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.

No Offense, SF Tech Bros and Tech Sisses, But Good Riddance

I don’t want to sound like too much of a nostalgic old coot, even though I might technically qualify as one—the old part, anyway—but San Francisco hasn’t been recognizable to me for some time. I don’t mean physically recognizable, either. Yes, the skyline’s changed, that’s true. At the park near my house, the view doesn’t…

The incredible power of negative thinking

Particularly right now with all the COVID, recession, and police brutality protests, all of which I believe are intimately connected and interrelated, stress reduction and professional development gurus are touting the power of positivity. Just stay positive, they say, and things will work out. Well, I’m here to tell you that’s all BS. Things may…

“Why is every brand being cancelled?”

This week, a lot of bad stuff happened to big brands—brands so big, most people just assumed they were impossible to hurt. The on that landed the hardest was Aunt Jemima. The Quaker Oats-owned pancake mix and syrup brand that was obviously racist to so many for so long, yet somehow stayed on the shelves,…

Why I’ll never take another writing test again.

A few days ago, a potential client asked me to take a writing test to qualify for a gig. The product was a powder that forms a beneficial drink when mixed with water. Things are slow for me, so I said yes. When I received the creative brief, I was shocked. The brief was for,…

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…

Nostalgia is natural, but it’s hurting us. A lot.

It feels comfortable, like a favorite sweatshirt. Comforting, like a creamy cheesy winter casserole. It just feels right. But it’s wrong. We can’t go back to the way things were before the pandemic, because that way lies an end to everything. We want to. Really, really badly. This has been such a disruptive experience on…

Marketing is dead. Long live marketing.

Once about every couple of years, marketing or advertising is pronounced dead, usually because of automation or the Internet or some other change vector everyone could see coming from a mile away. This time feels different, though. Maybe it’s all the marketers who’ve now been laid off, even though they thought their jobs were safer…

Why the way media shows creative pros is bass-ackwards

When you think of creative professionals, what do you think of? Probably someone pacing around and then having an idea, in a glorious “Aha!” moment. That’s flashy and showy and makes for great TV (or a great TikTok). But it’s not how the best work gets made. In fact, this myth hurts more than it…

A quick and dirty tip to beat writer’s block

Writer’s block is nobody’s friend, but sometimes you just can’t avoid it. The deadline is too tight, or the assignment is out of your wheelhouse, or you’ve just had too much stress and too little sleep. When that happens, there’s something that virtually always works for me. I hope it works for you, too. It’ll…

Dude, does your company even “copywriter”?

A slow change is taking place on the corporate marketing landscape, so slow in fact that it’s nearly imperceptible unless you’re in it. It used to be that the “client side” of the advertising business was filled with agency folks who’d grown tired of the rat race. The intense pressure, the endless pre-pitch nights, the…

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…

Creative agencies and departments, take this hint from Finland

Sanna Marin, the 34-year-old prime minister of Finland, made news this week when she recommended that her government seriously look into the benefits of a four-day workweek. (To be clear, this would be four days for the same pay as five days right now.) Marin, a member of Finland’s parliament for four years and most…

Marketers need to stop ostriching on climate change

Many years ago, when my hair was mostly brown with a few gray strands instead of the opposite, my wife and I took a vacation in Asia. We went to Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, and, because my wife wanted to see Bali, we stopped in Indonesia as well. In order to get to Bali via…

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…