wizard of words and worlds, and an outsized influence on many, including me. I’m so happy you lived long enough to see your co-creations explode into every corner of pop culture. Thanks for the ride.
And thanks also for this little envelope: no prize I’ve gotten since surpasses.
“Congratulations,” it says. “This envelope contains a genuine Marvel Comics No-Prize which you have just won. Handle with Care.” I did, through the decades. That’s a pic I shot recently. The outer envelope (from 625 Madison Avenue, New York, 10022) has yellowed. The No-Prize itself… is mint.
Funny radio commercials? Are they still a thing? Yes, funny radio commercials are still a thing. We specialize in ’em, and advertisers (and audiences) treasure ’em. Funny radio commercials provide an attention-getting break from the boring radio norm (radio today: zzzzzzzzzzz). Truly funny radio commercials also provide a memorable, positive, and thus loyalty-building listener experience.
Please turn your volume up for these award-winning funny radio commercials, written or co-written by Walt Jaschek, and produced by Paul Fey, many from the heady days we were known as Paul & Walt Worldwide.
“Robert Goulet” | :60 funny radio commercial for The Simpsons
$20,000 Mercury Award for Radio Humor
“Mission Persons” | :60 funny radio commercial for Matlock
Clio Award for “Best Radio Copywriting”
“Laugh Catalog” | :60 funny radio commerical for George Schlatter’s Comedy Club
Clio Award for “Best Use of Sound”
“Viva La Volvo” | :60 funny radio commercial for Volvo
National Addy Award winner
“Put Your Tongue on the Radio” | :60 funny radio commercial for Gene Simmons Family Jewels
Promax Muse Award for radio
“The Ballad of Judge Wapner” | :60 funny radio commercial for The People’s Court
Promax Muse Award winner for radio, National Addy Award for radio
“Millions of Americans” | :60 funny radio commercial for the American Optometric Association
“I’m Shaving My Head!” | :60 funny radio commercial for Star Trek: The Next Generation
“Larry and Laverne” | :60 funny radio commercial for Jeopardy
“Mister Rippemoff” | :60 funny radio commercial for Newscenter 7 Wastebusters
“Auditions” | :60 funny radio commercial for Star Trek: the Next Generation
Bonus fact: for this body of funny radio commercials and more, Walt Jaschek and Paul Fey were inducted into the 2018 St. Louis Media Hall of Fame. Here they are at the March, 2018, induction ceremony, with frequent collaborator, audio engineer Bill Schulenburg.
P.S. Wondering how Paul and Walt met? How they came to make funny radio commercials together? The University of Missouri-St. Louis student newspaper just published a story about that: and the answer involves a soft drink neither of them now consume. Check it out.
Need a new, high-impact, laugh-your-ads-off campaign of funny radio commercials? You know who to contact.
Walt Jaschek has an attitude of gratitude: for many things (like the view from Bryce Canyon, Utah, above) but especially for the kind recommendations for his concepting and copywriting services, as provided on LinkedIn from distinguished professionals and executives in advertising, marketing, design, production and sales. A sampling:
When I have a client who REALLY needs to differentiate, I call on Walt Jaschek. He’s my “Go To” brand strategist/copywriter. Walt is masterful at helping to position brands and writing copy that communicates a brand or client company’s strategic difference.
Walt writes straight and powerful copy, that’s simple to read. He’s has a knack for making the complex seem simple.
Walt forces you to look at marketing communication through the eyes of a cartoon avatar, who represents your target audience. Then, he invites this cartoon avatar to join your meeting. Soon, you find they are actually sitting right there with you, as you discuss whether a marketing message is resonating. That’s the magic of Walt Jaschek. And, that’s why I partner with him whenever I can.
Sales & Marketing Professional
Walt Jaschek is the “Woody Allen of Advertising.” The guy’s in a league of his own. He gets it – and does it all. No matter whether you’ve known him for five years or five minutes: You’ll Want Walt.
Why? Because he gives your message meaning, he gets results and he genuinely loves what he does.
The man pours an incredible amount of passion, wit, creativity and direction into every project he touches…and it shows.
His work stretches across the country and I am no longer taken aback when I run into clients and associates who have either worked with Walt or know his work.
Meet with Walt and you will want him working with you, too.
Owner, Whitney Design Works LLC
Walt Jaschek is an extremely thoughtful and creative person. I’ve enjoyed working with him on freelance projects from the Arbor Group, but I’ve actually gotten to know him better through personal channels. He believes in starting at the beginning, which is almost always the best place to start. He feels that a tagline, if handled properly, is the “kernel” or “nugget” of the advertising message. According to him, if you have a great tagline, you’re well on your way to success. I would heartily recommend him for any project that requires a strong tagline, excellent writing, and/or great ideas. He is also a very ethical person, as well as totally likable.
Marketing Executive, Film/Video Producer
Walt Jaschek is an imaginative and dedicated storyteller with a keen eye (and hand) for writing comedy. He shared numerous scripts for a short film concept, and gave us plenty of humor in a variety of forms. Once we settled on one of his scripts, Walt helped champion the project in a collaborative, respectful and enthusiastic manner, from storyboards to filming and editing. He is generous with his time and sharp with his wit.
Owner, The Arbor Group
Walt Jaschek is a first rate, creative writer providing copy and concepts that are unique but spot-on to strategy. His word craft is second to none and he is a true collaborative spirit. I just wish I had enough projects to employ him continuously.
Entrepreneur, Strategist, Innovator, Senior Marketing Executive
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Walt Jaschek for several years and on dozens of branding and marketing initiatives. Walt is brilliant as both a brand strategist and copywriter. He can quickly understand a client’s needs and value and package that succinctly into headlines, copy and brand statements.
Whether you need help with developing or better defining your brand, concepting a campaign, creating copy for broadcast, print or web, a sit down with Walt is the best place to start.
Owner, Marketing Management Group
I have used Walt Jaschek several times as a creative catalyst when our creative projects needed a spark. Our last project required us to turnaround creative concepts and final copy in two days. Walt was in our office for a brainstorm within 24 hours of my call. His ideas and execution wowed our client and ultimately helped earn us a new account and ongoing creative business. He was constantly available throughout the process and his work was outstanding. A true professional!
Partner, Spoke Marketing
Simply put, when I grow up I want to be like Walt. Walt Jaschek is an idea guy… whatever you are thinking, he can turn it upside down and bring something new. Unlike a lot of idea guys though, he is organized… grounded in process… he is able to facilitate any discussion and bring it to a place you can act on the idea. Then – he can act. He will write it up and deliver it on time. If I could use Walt on every project… every project would be better for it.
Partner, Spoke Marketing
WARNING: do not hire Walt Jaschek unless you feel comfortable saying “Damn! I wish I’d thought of that!” While I do miss the mustache, Walt is passionate, creative and brings energy to every meeting; no exceptions.
The only thing I like better than working with Walt…is taking credit for his ideas.
Kristy “Tucc” (Bauer) Tucciarone, Ph.D
Program Chair and Professor, Lindenwood University
Hands down, Walt Jaschek gave the BEST presentation about Advertising Copywriting; In fact, he was the more informative speaker we have had all semester…heck, all year,” shared advertising students at UMSL. As the Professor of Advertising I constantly seek ad professionals who can tap the potential in students and make it come alive. Walt did exactly that. I recommend his presentation “Let Loose the Large” to all students studying advertising!! His work is engaging, fun, and effective.
Principal, Taylor Management Group
Walt Jaschek has a unique ability to bring a brand to life. Through the creative process, he uses his ability to bring together many seemingly disparate views into a brand story that creates awareness and increases client revenues.
Founder and CEO, LockerDome
Walt Jaschek is one of top creatives in the marketing industry; he’s clever, original, and a true professional. It’s impossible to turn down a cup of coffee with this guy, as it’s simply fascinating to see his mind go to work.
Owner, Noble Business Development
I recently signed up for the “Perfect Your Pitch” workshop with Walt Jaschek and Mike Behr. Our business is complicated for the common layman or even for the sophisticated investor; so we’ve had trouble switching audiences. Being heavily technical in nature our success has been fair with people who already have a knowledge base in our area. But we wanted more; to be better understood.
First and foremost Walt and Mike are professionals that understand the process. Through a deep conversation that flowed easily, they helped us get to the root of our issue. It wasn’t painful in the least and provided a great deal of clarity. There was no talking down to, or jargon; no preconceived notions or boxes to be put in. They provide a structured format, that’s flexible and can adapt to our needs. Both Mike and Walt are easy to talk to and very bright. They proved to be good listeners that really understand getting to the next steps. They have plenty of skill in taking difficult concepts and relaying them in way that’s more easily understood.
In the end we definitely got more than we bargained for and had a good time getting there. I’d highly recommend spending time with them to help you get to your goals faster.
Executive Director, Webster Community Arts Foundation
Artist, Jeane Vogel Studios
Walt Jaschek is, by far, the most talented person I know. But talent comes at price. Sometimes it’s moodiness or quirkiness or just being hard to work with. The cost of working with Walt? Well, you have to contend with his amazing good humor, dry wit, exceptional creative mind and amazing results. Worst of all, you don’t get want you asked for: you get better!
Walt says: Thank you all, very, very much. I am sincerely grateful for your kind words and recommendations. If you want to add to them, I’ll graciously accept.
And I work every day to be worthy of them.
Completed after weeks of work: a series of dramatic, dialogue-driven, leadership training video scripts I wrote for an international management consulting firm. Take a look there at page 7: that’s a great scene, huh? (Just kidding.)
Bonus: Just spent a few days on the set, watching a great director, dedicated crew, and gifted actors bringing my words to life. Gotta say: that never gets old.
Let’s put our heads together and our hands to the board.
We can crack your brand messaging, or tackle a tagline, or craft the perfect home page copy, or ideate a luscious live event, or concept a web series, or hurl out a whole lot of headlines.
It’s a good change from writing solo and I’ve seen it work spectacularly over the years. I come in, we conjure, you keep the ideas, I go put more money in the parking meter, everybody wins.
I can be engaged to lead ideation sessions, brainstorms and messaging meetings, or to participate in them; from one person to many; from a conference room to a couch in the lobby; from a single hour to a series of meetings strategically scheduled over days.
The highest and best use of sessions like this is brand story development.
Before you launch that new marketing campaign, you need your brand story straight. To do so, perhaps I can bring my “Prospect-Based Messaging” techniques to guide you and your team through strategic ideation. Results: crystalized brand stories, unified messaging that ignites marketing campaigns, turns prospects into customers, and turns customers into brand advocates.
Recently I have led in-depth ideation sessions for Centene Corporation, Nurse Response, World Wide Wadio, Dovetail, 2e Creative, Spoke Marketing, MGM Management Group, Parkside Financial Bank and Trust, the Gateway Interactive Marketing Association, RBO Print Logistix, and for students at Webster University.
I have participated in them for CBS-TV, 20th Century Fox, Grey Goose Vodka, Dewar’s Scotch, SSM Health Care, Hodgson Mill and many, many world-class brands.
I am ready at the whiteboard.
Oh, sure, I might sniff the markers a little.
But that’s part of the fun.