Jason Sweeney

Senior Copywriter, Toronto, Canada

I am not your regular copywriter.

I started off going to theatre school and then proceeded to live the glorious life of an actor for eight years. (Which of course means I spent an incredible amount of time scraping together enough money to live in between those rare moments I was actually paid to act.)

Once I finally accepted that a regular paycheque sounded more appealing than not, I looked around for something else to do. At the same time, my father and sister decided to sign up for one of those fancy schools where you pay tens of thousands of dollars for an IT certificate to get jobs in web development. Part of that sounded good to me. The job part. The tens of thousands of dollars part, not so much.

Instead, I went online and proceeded to teach myself front-end web development. A whole lot of hard work and late nights later, I was a front-end web developer. I was good at it too, doing freelance work in Canada and the U.S., eventually getting a job at IBM Interactive.

But something else happened during all this — Twitter.

I joined back in 2007 and — like most people — had absolutely no idea what to do with it. Until I found a group of people that were using it to tell jokes. And that hooked me. Let’s tell jokes!

I guess I was pretty good at it too. I got a lot of followers. Twitter put me on their Suggested User List. Got a whole lot more followers after that. A reporter once referred to me as the “Most-Followed Canadian on Twitter (without a Juno nomination)”. I won a Rooftop Comedy Award, two Canadian Weblog Awards, and was even listed in Maxim Magazine’s “100 Twitter Accounts Every Guy Should Follow”.

Around then, I entered CBC’s Canada Writes competition. Two neat things happened there:

  1. I won.
  2. And I met Arlene Dickinson, who was one of the judges. And she offered me a job as a copywriter at Venture Communications.

(I’m shortening the story wildly, but your time is valuable. Also, I’m Canadian and writing all these nice things about myself makes my brain hurt.)

At Venture — where I started out as a copywriter before moving my way up to senior writer — I did a whole pile of creative work for clients like Toyota, Travel Alberta, Cenovus, Lake of Bays, Tourism Calgary, ENMAX, Pella, Rexall, and Sporting Life. I was even featured on the cover of Marketing Magazine, where I talked about my online success and what brands can do to stand out on Twitter.

After Venture, I moved to a new role at the The&Partnership as Senior Copywriter, bringing new thinking to the TELUS brand.

From there I moved over to Bensimon Byrne as a Senior Copywriter, working on brands like Scotiabank, Constellations Brands, the Government of Ontario, and the LCBO.

Currently, I'm cruising the badlands of the the freelance world — working both agency- and client-side — on a range of clients like Tim Hortons, Kobo, EQ Bank, Toyota, and Air Canada.

And well… I guess that catches you up to right about now.

So yeah. I write. I come up with ideas. I’m a natural presenter. I live digital. And I learn wicked fast.

I think that pretty much sums it up.