September 1st, 2015

Seeking Senior Copywriter with Mind Like a Machete.

We’re Mortar, a San Francisco advertising and branding agency dedicated to shaping smarter conversations between people and brands. And we say there’s no way in hell the pen is mightier than the sword. Could a ballpoint Bic chisel a block of ice into a life-sized replica of Michael Keaton’s face? Such a staggering feat isn’t unlike what you’ll be doing here. As senior copywriter, you can sculpt, mold, and whittle words until they glisten like Cartier diamonds. And your creative ideas are razor-sharp enough to cut through those inescapable piles of clutter labeled “been there done that,” “expected,” and “tried and true.” If your mind resembles a machete, come join Mortar in unearthing provocative, head-tilting ideas and putting obsolete adages out to pasture. (Who uses pens in the digital age, anyway?) 

Core responsibilities:

  • Concept campaigns across all media: print, digital, outdoor, broadcast, experiential, radio, and B2B
  • Write and edit compelling copy in all forms, from a detailed, long-form brochure to an eye-catching headline or tagline
  • Work with art directors and/or designers to brainstorm ideas and execute a polished product
  • Develop ideas that are out-of-the-box as well as strategically sound
  • Follow creative briefs, and take direction from creative directors
  • Prioritize workload, and deliver exceptional creative on time
  • Collaborate regularly with account managers, strategists, and new business teams—we’re no fans of department walls here
  • Create captivating presentation decks
  • Present and defend work in front of clients, in person and by phone
  • Proofread work for grammatical clarity and brand consistency
  • Begin to take an interest in nurturing junior talent

Required skills and experience:

  • Portfolio that demonstrates original creative thinking and exceptional writing in a wide range of media
  • 5+ years of copywriting experience in an ad agency
  • Proven ability to understand complex information and translate it into effective copy
  • Ability to juggle multiple projects—and maybe a sword on occasion
  • Willing to collaborate with others, and take constructive criticism
  • Excellent verbal communication (written communication is a given)
  • Versed in speaking to both consumer and business audiences
  • Strong interpersonal skills, and a positive attitude—no egos, please
  • Mastery of Microsoft Office and Keynote; you should be Mac-friendly

To apply for this position, please send your portfolio and resume to

August 27th, 2015

Seeking Associate Creative Director/Copywriter Without Puns of Steel.

Hi. We’re Mortar, a San Francisco advertising and branding agency.

We’re on the hunt for an Associate Creative Director with a passion for transforming eye-opening insights into awe-inspiring concepts and messaging (we’re not kidding, one pun and you’re done).

We do things differently at Mortar. For one, we are dead against the Big Reveal: instead we believe in the cleansing power of full, energetic collaboration with our clients. We believe in sharing ideas early and often, which means we frequently call clients right after coming up with a cool idea just to, you know, see what they think.

And we really do believe good ideas can come from anyone (although it’ll still be your job to decide if they are good enough to be great).

Look, if this scares you, stop right here.

We know who we want, and we know we need to search high and low for the right person.

To thrive at Mortar you will need to share a belief in brainstorming and whiteboarding (you have never seen whiteboarding this intensive); curating giant hairy ideas; the wonder of rapid-fire momentum and prototyping; and an unyielding necessity for utter honesty and plenty of cocktails. (You can’t say that – HR).

Our best candidate is probably a writer. But they might be a designer. Either way they will enjoy concepting on-the-spot and are just as comfortable dreaming up social ideas as broadcast and digital.

Still with us? Good. Onto the obligatory bulleted list of responsibilities:

Core Responsibilities:

  • Develop awesome concepts for high-level, integrated initiatives
  • Contribute meaningfully
  • Nail the brief
  • Manage multiple ongoing projects
  • Work happily in B2B and B2C
  • Embrace failure (success is so over-rated)
  • Clients will want you to have their children
  • Actively manage and mentor junior and mid-level creatives
  • Kick ass in meetings

Required Skills and Experience:

  • A portfolio that demonstrates exceptional creative thinking and copy in a variety of work that spans digital, broadcast, social story telling and print
  • We strongly doubt you will have less than eight years of experience
  • Excellent presentation and deck-writing skills; you will often be the voice for presenting concepts and selling them through to clients
  • Meticulous with details, quality and grammar

This position is based in San Francisco. Relocation may be available to the right candidate (yes, you read that right—YOU CAN MOVE TO SAN FRANCISCO).

Salary: Competitive

To apply for this position, please send your resume and portfolio link to:

August 18th, 2015

Hello, CONNECT. Goodbye, 20 minute calls with 30 minute set ups.

Congratulations to our client ShoreTel, who today, not only rang the opening bell at NASDAQ, they also launched CONNECT. More than two years in development, CONNECT is the brilliantly simple business communications system that works for you.



July 7th, 2015

Mortar partners with Thinknear to deliver a shiny new site!

It will come as no surprise that the world is going mobile. Desktops have been replaced by smartphones, smartphones by tablets and tablets now bested by the phablet.

Advertisers have noticed, and the effort to get in front of audiences has evolved. Thinknear is leading this evolution, but in a sea of same-y mobile adtech players, it’s difficult to get the recognition that their leadership deserves.

That was the challenge for Mortar. Create a brand positioning that conveys the unique, bold, smart and fun essence that’s at Thinknear’s core.

Led by insights, we delivered attitude and aptitude to latitude and longitude, so Thinknear can go on delivering mobile campaigns that enrich not interrupt.

Thinknear’s shiny new site and brand positioning launched July 1, and like proud parents, we couldn’t be happier to watch them fly–albeit, approaching terminal velocity as they hurtle themselves from a perfectly good plane.


June 25th, 2015

Shaking up San Francisco in the Most Amazing Way.

Take a jaunt around the Exploratorium at Pier 15 for a head-to-toe experience that will have your senses jolted in a truly unique (and legal) way. The Exploratorium is San Francisco’s museum of science, art and human perception; the quintessential place that illustrates our city’s commitment to innovation. It serves children and adults—and everyone in between.

The Exploratorium came to us wanting a big idea for their Spring-Summer 2015 campaign to remind people—both locals and tourists—that to truly get to know San Francisco, the Exploratorium is THE place to start. People flock to this great city because it’s a world-renowned focal point for everything that’s cool, quirky and truly unique. And the Exploratorium is San Francisco’s epicenter for all that and then some.


We learned that the majority of people visiting San Francisco (and locals) don’t have a trip to the Exploratorium on their must-do list. We set out to change that by creating a campaign called “Your Epicenter for Amazing.” The campaign utilizes four words to end the sentence “Your Epicenter for…” including: amazing, quirky, curiositivity and what the…? — all a nod to the inquisitive-fueling exhibits.


If you’re roaming San Francisco streets today, you can’t miss the outdoor campaign—it’s literally everywhere. We’ve wrapped MUNI light rail trains and double decker Hop On Hop Off tour buses. The city is blanketed with ads on news racks and transit shelters, as well as landmark kiosks. As you travel into the city, you’ll even find the campaign in both East Bay and San Francisco BART stations. If you find yourself downtown and near the water, you might run into our work on the backs of pedicabs shuttling tourists up and down the Embarcadero.

With 600+ hands-on exhibits, we wanted to highlight that the Exploratorium is San Francisco’s focal point for interactivity… and everyone’s epicenter for amazing. We sought to “shake up your plans” in the coolest way possible.