Sometimes an occasion comes along that’s so epic, so atomic, you can only do one thing – throw a party at your favorite 60s retro bar, Now Boarding.
Freddy Nager, founder of Atomic Tango (and my friend/ mentor/ fellow cat enthusiast) decided to embrace his inner Don Draper and celebrate his website relaunch with a touch of midcentury magnificence.
Atomic Tango, a digital magazine for creative professionals, features funny and intelligent musings on marketing, media, and (my personal favorite!) martinis. In fact, I’m thrilled to be a contributing writer – I’ll be bringing you the best cocktail recipes around town, so be sure to check in each week for #MartiniMondays!
I wanted to know what inspired Freddy to rebrand Atomic Tango, so he put down the glass long enough to kick back and dish out the details.
How did you come up with the name for Atomic Tango?
First I had three martinis… No, seriously, I first set four criteria:
1. Easy to remember
2. Easy to spell
3. Easy to pronounce
4. Easy to get (no buying off domain name squatters)
That last requirement requirement ruled out almost every one-word name in the universe, so I went for the compound name. I started with “Tango,” since it meets the first three requirements and represents what I think is the sexiest dance in the world. More relevant, the expression “it takes two to tango” can refer to “agency + client” or “creativity + strategy.”
For the other word, I selected “Atomic” because I love atomic-era design — i.e., mid-century modern, which I wanted to celebrate before Mad Men was even a show. The two words sounded good together, the name was available for a website and a trademark, and Atomic Tango beat out my other choice, which was “Artesian Brewing Company.”
But that’s another story. Plus, the name had the flexibility to be anything, not just a marketing agency.
What inspired you to relaunch Atomic Tango as an online magazine?
I’m a magazine lover — I used to seek out new titles at magazine stands, which were community hubs that existed in medieval times. One of my favorite discoveries was Wired magazine — I bought the very first issue, and have been reading the publication cover to cover ever since. (I’m just kicking myself for not keeping all the early issues. Who knows what that collection would be worth?) Wired masterfully covers the intersection of culture and technology in an accessible and even engrossing way.
And that made me wonder: why does deathly sterile Silicon Valley have such a cool magazine and vibrantly creative L.A. doesn’t? Sure, we’ve got the Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles magazine, but one’s a jargon-laden trade publication and the other a lifestyle mag for trophy wives. No publication exists that covers the lives and thoughts of the everyday creative professionals who drive this city — people like my colleagues and my students.
I wanted to cover marketing and media like Wired covers tech — without the technical details or gossip. I started doing so with my blog for Atomic Tango, and now I know so many talented writers, such as yourself, so creating a magazine made sense. Plus, it beat managing the business side of an agency.
What can readers expect to see on Atomic Tango?
Colorful perspectives on marketing and media from people who actually practice it for a living — no ivory tower academics, and no pure fine artists hoping to strike it big. Nothing against those folks, since I have friends in both camps, but I think there’s an audience for articles by people with both hands-on expertise and experience in creative professions. Plus martini recipes. The media industry has been fueled by creative cocktails for generations. Hence the slogan, “For those who stir the imagination and leave the competition shaken.”
What’s next on the horizon for Atomic Tango?
Not just articles but products — designer T-shirts, music, books, hopefully even a bottled beverage. I’ve been helping companies grow their brands for years. I’m curious to now see how far Atomic Tango can go.
And finally, we’ve got to give a shout out to the best outfit of the night, courtesy of Ashley Tolusic (Business Development Guru and local genius) for her throwback to Peggy Olsen.
Special thanks to all who made this event possible, and to all who attended!
Venue: Now Boarding
Photography: Chris Panagakis Photography
Food: Tony Spatafora, Dish It Out!
Spirits & Atomic Tango Cocktail: Alex Goode, brand representative for The Botanist Gin and Mount Gay Rum
Official Atomic Tango cocktail recipe:
1.5 ounces Mount Gay Black Barrel
.5 ounces The Botanist Gin
.75 ounces agave syrup
.75 ounces lime juice
6 mint leaves
3 drops Sriracha
This drink is so good, you’ll just want to take a big bite out of life.