CPB Journal

Frank Turner has been my favorite musician for my entire adult life. His lyrics have lived within me. I don’t search for music, I discover it. When I went to Dropkick Murphy’s during my freshmen year of college at First Ave, I became sold to Frank Turner. When he sang Photosynthesis and The Road it changed my life.  Those two songs song lyrics have been a major part of my identity. Man, that club is still the best music venue that I’ve ever been to. Props to Minneapolis.

Poem: Being Frank. Being Me.

“I discovered him. I talk very highly of him to people. I play his songs on guitar. I sing them to friends. His music is a small gift to my life. I found him, and he found me.”

No Man’s land is his eighth studio album, and his first concept album. It’s about forgotten women in history that made a difference, or with some revolutionary courage. Every song highlights women, and some of them are even an ode to music. Nica is one of his best songs, ever. That says a lot from me about Frank Turner.

I was listening to this album, and every song was sort of a love song, an ode. I teared up a little bit, because I miss my girlfriend. No Man’s Land was Frank singing to his fiance, Jess. He was singing to her. This is exactly how I felt.

This album is singing to Kaley and Chloe.

Frank is always looking out for me.

I want this job. Seriously, I can see myself doing major damage in the industry if I were to be here.

Alex Bogusky and David Zosel. I wanted to write those words in existence.

I want to learn from him, and I want to impress him. Who, wouldn’t? Most notably, I want to impress, Kelly and Tony.

The spirit of Frank Turner that I have would take me on the adventure of Boulder, and I’d take Kaley with me. Cooper and Marty too.

Frank Turner’s spirit is astral projected in me, it’s part of my soul. I wish everyone had that or can figure out which musician has the same relationship with.

I face the horizon everywhere I go. I face the horizon. The horizon is my home.


CPB Journal.

My dog is dying. I feel so bad that my girlfriend is going through this without me. I love my Chloe Bear, and I don’t know what to do. Kaley asked me if I would be mad if she had to be put down without me.

There are 12 days before I get back, and I don’t know if I’m going to have to fly back soon. I want to be there for Kaley.

I don’t know how this will affect my performance in the final stretch for Crash Course.

Before you continue reading, I want to give a shout out to my sponsor Regain.US. I wrote this journal as a replacement for my therapist/counselor while I was away from her for two months in Boulder, Colorado. A very important step towards achieving better mental health is by finding the right therapist/counselor. For more information, please check out this link here: https://www.regain.us/advice/counseling/

This is one big thing that I’m learning, and that is long-distance stuff is not for me. I told her a few weeks ago that if I go somewhere, or if she goes somewhere, we go together. I’m learning that anything can happen outside of work. But, my number one rule is when you’re at work, keep your personal stuff out of the workplace no matter what.

Prospective creatives, please learn this. Being an artist, it is very hard to do that because we can be emotional people.

It’s crazy how audacious my last entry was. That is just the confidence that I have in myself, and now I am sunken to rock bottom with five days till the last presentation.

I don’t want to win, but I have too. I feel like Rocky in the first Rocky movie. He doesn’t want to win, but he wants to go the distance.

My hockey coach always said, “If you’re here, you might as well win.”

But, my girlfriend is losing right now. I need to be there for her, and I’m having panic attacks right now as I’m writing this.

Good thing I took my work home this weekend and made a 75-page slide deck to show my CD. I can do that anyway of the week, the reason why I did this now was that I got great direction last Friday from my CD, and I just ran with it.

As an intern, this is what you need to do. If you can’t handle the high stakes pressure of this industry, then get out because it’s not for you.

This is what I bring to the table. I’m a machine.

But, I need to slow down at this point because of what is going on.

ABC, David. Always be concepting, always be cool.

I can’t have the best of both worlds. I want to do incredible work for CPB over a 3-5 year span, and I have the drive and determination to do so.

For most people who have read my books, blog, and have viewed any of my work there has always been a shift between being happy and sad.

I’m bipolar, and it’s my greatest power because I have harnessed the good in it, and I can destroy the bad parts. Journaling about this at my desk right now has destroyed this panic attack.

I need to stay strong for the love of my life and keep moving forward on this project.

Hearing your girlfriend with bad news in the morning isn’t a great way to start the day. I wish I could be there for her.

I’m scared. I don’t know what to do, but I’m doing the best I can.

I don’t know. I don’t know. I love them so much, and I’m out here doing what I love.

Gotta stay strong. No matter what life puts you through.

CPB Journal.

Writing this journal helps replace my therapist. It’s almost as good, and it does what I need it to do to balance my bipolar disorder.

So, if you need guidance, one of the best ways is through self-reflection through journaling.

When I’m at work, I feel free and happy. But, when I’m home, sad and tortured. I really love Boulder and being at CPB. The people here are great. But, I have goals and my support system back in Minneapolis. It is totally selfish of me to be out here doing this.

My dog is dying, my grandma is dying, and my girlfriend needs me. I just miss my Kaley Pie.

This is boot camp in advertising. A strategist said that this program is way better than internships because we have a client to work on, present to, and to win an account.

This week’s client presentation went very well. BrainCO groomed me well for this moment. I know for a fact that my other two graduating classmates do not have this valuable experience at their agencies for the summer. I got denied by five agencies back in Minneapolis, and yet I get the most powerful experience.

I’ve got to put my hands in the Dominoes, Hotels.com, TRUTH, Jose Cuervo, 1800, and American Airlines creative melting pots along with trying to save the world with Good Spread.

I’ve created the most ideas, headlines, scripts, taglines, and conceptualizations in my program. But, that doesn’t mean anything. Although, it shows the type of pride I have in doing that. Lock me in a room and I’ll come out with more work than you.

I have a lot of projects to do in my life that are all currently a work in progress, but I need to focus on this one project. Time is running out for Crash Course, and I need to put every ounce of effort into the final stretch. For me, and for Kaley.

Ask yourself, what do I want to put all of my energy into? What motivates you the most? And focus all of your chi into it. Channel it. Take it.

Alex Bogusky is creating a new creative scientific method. My heart tells me that whatever it is, that of all people in the agency, I would benefit the most from it, and it would propel me to become the best creative… ever.

I have quite a few things in common with that guy. I’m just a little clueless at this point.

But, I know that I am a machine and nothing can stop me now.

Pardon my language, but fuck playing the political game. Kiss people’s asses and everything. But, be honest and be yourself. If you’re reading this then you’re probably a creative like me. You have an ego. You have a little bit of Picasso in you.

Your ego is your best your greatest weapon as an artist.

I was asked who should win this competition, and I said, my writing partner. I meant that with my head, but my heart says that it is me. I said it should be her because her creative energy balances the creative energy in the agency. But, it should be me.

At the end of the day though, I don’t care about winning this. I want to create the Subservient Chicken. If I can achieve that, a successful campaign, then I am winning.

Everything we have is good enough. And I think what we have sucks. I wish the client didn’t like what we have. I wish the client meeting didn’t go well. Maybe Tony and Kelly’s guidance helped propel us to that type of success.

This is why you must listen to your creative directors.

But, still. I have not unlocked the secret to Subservient Chicken. This is why whatever the method Bogusky has in store could make me one of the best creatives of all time. If I don’t get to be molded into that, then I’ll make my own way.

If that hefty foreseen vision and ambition doesn’t ever pan out for me, and until the day I die, then at least I can say I fucking tried.

That’s the only eulogy I need.

Alex Bogusky, you need me. I see so many second and third-generation advertising kids at this agency. This creates complacency. There isn’t enough diversity there, especially in the creative department, and overall it would be a mistake to not hire me or my partner.

I’ve been making my own way in this industry. I’m sure a lot of people at CPB have as well. But, I won’t lose that drive or hunger. I see Alex Bogusky, and I don’t see an advertising wunderkind, I see him as the fastest player on the hockey team that leads the drills, making the team keep up with him.

I’d like to see more of that from him. When we lost a big client account, I wish he gathered the troops and tried to boost morale.

That is not who he is. But, that is me.

My opinions don’t matter. The only thing that matters is the creative audacity that I can bring.

I only want to work here if I have a full-time job that is offered on a 3-5 year contract.

Just work hard, be honest, and be yourself. If you make a mistake, then fuck it. Be yourself.

My mom says, “Being yourself never works.” Well, being a political tactician never has worked for me either.

The honest truth is that my mom knows who she is, and that is what she is. But, I’m not her. It’s like Tom Brady. Everyone knows what he is doing, but that is him. If everyone tried to be like him, then the world would go mad. My mom is Tom Brady at Medtronic.


The End of Week Two at CP+B Crash Course Journal.

Listen. I’m passionate from miles away. But, I’m still with it. Present. You can call me hype. But, the hype isn’t real. I’m all real. I’m too real. This is too real.


Let’s begin.

It has been a while since my last journal entry because I have been finding more things to do in Boulder.

A copywriter for Fallon, who is a pretty renown rapper as well, told me that you need to have breaks and hobbies outside of advertising. Well, that I do. But, when you’re in a foreign place, just trying to get your feet wet, it is pretty hard.

I went out with my teammates this week for National Margarita night, and they took me around Boulder to different restaurants. Overall, the night was a success, and we got to come closer to each other as a team. Going out for a happy hour is highly advised if you’re in the business of persuasion. For example, the person who leads the project management aspect of our team is entirely different outside of work and same with the strategy people. Since I’m a creative, there really isn’t much of a difference for me. It’s a time to get to know one another and to share an experience, which is also a tremendous fundamental basis for advertising.

As a creative agency, your goal is to share an experience, create emotional content that will resonate with people, and to change society’s culture positively. Oh, and yes to persuade people into purchasing your parity product.

You can’t forget that.

So yes, creating synergy or symbiosis with your teammates is very essential to creating work that is up to your agency’s standards, because energy is contagious.

Me and the other writer have been working really well together, becoming a creative force on our team. We are like mules; carrying the creative load.

One of our other CD’s said for us to stop strategizing and start making the big ideas come to life. Hopefully, this get’s other people on the same page as us, to encourage the other four to let loose, have fun, and ideate.

This job is supposed to be fun, you know.

My engine is roaring.

I take work home with me every night to set myself up to come back stronger for the next morning. Or, I actually do more work.

I love every second of this.

The bottom line is that you want to have that hunger to contribute to the goal at your highest potential to make the best campaign that wins changes a culture and make people remember.

I live for this.

One of the founding people of the agency invited us to join the company’s podcast, The Woodshed, for this week’s episode.

We had to ask this advertising wunderkind one or two questions, and it was easy for me.

Everyone in Minneapolis says his understanding of a client’s brand is on a whole other level from anyone else. So, I asked him, “For someone early in their creative career, how do you develop a prowess for understanding a brand to make a powerful campaign.”

He said it is like method acting. You need to try the product and love the product to understand it, and it is that simple.

Well, I have that in common with him.

During my segment, the other person asked what you should do if you’re stuck with coming up with ideas.

He said that doesn’t happen to him ever because he isn’t scared to put down something stupid until a great idea comes out.

I have this in common with him.

He also said that inspiration is everywhere, so you don’t have to search for it.

I have this in common with him too.

Three things to show commonality between a rookie and a veteran shows me that we are all human in this industry. Anyone can create. It’s just about being fearless.

Audacity, tenacity, and swagger are what you need.

Moving on, I’ve learned a couple more things along the way. When coming up with executions, and you’re using metaphors, they absolutely need to line up with the strategy, insight, and campaign. No questions asked.

Another one is to show people and not to tell. People don’t want to be told what to do. They need to be displayed in a creatively compelling way.

This made me understand the guidelines of the “see say” philosophy in advertising. If you can see it, don’t say what you can see.

Another big lesson is the concept of moral. You need to find a way to rally your consumers in a way that will tug their heartstrings for the consumer to buy your product.

Now, remember that even learning these lessons it is still up to me on how to effectively learn them well enough to add to my repertoire.

With this… ABC.  My new advertising philosophy to all the homies out there trying to make a name for themselves in the industry.

Always Be Concepting. ABC!

Don’t be afraid that your ideas get killed by your CD. They are the ones having your back on the project. Feed ideas like you’re making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for an army of seven-year-olds.

Don’t take it personally. I had a ton of ideas for a client campaign extension to follow a huge commercial. A ton of ideas. Only one of them made it to the final round before the client pitch, and it was one of my worst ideas that made no one excited. The cool part of this was creatives took this idea and innovated it to a different incarnation.

What is the lesson? Participate.

I miss my girlfriend, dogs, cat, and family. It’s hard waking up without her, doing things without her, and coming home when she isn’t there.  Luckily, I have a really cool roommate who has bonded well with me this week.

I’m going to use this time to enjoy solitude to bring perspective, give me strength, and to improve my never-ending quest of having a powerful prowess of creative control.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and this absence makes me love my girlfriend and support group back home even more. My aunt has sent me care packages, and I talk on the phone with everyone whenever I can to combat this loneliness that I’m dealing with.

Loneliness can mean a lot of things. I’ve made friends here, and I have friends in Boulder and Denver that I’ve seen, but I just miss people back in the land of 10,000 lakes.

I miss my girlfriend’s hangover hugs and calm down kisses. But for now, loneliness is a friend of mine.

Changing lanes here, I need to remind myself of the fire that’s in my stomach.

  1. My Uncle, who disrespected me after my Grandfather died. He is a failure as a copywriter. He started his own agency, works in his attic at home, and has almost no client base. His disrespect towards me, kicking me out of my Grandparent’s house when I was 22 will never be forgotten. My disconnect with him gives me some sort of visceral vendetta (don’t take that too literally, the alliteration just sounds cool), in which I will channel into positive energy for myself. This is what motivates me.
  2. This girl who told me to work at Mono Agency, and to pursue a career as a copywriter. This came from me telling her I wanted to go into advertising as a writer. She set that goal for me, which I never saw. She told me that it was one of the best agencies in Minneapolis. She said to me that advertising is tough to break into and to not be scared to do it. Then she left me after three and a half weeks. Regardless, her break up or whatever you want to call it, lead to brunch with an old friend. He said to talk to an agency owner who he connected me with, who told me to go to ad school.
  3. My freshmen roommate from college, who started LYM, a big purpose-driven social justice brand. I’m working on a purpose-driven brand right now. The disrespect, racism, and narcissism he had towards me make me want to take my main project a massive success.
  4. My girlfriend. I want to give her everything.
  5. My Mom. I basically live my life to make her proud of me. Which, seems impossible at times. She didn’t know what a copywriter was until I graduated ad school. I don’t blame her, coming from an immigrant Asian Mother whose goals for you to be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, I wouldn’t expect her to know what a copywriting role is. But, nevertheless, she was very supportive during my time in ad school when I needed her support the most. I talked to her on the phone last night, and I told her all about agency life, and she was amazed. I could tell in her voice that she was proud. I mean like a tiny bit, which is amazing for me.
  6. There was this guy who was CEO of three agency within the past 40 years in Minneapolis. A well-connected guy in the ad world at a global level, he told me that I wasn’t good enough, yet that is. He says I make stupid mistakes, and I just don’t get it at this point. Just remember not everyone is going to love you on. Look at a bell-shaped curve on a scale because there will be outliers. It’s just this one really motivates me.
  7. Myself. I’m doing this for me. I love it, and I always remind myself to enjoy it. To be honest with you, I’m just having fun with it.

I need to channel this to create an unstoppable force. The most important one is the last one.

Tom Brady definitely channels the fact that he was picked 199th overall to motivate him towards success. He said ” I think I’m going to buy a house,” during his rookie year as a fourth-string starter.

Well, I think I’m going to buy a house in Boulder, Colorado. That would be cool.

Here are my goals for the week.

  1. Come up with better ideas everyday.
  2. Work harder when I get home from work.
  3. Get to know more employees and to build stronger relationships.
  4. Try to get more work from CDs.
  5. Take care of my mental and physical health.
  6. ABC. Always be Concepting.
  7. Take direction even better from the CDs.
  8. Be a great teammate.
  9. Listen and learn.
  10. Enjoy.

With all of this, here is a freestyle rap to end this journal entry.

Remind me where I know you from? These ideas got me frontin. Hustling. Lovin. Living long love and large. Take this concept and take charge. Channel the fire come back hard. Feed ideas, don’t ever starve. Keep eating, keep reaching. Keep shooting that star. Most important, know who you are.


“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing to create more content, you can make a donation to my Venmo


Day 7 at CP+B Crash Course Journal.

Man, today was a long day.

By long, I mean we had two meetings that went a long time. But, it was a good day from a team and a campaign progression standpoint.

The CD partnered us in groups of two, forcing us to work as a team. Luckily, I got to work with the other writer on the team, which is precisely what I wanted to do. She has a tremendous creative prowess about her and is very methodic in the way she approaches a problem. What is most impressive about her is the way she looks at a word and dissects it.

I don’t know if that is true, but that is the vibe I get.

We worked on writing mini-festos for our concepts for the campaigns, and it was sure a hell of a lot easier working with another writer for once. I really appreciated having someone to write and rewrite with because it made the process so much more efficient and enjoyable.

The best part was the chance to concept and ideate with someone that is on the same wavelength as you from a copywriter standpoint. In ad school, whenever I had to do this with someone, I had to work with a student at different levels of knowledge than me. It was either I was a fourth-quarter student working with a first-quarter student, or vice versa. Now, I have one person with me at the same level of knowing what it takes to ideate and concept from a copywriter standpoint.

I don’t want to sound nerdy or snooty because I went to ad school. It doesn’t matter where you come from when you work in advertising, or what your role is. The only that matters is that the company is putting out good work. An account person could put out a suggestion for a campaign, and the agency can take it to turn into a fantastic campaign.

This is why it is cool working on this team because we all don’t have a background as copywriters or art directors. I’m working with a wide variety of talents and its awesome. But, today was great because I got to really get down to brass tax with someone who relates to taking the same copywriting mindset.

Overall, we were very productive and presented our ideas pretty well. As creatives, we need to be carrying the load on a type of project today. My roommate, a strategist on the project, was blown away that we came up with that many ideas because he said him and his partner struggled with making two.

Do you see how hard it is to come up with ideas? It is very hard. But, the CD helped us figure out more of a strategic route to do it today after we presented them to him. With every idea that the six of us showed, he made categories then told us to go down those routes starting the next day. Having constraints from your CD makes your life a lot easier.

The learning lesson here is to make sure you are brave enough to put ideas down to paper. But, if they don’t go with the strategy or brief, then take them off the list.

I always come up with crazy fun ideas. Then I write them down, and if they don’t match the brief or strategy, then I don’t present them.

That is the way I think. But, people think backward and work from the strategy. Either way works. I can do both. But, for this client, you absolutely have to go from idea to match with the strategy.

The big highlight for today was our first client meeting. Boy, was this guy a talker. He was like any entrepreneur that I met when I was in University who spoke to us during our entrepreneur courses. You see, entrepreneurs are eccentric storytellers who are great at talking and portraying an image. With my past experience as a student, I wasn’t as mesmerized or overwhelmed by this guy.

I made sure to ask plenty of questions, and that I did. For me, I was surprised that no one asked too many questions. So, if you’re reading this, make sure to ask questions in your client meeting so you can further understand the brand. Try to make as much dialogue with your client to squeeze every bit of information because your damn campaign depends on it.

Later that day, after a very long client meeting, we debriefed with our CD. I swear this guy has to be an absolute legend and we don’t even know it. Anyway, we debriefed, and he said a lot of the clients talking points were on track to what we have been working on. The categories, problems, solutions, concepts, and ideas have all been built by us already.

Now, it is time to further develop those big ideas. We have a presentation next Tuesday, and there is a lot of preparation to be done. Therefore, I need to be as sharp as possible.

Honestly, I am getting more comfortable, but I am not at my 100% fullest creative prowess.

I can’t wait till it pops, cause that shit won’t stop. I’ll be creating ideas non-stop.

I do have a superpower, and its called bipolar disorder. Remember?

Another thing I want to talk about is we were asked to help ideate for another client. This was amazing because when you’re working on one campaign, it is refreshing to switch to a new brand. The process has been so much easier for this existing campaign because it is already a running campaign.

I received great news today that three of my ideas are up for grabs. So, if I want to create something, I need to wake up early to further develop those ideas. Here is another tidbit. When this happens, make a ten meeting with that creative director to go over both of your thoughts.

If you were in my situation, wouldn’t you want to make your idea come to life to see on TV?

Well, I better get to refining those ideas before 1pm tomorrow.

This is an exciting time for me in a very nerve-racking place outside of my comfort zone

But, I’m doing whatever it takes to have balance and to make this place feel more like home.

Remember, this experience is a marathon. I can’t project anything, and the only thing I can focus on is myself and how I am going to make the team better. For tomorrow, I want to help everyone refine all of there ideas one by one. But, I need to start with my partners and me first.

Today was the first day that I have felt sort of in my skin, so watch out CPB. Here I come.

Every day will get better, and I will be a better advertising creative each day. Mark my words.

Well, it’s time for me to hit the dusty old trail.

Sweet dreams, Boulder.

Don’t let the bed bugs bite, Minneapolis.

Hug the fur babies for me, Kaley pie.



“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

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