The Art Of Giving Up: How To Let Go Of Hustle Culture

I give up. All the time. And I’m ok with it. Am I a quitter? Most definitely. If I am going down a path and I don’t believe in what’s in front of me, well, I’ll turn around. Because you know who else gave up? Reed Hastings. He co-founded a company called Pure Software, but scrapped […]

In a creative relationship? 9 tips to keep your partner happy.

Illustration of Luis Ramirez And J Barbush

Valentine’s Day is a great time to take stock of all relationships in your life, especially the creative ones. Why? Well because like romantic relationships, creative ones can thrive only when there are agreed-upon boundaries, mutual respect, open conversation, and trust. It’s also a good time to connect with your creative partner, outside of the […]

The Art of Letting Go: Embracing Creativity in 2024

A boy and Girl in a playground

Here’s the thing about creativity, the faster you chase it, the faster it tries to escape. In some ways, it’s like your schoolyard crush. You know, the one who never loved you back, until you lost interest and stopped chasing. That’s when she showed some interest with a compliment on your Garanimals.  Creativity is pretty […]

The Decline Of Brand Storytelling

In the early days of digital branding, stories were everything. Thanks to emerging platforms like YouTube and the newfound luxury of generous bandwidth, storytellers had a sprawling canvas to work upon. We would gleefully peer into the lives of their customers, magnifying their daily routines, challenges, and dreams.  We showcased these tales in short-and-long form […]

Forging A New Ad Agency: The Meaning Behind Cast Iron LA

CILA Production Group shot

Cast Iron LA?  Bit of an odd name for a marketing agency, right? Do you sell, like, kitchen equipment? Oh wait, do you specialize in like restaurant ads? Yep, we get that all the time. And quite honestly, we love to tell the story as our name has meaning for us. And just like anything […]

It’s Time To End The End Card

man on couch watching TV

Ah, the ubiquitous end card. That five-second relic slapped without question in nearly every commercial. The mere existence is a nod to marketing’s past life, grounded in the dusty idea that without it, people will be scratching their heads about where to go next. Yet, today’s customer journey is more fragmented and less predictable than […]

Website Redesign: Empowering East West Bank’s Growth

East West Bank Website

Introduction: Cast Iron LA partnered with East West Bank, an international financial institution, on a year-long, multi-phase website redesign project that included multiple stakeholder and business units. We conducted a brand session and out of it found our focus by enhancing user experience, increasing lead capture efficiency, and promoting a culturally relevant brand image. By […]

Beware the Expert Trap: Ditch Labels And Embrace Curiosity

Experience Is Valuable Yet, if that experience has you self-identify as an “expert,” “ninja,” or “rockstar,” it’s important that the label does not carry on to the approach. Experts often come to projects with answers. But true experience teaches you to approach each project with questions. Don’t assume because it worked before, it will work now. […]

What We Learned From Starting An Agency From Scratch

baking from scratch

How a Direct-To-Client Approach Enables Efficiency And Collaboration. Three years ago, my partner Luis Ramirez and I started our agency, Cast Iron LA. We went from working at the biggest agency in LA, to arguably the smallest. It’s been an interesting, rewarding and sometimes scary journey. As an exercise of reflection, we’ve collected some of the […]

CREATING DURING CORONA. How to find work/life harmony in lockdown.

Person with laptop on roof

I’m not a fan of the term “work-life balance.” You see, when you define balance, there’s an inherent assumption that work and life are two opposing forces. Positive and negative, assets and liabilities, hot and cold, wet and dry. Right and wrong. Love and hate. In a creative industry like advertising, work and life do […]