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What Other People Say

“Charlie is what I call a writer's writer. Not only is he full of ideas but he has a masterful way of communicating with the written word. He is a pleasure to work with and to know.”

– Randy Hughes, Executive Creative Director, Partner at Carmichael Lynch advertising, multi-national/international award-winner and ECD of the Subaru “Love” campaign since its inception; we worked together at Martin-Williams


“...[says nothing; gets up from across the conference table in the formal business setting, circles around toward me, gives me an actual bear hug because the menu I had creative-directed and written was performing better than expected, resulting in a sales bump and making him look good]...”

– Gary Walker, Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Steak ’n Shake (who’d been assigned to improve sales at an associated restaurant brand, Colorado Steakhouse)  


“I had the pleasure of working with Charlie for several years as a client when I was VP of Marketing for the Indianapolis Star. I really can’t speak highly enough of Charlie’s work. He has a tremendously creative and versatile mind…”

– Brian Priester, Vice President, Gannett Publishing  


“Young & Laramore of Indianapolis continues to astound with the excellence of the ads it has developed for [Steak ’n Shake] ….They respect the intelligence of consumers. They set Steak ’n Shake apart from the competition without resorting to gimmicks or stale jokes... The spots work because the agency found that magic line separating preachiness from brand differentiation, raced up to the line and came to a screeching halt without crossing it.”

– Greg Cebrzynski, Columnist, Nation’s Restaurant News, sometime in the ’00s after I had been either writer or creative director on the Steak ’n Shake account for many years


“Charlie Hopper’s presentation at the National Restaurant Association's Marketing Executives Group (MEG) conference in the Fall of 2014 is for me, one of the best restaurant marketing presentations I have observed. Good speakers deliver valuable information that can instantly benefit an audience either personally or professionally. Great speakers do the exact same thing but they deliver the material in an entertaining and memorable way. Charlie is truly a great speaker and a top-notch creative writer.”

– Bryn Jones, VP of Marketing & Retail, Huse Culinary


“Here's a creative director who really wants to hear the voice of consumers; and, in turn, knows how to translate wishes into words and images that ring with authenticity. ‘Show, don't tell; less is more; never ever wander from your brand truths.’ Wow. Even 10 second spots that moved the needle. Advertising at its finest. Way to go, Charlie!”

– Robert Drane, Partner at Growth Catalysts, a research firm brought in by a client’s new CEO to prove (we suspected) that our campaign wasn’t working; instead, he proved it was working better than any of us had realized



“Last weekend, I finished writing the Greatest Country Song Ever Written... So I cranked up the Google Machine and typed in ‘Selling a Song in Nashville’ and received ‘about 19,000,000 results’. The first result was an article by a Mr. Andrew McGee titled ‘You Can’t Sell a Song in Nashville...’ The next two results were your own Dispatch 13 and Dispatch 2. Apparently, Google did not find any of the other 37 Dispatches worthy of my attention; take from that what you will. But I ignored Google’s advice and promptly read all 39 Dispatches, in order, in one sitting.... Thank you for the effort and time you took to write them. I learned so much. They were entertaining and inspirational; just what I needed after Downer McGee tried to derail my delusion train.”

– Tim O’Kane, “A Letter of Thanks to Charlie Hopper,” Letters to McSweeney’s 



“What a charming column, eminently practical and yet appropriate as always.”

– Agate_avc, AV Club commenter, reacting to my “Food Fiction” column about cannibalism

      “Mr. Hopper, you’re a bloody wonder… how I’ve lived without you all these years I’ll never know!”

        – The Anachronist, AV Club commenter, as a reply to Agate_avc’s above remark


“This book took all my energy and got it focused where it needs to be, with simple, real life examples that illustrate how to do things 'right'.... Unlike most of the other (dozen) books I have on various parts of restaurant operation, I have actually enjoyed reading this. It's like watching a great documentary that enlightens us about the marketing world around us - that we may not think about - but influences our actions everyday. anyways, really really liked it.”

– Kelly, who I swear to you I do not know, reviewing my book Selling Eating: Restaurant Marketing Beyond the Word ‘Delicious’ on Amazon, one of several 5-star reviews, with the headline “a BETTER book (really).”


“Reading this book is like walking into the lecture hall of your favorite cool professor. He's not trying to show off how smart or great he is and he's not trying to make you feel like you know nothing and he knows everything - he's just trying to chat and make these subjects relatable and understandable. As a young grad school graduate with a focus on restaurant marketing for my career, this will be my real world ‘textbook.’ Anyone with an affinity for restaurants and a career in advertising and marketing needs to read this book.”

– Stephen R., who I swear to you I do not know, reviewing my book Selling Eating: Restaurant Marketing Beyond the Word ‘Delicious’ on Amazon, one of several 5-star reviews, with the headline “Easy and Enlightening”


“Charlie Hopper is superb writer and an even better human being.”

– Jeff Graham, President + CMO, Cactus

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