Confessions of a Newbie Podcaster

Question: What do you call two middle-aged white guys talking? Answer: A podcast. About a year ago, I decided that if there’s one thing the world is lacking, it’s middle-aged white guys hosting podcasts. So I decided to get in on the action — and the fame and fortune that inevitably would follow. Choosing a […]

Our Favorite Commercials From Super Bowl LIII

Unless you’re a New England Patriots fan like me, Super Bowl LIII wasn’t much fun to watch. Fortunately, we still had the commercials. Here are the ones we liked the most at The Hired Pens. (And by the way, Thrillist ranked their top 51 commercials — you can see them all here.) Pringles: Sad Device […]

‘Keep Calm and Carry On’: A Good Slogan Gone Bad

“Keep Calm and Carry On” reads an iconic motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939. The intention was to steady the nerves of an anxious public being thrust into war with Germany. Now, despite my mistrust of Instagram as a valid form of communication, I wasn’t around for World War II. But I […]

An Open Letter to Oui Yogurt From Moms Like Me

Dear Oui French Style Yogurt from Yoplait, Is it okay that I addressed you by your formal name? I’m not sure on the proper etiquette when writing to dairy-based products. Anyway, I don’t know what kind of crazy market research you did. But since you’re owned by Yoplait, I suspect it was extensive and expensive. […]

Pet Peeve: The Forbes.com Interstitial

Kvetching about the petty annoyances of modern life is a tradition at The Hired Pens. With that in mind, let’s shine the spotlight on the website of the global media brand Forbes. Suppose you’re starting a business and need to write a business plan. You Google “how to write a business plan” and review the […]

Someone Profiles The Hired Pens for a Change

True story: A few weeks ago, I mentioned to Anna that given all the interviews we conduct for work, it would be nice if someone interviewed us. The next day, someone emailed me about being profiled for Boston Voyager Magazine. I’ll be honest; I wasn’t yet familiar with Boston Voyager. But this was an opportunity […]

Millennial Say What? How to Talk Young When You’re Old.

In preparation for TEDFest in New York City a couple weeks ago, I did a little research: where to eat, what to see, how not to sound old to the majority-millennial crowd … I’d be embarrassed for anyone to see my search history today, but I’ll put that aside to share this gem of an […]

Meet Our Newest Pen, Betty Egan

Hey everyone, it’s time again to play “Meet a Pen”! Today we’re chatting with Betty Egan, who left her big agency life at Arnold Advertising for a home in the wilds of New Hampshire. Luckily for us, she’s game for the occasional long drive to visit clients in Greater Boston. So let’s get to our […]

A Belated Postmortem on the Super Bowl LII Commercials

Doing an annual roundup of the Super Bowl commercials is practically a job requirement in our line of work. But after my beloved Patriots lost to the Eagles, I didn’t want to relive anything about the game. Besides, the consensus in many quarters was that this year’s spots were disappointing or derivative. Why add to […]

Party City’s New Commercial Makes Local Mom Cry

Scene: Two 30-something women stand behind a table of party food, in a Party City commercial. And … action! Mom 1: This is incredible! Mom 2: Right. Mom 1: Yes! Mom 2: What is that? (pointing to a lone plate of crackers a few feet away) Mom 1: Those are some gluten-free options. Mom 2: […]