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    Take a peek at my portfolio – – – – – – – >

    From online content to advertising to direct mail campaigns, brochures to graphic design and even cool Christmas cards, Chickenscratch was forged by the fires of words at work, making big fans of little brands, and having a lot of fun with and in the creative process.






    Leading a sweeping urban transformation, the renovation of the YMCA at Arizona State University stands as a symbol of multiple institutions working together to improve the quality of life in the once distressed North end of Phoenix. One effective element of the Revitalization Program raised funds for expansion by selling limited edition wooden pieces, crafted into coasters, coat racks, and picture frames, made up of fragments of the original gym floor of the Lincoln Family Downtown Y. The place where Arizona greats like Frank Johnson, Amaire Stoudemire and Dick and Tom VanArsdale made basketball history, the oldest gymnasium in the state opened in 1952. Copy on posters and hang tags, stating,   “There was a time, a time before superstar athletes eyed their soaring forms in glass backboards…”, assisted in selling the reclaimed and reimagined items by creatively preserving the past while making room for an exciting future.



    Samovar Tea Lounge of San Francisco, CA, is a standout example of what Chickenscratch’s creative capabilities can do for a company. As copy states, at Samovar, “It’s never simply business as usual… serving the highest quality teas and sumptuous complementary cuisine is an art and a vehicle for the greater good.” Making people feel healthy and helping them find happiness is a bottom line Samovar and I share, and my input helped form the foundations of the company’s creative messaging. The consciousness and uplift created via their online site captures Samovar’s unique position as one of the nation’s leading destinations and retailers for tea connoisseurs, capturing the spirit of the old Chinese Proverb that states, “Better to be deprived of food for three days than tea for one.”


    Chickenscratch’s commercial creative work focused on advertising and print ads in particular for a lot of the early years. The reason was my strong belief that the formula of killer headline and succinct, standout body copy were the creative spaces a copywriter made his (trade) mark. I still relish writing ads and I’m damn good at it, as the following Arizona Falconry Club campaign shows. Over the years the scope has expanded, however, allowing me to sharpen my creative teeth and sink them into more story telling and  longer, prosier endeavors.


    Whoever says Direct Mail Campaigns aren’t a blast never had me darken their conference room door. Case in point, the following project ended up bagging a John Caples International Direct and Interactive Marketing Award for the Milton Bradley Company. The interactive, bamboo crate promoting Jumanji the board game followed in the footsteps of Jumanji the Caldecott Award-winning children’s book as well as the film starring Robin Williams. Real African tribal masks, counter weights for gold and a pith helmet were included, along with rhymes that alerted the nation’s top toy buyers to how the game was played as well as the buying opportunity, i.e., “Not wearing this protective hat risks danger in the jungle, but not preparing for Jumanji could be a bigger bungle!” The following, celebratory video shows the Acoount Executive., Art Director and yours truly celebrating our win with the tribal providers of some of the most authentic chachkies ever used to promote a product.


    Intelligent words + sharp pictures = great pieces and projects.  The following Weyerhauser paper promotion, executed with a San Diego Graphic Design firm, ended up being a huge hit for their client’s new paper product, Lynx Opaque. The premise asked, “How can something like Lynx Opaque be both highly valued and inexpensive?”, and then followed up by metaphorically  introducing high-end designers finding  incredible, underpriced treasures at markets and yard sales. When I lived in the Southwest, I helped craft high-caliber work with small, high-end design boutiques and today find forging seamless creative bonds with graphics designers, art and creative directors virtually effortless.


    I did say something about cool Christmas cards, didn’t I? Wait, is that not P.C.? If not, please note that do I equally outstanding Chanukah and Kwanzaa cards. The following idea bagged one of the industry’s more visible awards, a New Mexico trade magazine’s  Best Holiday Card idea for client Eclipse Aviation     that Holiday season.

    Ho Ho Ho


    Beyond great headlines and punchy body copy, I also write longer, prosier pieces that remain equally engaging. The following samples were a part of Northern Arizona University’s “Catching The Dream” Capital Raising Campaign. The project called for ssembling a substantial Guide to Gift Planning that directed University contributions along with close to a dozen individual brochures demarcating the financial goals of each of NAU’s separate colleges. This highly successful endeavor raised over $20 million for the University and stands as a fine example of a lengthy, multi-pieced project that still bears the excellence of the Chickenscratch creative mark.

    Thanks for your review.

    To discuss the parameters of your project,

    go ahead and contact me, Paul Tootalian.

    Or feel free to reach me by phone at 415.577.7126.

    I  look forward to connecting and crossing paths with you.

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