How Not to Apply to Ad Agencies with Names that Sound Like an Actual Person

Aside from frequent rejection, the worst part of a job search is writing cover letters. It's a monotonous endeavor, and aside from providing an opportunity to shamelessly brag about yourself it's incredibly tiresome. To power through it I like to get weird enough to show the hiring manager that I don't just think outside the box, but actually have a court order requiring me to keep at least 500 feet from the box. 

Ad agencies respond best to this sort of novel approach, and today I sent one out to an agency called Drake Cooper, which sounds like a fictional person. So that's how I approached them. You can read my cover letter below. It should be noted I have yet to hear back from anyone at Drake Cooper so let me caution you that you should maybe not try this at home. 



Dear Drake Cooper,

This is a long shot, but are you the same Drake Cooper who attended Blakely Elementary School with me back in the day? Perhaps you remember me—Ryan Nickum—that short kid who could run away faster than any other kid in class, the one who you teased because his mom gave him bad haircuts, the one who still had velcro shoes in 4th grade because he couldn’t tie regular shoes? Does that ring a bell, Drake? 

In addition to eating your bologna and mustard sandwiches with your mouth open, I also remember you telling me that my writing “lacked creativity” and that my jokes were “no better than what’s found in a Laffy Taffy” and that Rachel “would never be my girlfriend.” Well you were right about Rachel, but wrong about the other two things. 

You see, Drake, even back then I was doing a lot more than just drinking my milk to ensure I grew up to be a big, strong content marketer and creative copywriter. I was busy writing weird blogs, inventing bizarre e-commerce sites (want to buy a custom nickname?), and creating unique content for Seattle-based companies like Estately and Tippr, as well as freelance copywriting for local ad agencies like Rupert and Hey.  

Maybe you saw my map of which states will survive a zombie apocalypse on one of the hundreds of sites and TV news programs that featured it? Maybe you read my article about the top cities for hippies, or the daily deal I wrote offering half off on sex toys at Babeland? Maybe you finally stopped picking your nose long enough to catch Chris Hardwick discuss my viral map of strange Google searches on @Midnight on Comedy Central?

So listen here Drake Cooper, I never forgot all the lousy things you did back at Blakely Elementary School. I don’t need any validation from you, but at the same time I would be very interested in any position with your company where I could use my creativity, unique writing style, and humor to bring glory and fame to your clients. I could definitely forgive your brutish behavior back in the day if you hired me.

Thanks for your consideration.


Ryan Nickum


Exciting update! Drake Cooper responded!



Announcing my campaign to be the next Czar of Marketing for Rainier Beer


With my first cold, refreshing sip of Rainier Beer I clearly saw my destiny before me like some white can with gold and red lettering shimmering the afternoon sun. Like an aspiring Jedi warrior (except for beer) I dedicated myself to the complete understanding and appreciation of this legendary Pacific Northwest brand.

In the years since that first sip I've studied the ad history of Rainier Beer, strolled through Yakima Valley hop yards, and forded the remote mountain streams where the origins of Rainier Beer first bubble up. I've served frosty pitchers of the stuff to thirsty bar patrons, chilled 12-packs in ice-filled coolers, and sipped tallboys after a day of clamming in the December rain. I've learned the intricacies of its unique flavor, easily identifying it in blind taste tests, and then explaining its superiority like some sort of sudsy sommelier.  During this time I've gained an unparalleled appreciation for this mountain fresh legend, this famed beer that's every bit as iconic as the mountain for which it's named. 

Now that my training is nearly complete the final stage is to get hired by Rainier's Marketing Department, dramatically increase sales, win the favor of some higher ups, and then finally assume my destiny by being named Rainier Beer's Czar of Marketing.

So... if you know anyone in their marketing department please let me know so I can reach out more formally instead of just badgering them on social media.

10 Very Attainable New Year's Resolutions

  1. Watch less TV. Most of your favorite shows can also be watched on your laptop or tablet.
  2. Take the stairs. Just because the elevator at your office is being serviced doesn’t mean you have to go home.
  3. Eat healthier. Make this the year you finally try the almond butter.
  4. Be more frugal. Cancel your gym membership within 30 days of when you stop going instead of waiting until September.
  5. Recycle. By putting your beer and wine bottles in your neighbor’s recycle instead of hiding them in your own trash, you’ll be helping the planet and still avoiding the judgment of others.
  6. Walk more. When you order an Uber, have it drop you off a block from where you’re going so you can arrive on foot and people will think your FitBit actually measures something.
  7. Meditate in your cubicle. It’s the same as taking a nap, but more acceptable somehow because you’re seated instead of sprawled out under your desk.
  8. Be more efficient with time. Start eating dinner as soon as you exit the drive-thru. Not only will you be multitasking by eating dinner while you commute, but this way your fast food won’t get cold.
  9. Quit smoking. There are far easier, more socially-acceptable ways to ingest nicotine.
  10. Get a new job. It’s easier to ask your boss to transfer you to another department than actually find a new one.