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Advertising Legends Bill Bernbach

Bill Bernbach was an advertising executive and advertising creative legend - at the height of his success during the 1950s, 1960s and 19070s. He is remembered for being one of the founding members of DDB (Doyle Dane Bernbach as it was originally known) and for creating many infamous campaigns such as the Volkswagen Beetle Think Small campaign; considered by many in the industry to be one of the best, if not the best, campaign in the history of advertising. Beginnings Bernbach was born in New York (1911). His education and interests were steeped in the arts and literature (graduating with a degree in literature from New York University). After graduation Bernbach was committed to a career in advertising but found it difficult to get a foot in the door. He started off working in a mailroom, writing ads for his employers. Although success did not come straight away, Bernbach, eventually, did enough to persuade his employers that he had some talent, and was, consequently, promoted to the advertising department. Bernbach joined his first ad agency in 1940 but it was long before he had to give that up for the war effort, returning to the world of advertising in 1945 (taking on a senior role in Grey Advertising). DDB Bernbach was one of the co-founders of DDB (founded 1949), and held overall responsibility in the agency for all creative output. His first major success came with the You dont have to be Jewish to love Levys campaign for the bakery Henry S. Levy. There were to be many successful campaigns after this: When youre No. 2, you try harder for Avis, as well as campaigns for Polaroid, El Al Airlines and more. Think Small But it is for Think Small that Bernbach is best remembered for. The image of a minute car with the Think Small strapline was radically different to campaigns for other car manufacturers of the time campaigns that were often hard-sell / gimmicky / impersonal and so on. Bernbach focused on what actually made the Beetle different to the other cars on the market. David Ogilvy wrote, apparently: Bill Bernbach and his merry men positioned Volkswagen as a protest against the vulgarity of Detroit cars in those days, thereby making the Beetle a cult among those Americans who eschew conspicuous consumption. Not only did the it create brand awareness but sales for Beetle cars soared after the release of the campaign. Bernbachs approach Bernbach was at the heart of the advertising Creative Revolution (of the 1950s and 1960s). The Creative Revolution was about creating a more informal and egalitarian atmosphere / work model in the ad agency so as to encourage creativity. And his approach to creative output was just as dramatic, adding, in particular, personality, humour and an overall creative touch that was quite different to what was, typically, going on in the ad industry in general at the time. Bernbach was, also, noted for trying to make creative work, and in particular copywriting, as simple as possible. He, also, played an important role in the development of creative visual work (focusing on the way images can be powerful communication tools) which had an important impact on the burgeoning (in the 1950s at least) advertising channel of television. Bernbach was hugely respected by those who worked under him, both for the type of work culture that he developed in DDB, as well as the longs list of successful campaigns he created (and edited). Many of those who worked under Bernbach went onto to join other agencies where they brought with them Bernbachs particular philosophy and, approach in general, to advertising. One surprising part of Bernbachs approach, however, was his lack of enthusiasm for research. Perhaps this was the result of not being naturally adept in this particular advertising discipline, on his part. Instead he just relied on gut instinct. Legacy

Bernbach was at the height of his career more than 50 years ago but is still remembered and looked up to today for the the impact he had on creativity, in general, in the advertising industry. The type of ad agency he helped to create and the type of work he produced would have been easily recognizable in the world of advertising 5 or 10 years ago with the internet having a dramatic effect on the advertising industry in recent years, of course). Even today his life in, and writings about, advertising are still read and mulled over by many in the industry.

Advertising Legends Leo Burnett

Leo Burnett was an advertising executive (as well as copywriter and visualizer / art director overall creative) who created famous advertising icons such as Jolly Green Giant, Marlboro Man, Tony the Tiger and more. Beginnings After university and a few years as a journalist, he joined Cadillac (cars), in 1917, as a copywriter. He joined his first advertising agency in 1923 (aged 32), and started up his own (Leo Burnett Worldwide) in Chicago in 1935. Visualizer / Impact on TV Burnett is remembered for effectively basing advertisements and campaigns around visual concepts, instead of just communicating to the audience via copy. He wasnt the first person in advertising to do this. But was one of the first to make visuals important playing a crucial role, in effect, of helping to put visuals on power with copy as a communications tool, in general, in the advertising industry. And this, in turn, had an important impact on the development of advertising in TV something which Burnett, himself, played a crucial role in. Searching for the inherent drama One of his important advertising concepts was searching for the inherent drama of the product. You have to be noticed but the art is getting noticed naturally, without screaming and without tricks similar to a quote of David Ogilvy (another famous 20th century advertising executive and copywriter/creative) A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself. Emotional / evocative approach Although Burnett is best remembered for his visualising input into advertising (and the effect of this on television advertising) he is also remembered for taking on a more emotional / evocative approach to advertising, overall, compared to many of his important competitors at the time, who were often much more research-based and marketing-focused. Outsider / genius Burnett was a bit of an outsider in the sense that he wasnt a flamboyant individual (unusual in the ad industry at least, for an ad man of his stature) and that he was based in Chicago as opposed to Madison Avenue (the centre of advertising in his day), New York. But his work demonstrated someone who had his finger very much on the pulse when it came to understanding American audiences and how best to communicate to them. But, perhaps, being an outsider gave him the space he needed to be the kind of advertising genius he is remembered for. VIDEO, QUOTES, BOOKS Video Leo Burnett on advertising httpv:// Quotes

Advertising is the ability to sense, interpret to put the very heart throbs of a business into type, paper and ink

Anyone who thinks that people can be fooled or pushed around has an inaccurate and pretty low estimate of people and he wont do very well in advertising Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read. If you cant turn yourself into your customer, you probably shouldnt be in the ad writing business at all.

Legends of Advertising: David Ogilvy

Introduction David Ogilvy, along with the likes of Leo Burnett, Bill Bernbach and others, was one of the great ad men of the 20th century if not the greatest. He wasnt just a great ad exec (owning and running Ogilvy & Mather originally Ogilvy, Benson & Mather) but was, also, a branding/marketing/research, as well as, a creative (in particular, copywriting), genius. But his real genius lay in being able to tie up all these skills together: offering an overall / holistic approach to advertising. The following article covers some of his most important accomplishments from all aspects of his career in advertising. Unpromising start .. Ogilvy flunked university (Oxford). He then went to Paris (1931) and worked as a junior chef whilst working out what to do with the rest of his life. First taste of success (Aga) / selling He then joined Aga (cooking stoves) in Scotland, selling door-to-door. His big, career-break came after writing a sales manual for other Aga sales people to use. It immediately became a classic. Not only had Ogilvy proved himself to be skilled at copywriting but he also proved himself to be skilled at understanding sales techniques. At the end of the day Ogilvy was to go on to be successful in advertising because one of the most important things he grasped, early on, is that advertising, in essence, is about selling. First job in advertising / direct marketing Ogilvy joined his first advertising agency, Mather and Crowther, in 1938. His first major success was with a direct marketing campaign which he thought up and organized, himself. Although Ogilvy is remembered, chiefly, for his involvement in big, mass consumer ad campaigns, he placed high value in direct marketing, in particular, because of direct marketings close association with direct sales: We humble people who work in direct do not regard advertising as an art form. Our clients dont give a damn whether we win awards at Cannes. They pay us to sell their products. Nothing else .. We sellor else. httpv:// Gallup / research In the same year he left for America to join Gallup. There he learned the importance of basing an advertising campaign on research. Ogilvy & Mather Focusing on the customer Ogilvy started up his own advertising agency, Ogilvy, Benson and Mather, in 1949. Besides focusing on advertising being about sales and research, he also focused on advertising being about the customer. Building up the business, at the beginning, however, did not prove easy. But once things took off, there was no looking back. Campaigns / Rolls Royce There were many well-known campaigns: one of the best-known being At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock. Ogilvy thought up this headline after researching everything he could about Rolls-Royce. The story goes that he was getting a bit desperate for a headline when he came across the electric clock fact. A good example of how researching and knowing your product (or brand), inside-out, really pays off. It is, also, a good example, of Ogilvys meticulous attention to research.

Other well-known campaigns included: The man from Schweppes is here, Schweppervesence, Only Dove is one-quarter moisturizing cream and more. Big Idea Ogilvy was responsible for coining the infamous phrase the big idea. The big idea involved creating something big about the brand that would appeal to a mass audience. Things have, perhaps, developed since then (due to the emergence of new media, as well as important changes in consumer behaviour and attitudes towards advertising, general). Nevertheless, the big idea had a radical impact on the world of advertising in the 1960s and 1970s, and it is still important today, in varying degrees of importance. Finally David Ogilvy was an all-rounder. This was an invaluable asset to offer to his clients. But his different skills, also, played an all-imporant role, in the development of modern advertising: in the creative part of advertising, as well as in the branding / marketing / research side of the industry, that we see, reflected today in the important discipline of account planning. And, although things have moved on since the hey-day of Ogilvy in the 1960s and 1970s, many of the things he taught and practised himself, still hold good today, or serve as important platforms to new approaches in advertising.

Unique selling proposition Rosser Reeves

The unique selling proposition (a.k.a. unique selling point, or USP) is a marketing concept that was first proposed as a theory to understand a pattern among successful advertising campaigns of the early 1940s. It states that such campaigns made unique propositions to the customer and that this convinced them to switch brands. The term was invented by Rosser Reeves of Ted Bates & Company. Today the term is used in other fields or just casually to refer to any aspect of an object that differentiates it from similar objects.

In Reality in Advertising (Reeves 1961, pp. 4648) Reeves laments that the U.S.P. is widely misunderstood and gives a precise definition in three parts:


Each advertisement must make a proposition to the consumer. Not just words, not just product puffery, not just show-window advertising. Each advertisement must say to each reader: "Buy this product, and you will get this specific benefit."

2. The proposition must be one that the competition either cannot, or does not, offer. It must be uniqueeither a uniqueness of the brand or a claim not otherwise made in that particular field of advertising. 3. The proposition must be so strong that it can move the mass millions, i.e., pull over new customers to your product.

Some good current examples of products with a clear USP are:

Head & Shoulders: "You get rid of dandruff"

Some unique propositions that were pioneers when they were introduced:

Domino's Pizza: "You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or lessor it's free." FedEx: "When your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight" M&M's: "Melts in your mouth, not in your hand" Metropolitan Life: "Get Met, It Pays"

The term USP has been largely replaced by the concept of a Positioning Statement. Positioning is determining what place a brand (tangible good or service) should occupy in the consumer's mind in comparison to its competition. A position is often described as the meaningful difference between the brand and its competitors

Reeves, Rosser (1961), Reality in Advertising, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, LCCN 61007118