Author Archives: Mortar
September 12th, 2019

Jobortunities at Mortar (see what we did there?)

Expanding client work and a host of new business wins have created the need for a whole raft of creative talent (raft being the technical term for a group of creatives — like murder of crows).  If you’re a whiz with words (triple alliteration word score) or pictures we’d like to talk to you. Read on for more…

Senior Copywriter/ACD

We are looking for a Senior Copywriter/ACD with 360° capabilities: a conceptual thinker and skilled writer who can shift seamlessly between all media: print, digital, outdoor, broadcast/video, experiential, radio, interactive, etc. You’ll work closely with our Executive Creative Director and partner with art directors and designers, as well as our strategy, account, and new business teams.

You will be responsible for helping us move people through marketing that shapes the intended reaction (we call them A-ha moments) to our clients’ products and services. You’ll need to know what customer emotions to play into, how to trigger those emotions, and how to bring that to life through words in a way that’s not only new and engaging, but solves our clients’ business objectives.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Develop creative concepts for integrated brand initiatives and campaigns that crystallize the strategic marketing decision
  • Write and edit compelling copy in all forms—from detailed, long-form brochures and topical social content, to digital banners and captivating headlines and taglines
  • Work effectively with all Mortar teams to develop copy that clearly meets the given brief and client objectives
  • Ability to manage and jump between multiple ongoing clients and projects—from concept stage through to completion
  • Possess a strong point-of-view and ability to contribute to the creative and strategic development of a concept
  • Prioritize workload, and deliver exceptional creative on time
  • Collaborate regularly and effectively with account managers, strategists, and new business teams—we’re no fans of department walls here

Required Skills and Experience:

  • A portfolio that demonstrates exceptional creative thinking and copy in a variety of industries that spans traditional, interactive and beyond
  • Minimum 8 years of experience in the advertising/branding industry
  • Experience with B2B, technology sector, and/or medical product marketing a strong plus
  • Excellent presentation and deck-writing skills
  • Work effectively with other departments to meet deadlines and solve clients’ challenges
  • A self-starter who can proactively manage time and prioritize workloads
  • Meticulous with details, quality and grammar
  • Extremely strong conceptual abilities
  • Mastery of Microsoft Office and Keynote; you should be Mac-friendly

To apply for this position, send your resume, cover letter and portfolio link to: with the subject line “Senior Copywriter.”

Sr. Art Director/ACD

We’re looking for a Sr. Art Director/ACD with 360° capabilities: a conceptual thinker and skilled designer who can shift seamlessly between digital design, broadcast/video, and traditional print media. This leadership role will also require you to be an inspiring and attentive mentor to Mortar’s creative team. You’ll collaborate early and often, working regularly with our strategy, account, and new business teams.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Develop creative concepts for high-level, integrated brand initiatives and campaigns that crystallize the Strategic Decision and drive the A-ha moment
  • Conceptualize and design campaigns and executions across digital, broadcast, experiential, and print media
  • Provide clear creative direction so designers can execute on your vision
  • Manage multiple ongoing projects from concept stage through to completion
  • Work with outside vendors: developers, photographers, production companies, etc.
  • Be able to generate interesting and viable ideas across all existing and emerging media, whether that’s direct mail or Snapchat
  • Participate in new business pitches
  • Provide quotes for time and resources when new projects come in
  • Be a true team player who works well with clients and Mortar internal departments. We believe good ideas can come from anywhere and anyone

Required Skills and Experience:

  • A portfolio that demonstrates exceptional creative thinking as well as superb art direction, graphic design, and typography skills
  • Minimum 8 years of experience in the advertising/branding industry
  • Proven ability to execute traditional print design, experience design, and information architecture
  • Works effectively with other departments to meet deadlines and solve clients’ problems while overseeing creative staff
  • Can proactively manage time and prioritize workloads
  • Must know Adobe Creative Suite like the back of your stylus-wielding hand (mouse-wielding hands ok, too)
  • Effective deck-writing and presentation skills
  • Proven ability to lead and manage a creative team
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills

Bonus points for:

  • Motion graphics or video editing experience
  • Knowledge of AfterEffects, HTML, DHTML, CSS, Actionscript or jQuery

To apply for this position, send your resume, cover letter and portfolio link to: with the subject line “Senior Art Director.”

Production Designer

We are looking for a Production Designer to create and support the visual design and production of our print and digital deliverables.


  • Design and execute campaign assets across digital platforms like ad banners, website mastheads, social brand assets (basic animation or video editing a plus) and print production materials, including tradeshow, direct mail, magazine and brochure layouts
  • Set up documents, templates, and finished artwork, properly preparing files for production
  • Review documentation to ensure files meet template and spec requirements
  • Work with vendors and supplied specifications to create pixel-perfect and print-ready final assets
  • Religiously follow and implement brand style guidelines, producing consistent and compelling designs
  • Proofread artwork for design and copy errors
  • Meet deadlines while juggling many projects and priorities simultaneously
  • Be a true team player who interacts and collaborates well with peers, supervisors, and clients

Required Skills & Experience:

  • 2-5 years of graphic design production experience in a production heavy environment, such as agencies or large in-house marketing department
  • A portfolio that showcases excellent design production skills in both print and digital media
  • Proven success working in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
  • High proficiency in InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Keynote, and Microsoft Office. Adobe AfterEffects, Premier, or Animate are a plus
  • Ability to take direction from leadership and incorporate feedback
  • Skilled in prepress, file preparation, digital file transfer, and printing techniques
  • Proper file management and impeccable attention to detail and accuracy
  • Superb organizational skills
  • Ability to manage time efficiently and to work independently

To apply for this position, send your resume, cover letter and portfolio link to: with the subject line “Production Designer.”

April 4th, 2017

This is a completely appropriate response.


Look. We know you get a ton of emails telling you to Download The Free White Paper That Will Boost Your Business, Slim Your Waistline or Enlarge Your Junk. Don’t flush this one. This is the one that will lead you to The Big Book of Thinking Small—the express train to discovering your A-ha Moment. The thing that makes you, you. The Big Book of Thinking Small not only gives you insight into finding your A-ha Moment, it will help you learn to share your amazingness with the world.

Go ahead. Pull the trigger. Do it.

July 12th, 2016

Hello VMware. Welcome to our community.

What follows is an open invitation to the good people of VMware to change the way they market, from their new advertising agency partner, San Francisco-based Mortar.

After two years of intensive work with the Corporate Marketing and Communications team, we’re convinced the key to helping VMware stand out is to add a lot more community.

If you want to skip ahead, click here to see our website and some recent VMware work here and here.

So, why is community important to VMware?

Let’s start with what keeps VMware marketers up at night: You can no longer be defined as just an infrastructure company. Or the pioneers of virtualization. You play a big role in mobile. You have a lot to offer the end user. And you are essential if customers are to cavort across the gap between on-prem and cloud.

But all that is technospeak. It’s geek talking to geek. VMware is much more than a company of nerds. VMware provides essential fabric for global enterprise – and thus touches millions, even billions of lives. People. Society. Teachers. Kids. Farmers. Non-engineers. Astronauts. Cows. We help them all.

We think it’s about time the company acknowledged that you are helping our software-obsessed planet became a kinder, gentler, creative and yes, more efficient version of ourselves.

We CAN say bigger things to humanity. Which is important as we seek to drive beyond IT and into the C suite and on to connect with the teams building and publishing apps.

How can VMware use community to connect with its audience on an emotional level?

We have heard it said that VMware does not actually touch end customers, what with your vast network of partners. Trust us. You do. And you need to start telling those stories. 

Anyone visiting VMworld can’t help but take away the stirring sense of fervent community in your backpack-sporting brethren.

Engineers are amazingly creative and innovative. But for some reason many abhor marketing—and this unseen force can suppress creativity and the ability to market with power.

We’re on a mission to let loose your creativity and your community, while keeping you connected to your core.

Over the past couple of years, we’ve had some success extracting your human side.

Our work on What will you leave ahead? * revealed an enormous opportunity to talk about the impact of VMware on kids in Africa, dairies in India and schools on the Amazon river. “What will you leave ahead?” also fed the desire of VMware’s marketing team to illuminate your customers’ work and tell more human stories—clearly we are not the only ones thinking this element of VMware is a neglected area of marketing opportunity.

And Pat made big use of our “Innovate like a Start-up, Deliver like an Enterprise” theme in his VMworld 2015 keynote.

Ok, so what does Mortar offer VMware?

We chose “mortar” as a name because it means glue. Building connections. Between people and organizations. 

Every line of code started with a person. The decision to install VMware and buy even more VMware? That too is a decision by people, influenced by the opinions, experiences and feelings of other people.

VMware has a massive global fan base. So let’s start thinking of your customers that way, and ask ourselves what we can do to heighten their anticipation? Incite action? And stoke the fires of fanaticism for the next gen of VMware?

Or we could just continue to address the market through a complex morass of acronyms and language that only makes sense inside-the-data center. But that doesn’t build community. There’s a place and time for all that, but it’s not the kind of marketing you’ll do with Mortar.

Give us a buzz if you want to have a collaborative conversation about communicating VMware as the head and heart of an amazingly innovative, ridiculously effective, and emotionally-connected global community. We are chomping at the bit to get into it with you right now.

* Mortar developed the WWYLA theme. Other VMware partners  produced the work on Radius.
September 25th, 2015

A couple of kegs, a few dozen legs, and a guy with a camera. What could go wrong?

It was our turn to host the local agency mixer, Kegs with Legs, last night. So we rolled in a food truck, swapped out our front desk for a bouncer with a thingy in his ear, and told HR to act as blind as humanly possible.

The bass dropped and the rest is history.

It was back to business as usual this morning. Except with that vague fragrance of a fraternity floor on a Sunday morning, and a slightly less vague memory of monkeys getting intimate in the photo booth (there’s evidence, unfortunately).


Big thanks to Ad 2 SF and the Egotist for facilitating inter-agency co-operation through the mass consumption of beer!

Also, thanks to Sean Cope Photography for taking one for the team and documenting the monkey business.

September 22nd, 2015

All the awkwardness of a first date, three times as much booze.

Some geniuses at Ad 2 Denver and Denver Egotist thought it would be funny to put a handful of agencies in a room together, give them beer, and see what happens.

Apparently it’s become something of a hit.

Since comfort zones are places we frequently depart, come get awkward with us as we mill about chatting politely about the weather…. until the third keg.



Kegs With Legs @ Mortar
Date: Thursday, September 24, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Location: Mortar – 2 Bryant St #210 San Francisco, CA 94105
Register here