Blog / Meet Dave

Dave Dumanis is a longtime San Francisco Bay Area creative director, copywriter, content writer and UX writer known for deep strategic curiosity, a strict conversion-centric approach, and making complex new technologies feel simple. Dave’s countless integrated digital campaigns and content components for DocuSign, Maxim Integrated, Hawaiian Airlines, ThoughtSpot, Intuit, Google and other clients combine a rock-solid results orientation with a distinctly human touch.

Racist Tech Bro Michael Lofthouse’s Bigoted Restaurant Rant Is Everything Wrong with Silicon Valley in One Incident

I probably don’t have to tell you this story, but I will anyway: A few days ago, Michael Loftus, the CEO of a dubious “cloud services” company called Solid8, which counts among its clients Salesforce and Oracle, strode into a Carmel Valley restaurant’s outdoor dining patio with his middle finger in the air and proceeded… Continue reading Racist Tech Bro Michael Lofthouse’s Bigoted Restaurant Rant Is Everything Wrong with Silicon Valley in One Incident

My new coronavirus-era gig doesn’t pay a dime, but it’s a total sanity saver—and I love it.

I never thought of myself as a political writer. As a matter of fact, there was a time in my life when I didn’t think of myself as political at all. For decades I’ve been in advertising, which is by nature commercial, not political. Yet here I am, lead writer on the Shahid Buttar for… Continue reading My new coronavirus-era gig doesn’t pay a dime, but it’s a total sanity saver—and I love it.

You won’t believe it, but I had a funny feeling something like this would happen.

Once upon a time, I worked at a full-time corporate marketing job. I had a pretty good title (Senior Copywriter), pulled a halfway decent salary (none of your business), and enjoyed unlimited free snacks. But every day, I left that place with a funny, nauseated feeling in the pit of my stomach. This can’t last,… Continue reading You won’t believe it, but I had a funny feeling something like this would happen.

It’s time for creatives to take a long, hard look at how we got here

Why did you become a creative professional? A copywriter, designer, art director, creative director, video/film director? An ad person, in other words? At the deepest psychological level, why would you voluntarily join such an unstable, unpredictable, unappreciated, and often scoffed-at profession? I know why I did. And I’m not proud of it. I hasten to… Continue reading It’s time for creatives to take a long, hard look at how we got here

A whole new way may not be possible, but business as usual definitely isn’t.

This is odd: When you scroll down LinkedIn these days, about half the posts look like there’s nothing wrong. You definitely can’t tell there’s a pandemic going on. No reference at all to the genuinely weird context that we’re all working from home, and that many of us are in danger of catching a terrible… Continue reading A whole new way may not be possible, but business as usual definitely isn’t.

My super power is fighting cheerleaderism. Here’s why I do it, and how you can too (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this post, I talked about the disturbing trend of marketing stakeholders and clients reflexively responding to questions about their marketing problems with a lot of positive rah-rah nonsense that’s not only not helpful, but actually harmful to the strategic and creative process. In this second part, I’ll list several possible reasons… Continue reading My super power is fighting cheerleaderism. Here’s why I do it, and how you can too (Part 2)

My super power is fighting cheerleaderism. Here’s why I do it, and how you can too (Part 1)

My most common question to clients and potential clients is what I always thought was a simple one: “What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing?” It’s strange and somewhat concerning to me that I almost never get a straight answer to this question. I mean, they shouldn’t be trying to impress me. I’m working for them,… Continue reading My super power is fighting cheerleaderism. Here’s why I do it, and how you can too (Part 1)

Want to see a million dollars set on fire? Just drive down 101 and look out your window.

I don’t drive too much anymore. I hate traffic and I hate tailgaters, so I avoid freeways as much as possible. I find that nine times out of 10, a combination of CalTrain and Lyft get me exactly where I want to go, stress-free. Whenever I do drive, though, I notice one thing, and it’s… Continue reading Want to see a million dollars set on fire? Just drive down 101 and look out your window.

Ever sold anything? That experience can help you write better copy than most copywriters.

First job I ever had, way back in high school when other kids got jobs flipping burgers or detailing cars, was telemarketing. If you were born after around 1980, this was a job that involved calling strangers who may or may not have previously expressed an interest and trying to sell them stuff, usually by… Continue reading Ever sold anything? That experience can help you write better copy than most copywriters.

The only reason I wrote this is to attract new copywriting clients, but I’m betting you’ll read it anyway.

Did I lose you? No? Well, you’re far from the only one. Does that surprise you? After all, that headline is a big hunk of truth. I’m giving up the game before it even starts, revealing exactly what my secret hidden agenda is. Most people would say that’s kind of stupid. But you see, that’s… Continue reading The only reason I wrote this is to attract new copywriting clients, but I’m betting you’ll read it anyway.

Respect the writer

I was having a conversation with my wife the other day, just yakking, small talk in the car like you do, and she brought up a website written by a client of hers. The client was not a native speaker nor writer of English, and apparently it showed. The site content was full of idioms… Continue reading Respect the writer

Video killed the creative star: Why the insane race to go viral is destroying your creative team and budget

A few months ago I interviewed at a super-hot startup. Among the five or six people scheduled to grill me that morning was the company video specialist. This is a fairly new role popping up everywhere, apparently based on the information that video radically boosts the chances of social posts going viral. The person lucky… Continue reading Video killed the creative star: Why the insane race to go viral is destroying your creative team and budget

Sunlight is born.

A few short years ago, I came to the conclusion that advertising is really just a bunch of noise unless it also involves helping our rapidly unraveling planet. It could have been the urge to make a better world for my teenage daughter, or just the daily news about penguins and polar bears, but I… Continue reading Sunlight is born.