P I O N E E R S
7 FACE S THAT IM PAC T E D ADVE RT ISING H IST O RY Designed by Molly Dimefski
7 FACES THAT IMPACTED ADVERTISING HISTORY
DESIGNED BY MOLLY DIMEFSKI
TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S
...............................................................MARY WELLS LAWRENCE • THE FIRST LADY • PAGE 1
N o 2 ..............................................................................THOMAS BURRELL • THE ACTIVIST • PAGE 7 N o 3 ...................................................................TERRI ZUBIZARRETA • THE LATIN LEGACY • PAGE 11 N o 4 ............................................................................................GEORGE LOIS • THE REBEL • PAGE 15 N o 5 .........................................................................BILL BERNBACH • THE REVOLUTIONIST • PAGE 21 N o 6 ....................................................................................PHYLLIS ROBINSON • THE POET • PAGE 25 N o 7 ...............................................................................................LEE CLOW • THE CLOWN • PAGE 29
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MARY WELLS LAWRENCE
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“In this business, you can never wash the dinner dishes and say they are done. You have to keep doing them constantly.” —Mary Wells Lawrence
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o fictional book, movie, or even critically acclaimed cable TV show on the advertising business could create a character who broke ground quite like Mary Wells. Wells was the first woman CEO of a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange and was once the highest-paid executive in the industry. She brought an image of substance and flash to the business, motivating a generation of young men and women to go into advertising and say, “I want to be like Mary.” She was presemted with an AEF lifetime achievement award for forging a career that transformed the industry—as well as planes, deodorant, cars, mufflers and antacid tablets—
along the way. “Plop plop, fizz, fizz,” “I love New York,” “Quality is job one,” are just a few of the phrases penned for her campaigns that immediately evoke images and emotions to anyone who hears them, and have long been embedded in American culture. “For women in the industry, she has been an inspiration to us,” says Paula Alex, CEO of the AEF. “She took the right chances. She wanted to be different in the work that she created, and she did that.” After studying at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Wells began her advertising career in the early 1950s as a copywriter working in the basement of McKelvey’s Department Store
“ I WANT TO BE LIKE MARY.” in her hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. She then moved to New York City, where she took a job in the advertising department at Macy’s. In 1957, she joined Doyle Dane Bernbach, where she created her first iconic advertising image for the French Tourist Office. It was a photo of a gray-haired main and a young child on a bicycle, riding down an ancient country road. The caption read: “Think you’ve seen France? Think again.” In the mid-1960s, Wells moved to Jack Tinker & Partners, where her creative talents generated the phrase, “Plop plop, fizz fizz” for Alka-Seltzer,
and ended the “plain plane” for Braniff Airways. She convinced the company to splash its planes with bright colors and outfit flight attendants with uniforms by Italian designer Emilio Pucci that allowed the women to remove layers as the flight went on, which was called “The Air Strip” in one commercial. “I saw the opportunity in color the way Flo Ziegfeld must have seen an empty stage,” Wells said in her 2002 autobiography, A Big 11 Life in Advertising, describing her vision for the Braniff campaign. “I saw Braniff in a wash of beautiful color.”
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By 1967 she opened her own agency, Wells Rich Greene, where her legend would be cemented for bringing cinematic flair to small screen commercials—and in the process, helping save American Motors Corporation from bankruptcy (she not only created a successful ad campaign for the company, she helped redesign its cars) and giving the world the phrases “I love New York,” “Flick your Bic,” “Raise your hand if you’re sure,” and even “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.” “Mary really influenced how promotion and product changes were part of the role of an advertising agency,” says Charlie Moss, who worked with her on the Braniff campaign and served as the chief creative officer at Wells Rich
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Greene for 25 years. He attributed her success to her emphasis on creativity—which was rare among agencies in the early days of her career —and for her unique understanding of others. “She always had a feel for people she worked with—a terrific insight.”
In 1990 she sold the company, and three years ago co-founded the website for women, wowOwow.com, The Women on the Web (the site’s other creators and contributors include Lesley Stahl, Liz Smith, Whoopi Goldberg, Marlo Thomas, and more). Wells now spends much of her time in Mustique, but her legacy and lasting imprint on the advertising industry still flourishes,
on Madison Avenue and in households across the country. And she knows it. “Of course, I’m a legend,” Wells told a reporter in 2002. “But it’s not because of any great gift I have. It’s because I’m a risk taker.” And, she shared one more secret to her success in her book. “I simply acted as I saw others in the business act,” she wrote. “At the time, they happened to be, primarily, men.”
No. 1 • Insert only a single space after all punctuation No. 2 • Use proper “em” dashes, “en” dashes and hypens No. 11 • Avoid underlined text No. 3 • Use proper quote and apostrophe marks
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“We can use the creativity that has caused us to survive all these centuries to start creating positive images, to offset the negative ones.” —Thomas Burrell
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homas Burrell, founder and chairman of Burrell Communications, one of the nation’s leading African-American owned full-service agencies, is a marketing communications pioneer. This Chicago native set the standard for effectively reaching AfricanAmerican consumers by creating advertising, particularly in television, that accurately reflected their values, lifestyles and aspirations. Coining the phrase, “Black people are not darkskinned white people,” he has been a leader and change agent in one of the most important movements in marketing: the move from mass marketing to more effective targeted marketing.
Burrell and his team convinced McDonald’s and later Coca-Cola, two major television advertisers, that this medium could be used to more effectively reach the black consumer market. The TV ads depicting black “positive realism” proved to have an extraordinary effect on the segment without “turning off” white viewers. This changed the face of television advertising, because in many instances the ads proved to be as popular with white audiences as the primary target. Burrell’s reputation for breaking barriers in the industry began in 1961, while he was still an undergraduate student at Roosevelt University. He became the first African-American to work
“ BLACK PEOPLE ARE NOT DARK-SKINNED WHITE PEOPLE.” at a Chicago advertising agency when Wade Advertising’s management made the decision to hire him as a mailroom clerk. That was the only opening he needed. He used the opportunity to learn as much as he could about the industry and the agency’s business. The young Mr. Burrell found a way to share his ideas with Wade’s creative director. This encounter quickly won him a junior copywriter position, assigned to the Robin Hood All-Purpose Flour and Alka-Seltzer accounts. After three and a half years, Burrell moved on to a copywriting position at Leo Burnett, became
a copy supervisor at the London office of Foote Cone & Belding and later a creative supervisor at Needham Harper & Steers in Chicago. In 1971, his entrepreneurial spirit emerged and he opened Burrell McBain Advertising with business partner Emmett McBain and one assistant. The fledgling agency had little capital, but considerable talent. McDonald’s, the agency’s first major client, came aboard in 1972, and Coca-Cola soon followed. Since 1971, the agency has experienced steady growth, and its client roster consists of
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McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, General Mills, Verizon, Marriott International and Lexus. In addition to all of the industry awards and recognitions, Burrell has been recognized by many local organizations including Rainbow PUSH, A.B.L.E, N’Digo Magazine and the DuSable Museum, just to name a few. Thomas Burrell retired in 2003, and serves as a consultant to the agency that bears his name. He refers to himself as, not retired, but, “re-wired.” His legacy will live on forever in the work he has produced and the hearts of aspiring African-American creatives.
No. 1 2 • Increase line spacing to improve readability in body text No. 8 • Use bold text properly No. 7 • Use caps properly
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“Even in the face of adversity, one must always maintain a belief in oneself and a level of determination to succeed.” —Tere Zubizarreta
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pioneer in the advertising industry, Tere Zubizarreta was instrumental in helping to shift American marketers’ perceptions about Hispanics in the U.S., replacing the idea of Latinos being a homogenous minority group with limited resources with the dynamic reality of a multifaceted consumer segment representing the greatest growth opportunity of the 21st Century. Herself a product of change, Tere was displaced from her country by the Castro revolution in Cuba in 1959, arriving in the U.S. just in time to experience the Civil Rights and Women’s movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Leaving behind a life and lifestyle that could never be
replicated, she was undaunted by the realities of political exile, reinventing her roles as wife and mother, and embarking on a career that not only became a passion and successful business venture, but a catalyst for her future impact on the community.
Tere’s career in advertising started at McCann/ Marshalk Advertising, where she started as a secretary and worked her way thru the agency’s many departments. In 1976, as the U.S. was learning to embrace a new diversity, Tere opened the doors of Zubi Advertising. In addition to a borrowed desk, a phone and a $465 retainer from her first client, she was armed with
“ A PASSIONATE VOLUNTEER, MENTOR AND PHILANTHROPIST” the vision that the Hispanic consumer segment would grow to help redefine American culture, and with a mission to help remove what she believed was the greatest barrier preventing minorities from participating in the American Dream: the blinding power of stereotypes. Initially dominated by simple translations and voiceovers of general market spots, Hispanic advertising executions slowly evolved to include dedicated Spanish-language executions with Latino talent. Today, the aspirational, vibrant,
diverse culture that is this community’s reality is also the cornerstone of effectively engaging this segment. Dedicated strategies based on cultural insights and relevance, using language nuances to target different Hispanic ethnicities, talent that reflects a diversity of races, women in the workforce with career aspirations, a population with economic and political power, technological sophistication and the integration of two distinct cultures now dramatically changing the face of America to form a unique, new multicultural mainstream. Recognized as one of the nation’s
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19 leading Hispanic advertising agencies that continues to define that evolving voice, Zubi Advertising’s annual billings have grown to exceed $195 million. Tere spent as much time giving back to the community as she did giving time to her clients. A passionate volunteer, mentor and philanthropist, her first experience with a community organization came not as a contributor, but as a recipient. Even in Miami’s somewhat mild winter, she found herself in need of a coat, and visited Goodwill Industries, where she was allowed to pick one out. Forever touched by this experience, she acknowledged this simple act of kindness.
Tere passed away peacefully on July 26, 2007. Her legacy is rich on many levels, but it is the impact she had on family and friends, and the hundreds of employees, clients and people whose lives she touched along the way–the ones who lovingly still refer to her as “Mama Zubi”–that serves as the most appropriate testimony to her kindness, compassion and gift for honoring each and every individual.
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“Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything.” —George Lois
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eorge Lois was one of the primary architects of the Creative Revolution in American advertising in the 1960s. He was a leading figure at the world’s first creative agency and cofounded its second. This was a time when “creative” was a way to describe someone who had original ideas and not, as the Oxford American Thesaurus puts it, an “advertising buzzword… that simply means new or different.” Lois wholly or partially created some of the most exceptional and memorable ads in history. For better or worse, behemoths of consumerism such as Tommy Hilfiger, Jiffy Lube, ESPN, MTV, and many others have ingrained themselves
in American culture because of his indelible campaigns. The qualities that set Lois’s work apart from that of today’s advertising industry were because his stuff was unapologetic and transparent about the fact that it was selling a product, and he used ideas to hawk products rather than the other way around.
Considering the breadth and quality of his advertisements, it’s all the more impressive that Lois is best known for his work at Esquire, where he created a staggering 92 of the most iconic magazine covers ever published in a mass-market magazine. They were visual battering rams, catalysts for dialogue about topics people
“ ONE OF THE PRIMARY ARCHITECTS OF THE CREATIVE REVOLUTION” found uncomfortable. With full backing from editor in chief Harold Hayes, Lois was given complete creative control. Sometimes Hayes didn’t even know what he was getting until the finished cover arrived. It was the type of arrangement that would be impossible in today’s sycophantic and flaccid media industry. Some have criticized Lois for exaggerating the scope of his influence and claiming other people’s ideas as his own. Regardless of the particulars, his work has undeniably had a lasting influence on the media world and will continue to. “I’m the
crossover guy,” says Lois of his career, which has borrowed as much from graphic design as it has from guerilla advertising tactics. Lois laughs when he remembers his advertising colleagues’ reaction when seeing him cut his type apart at his desk with all the earnest intensity of a Bauhas student. “‘Geez,’ they’d say, ‘He’s a real dee-signer.’ I took that kind of design sensibility and put it together with a kind of kick-ass sensibility and made my own kind of advertising.”
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20 The most memorable manifestation of this hybrid talent undoubtedly came in the form of the covers he created for Esquire in the 1960s and early 1970s. Blessed with the partnership of editor Harold Hayes, who allowed the art director creative control, Lois gave this particularly vibrant and turbulent era a memorable face: Muhammad Ali as the Christian martyr St. Sebastian; Svetlana Stalin with a drawn-on mustache; mean-assed boxer Sonny Liston as the first-ever African American Santa Claus. And an all-black cover punctuated only by reversed-out type reading “Oh my God— we hit a little girl,” Lois’s stark commentary on a war that was anything but black and white.
Lois has come far with his visceral approach to art direction. He may have made his fortune, been inducted into the Art Director’s Club Hall of Fame, the Creative Hall of Fame and been awarded the AIGA Gold Medal. But nothing compares to a phone conversation he had a few years ago with his pal, the late Paul Rand. Lois’s full lips form a tender smile as he remembers Rand saying, “You son of a bitch, did you see the Times this morning? You were an answer in the crossword puzzle!” No. 10 • Use the ellipsis character and not three periods No. 4 • Use true small caps No. 20 • Do not justify body copy for better readability
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R E V O LU T I O N I S T
“An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it. ” —Bill Bernbach
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fter Bill Bernbach’s death in October 1982, Harper’s told its readers he “probably had a greater impact on American culture than any of the distinguished writers and artists who have appeared in the pages of Harper’s during the past 133 years.” Sixteen years later, Bernbach’s impact continues undiminished. And today he emerges to the number one spot on Advertising Age’s 20th century honor roll of advertising’s most influential people. Was it only yesterday that a “new” Volkswagen Beetle campaign appeared, one that proudly recalls its Bernbach lineage? Talked to advertising’s creative stars lately? Or their mentors? It is still,
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“Bernbach, Bernbach, Bernbach.” His influence is alive and well and ready to help lead the industry through the 21st century. As the single most influential creative force in advertising’s history, Bernbach served as an inspiring father figure to some of advertising’s most brilliant talents. His copywriters and art directors lived for his approval, competed to make his blue eyes sparkle, to produce work that would earn a Bernbachian smile. “What did Bill think?” was the question his Doyle Dane Bernbach people and clients would ask when new work was shown. Bernbach ruled the agency.
“ THE SINGLE MOST INFLUENTIAL CREATIVE FORCE IN ADVERTISING HISTORY” From June 1949, when DDB opened its doors, until leukemia claimed him, Bernbach “edited” with inspired assurance, with arrogance (“You can’t do this job if you’re not arrogant,” he said), with an open door, but without tantrum spikes. He had devised his art-copy team concept at Grey Advertising and brought to DDB a low-key, focused and dedicated management style that produced, along with pride, brilliant campaigns. The work endeared itself without resorting to advertising’s cutesy-poo gimmickry or cuddly icons.
Bernbach, a conservative in his dress and manner —some considered him a “square” surrounded by a world of hip—would focus instead on richly empathic adult, fresh and relevant ideas. Unpretentious ideas. And the craftmanship would always be beautiful, as close to perfect as humanly possible. While examining an already short block of copy, Bernbach might say, “Make it a half-line shorter.” He would toss off a headline and ask one of his creative stars to write “all the little words.” It was UBA: the University of Bernbach Advertising.
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When DDB came along, the TV commercial landscape was filled with devices and lively gimmicks. There were brain-pounding hammers for Anacin, Speedy Alka-Seltzer doll antics and dancing cigarettes for Lucky Strike and Old Gold. Enter DDB and an era of creative energy unknown since Ray Rubicam’s Young & Rubicam explosive work of the 1920s. Bernbach insisted on first learning how his client’s products related to their users, what human qualities and emotions came into play. Then the challenge turned to deciding how best to communicate those elements, in TV and print, and capture the consumer’s understanding and support.
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Bernbach’s leadership maintained a consistent tonal quality. For VW, starting with the efforts of Helmut Krone, writer Julian Koenig and Bernbach, there were 10 writer and art director teams on the account, and all matched VW factory philosophy with DDB advertising philosophy. When Bernbach joined Grey Advertising in 1945, he rose quickly from copywriter to copy chief to VP-creative director, and teamed Phyllis Robinson with Bob Gage, another Rand disciple, in order to perfect his new copy/art “team” concept. Bernbach feared that Grey’s growth would lessen its appetite for “inspiring” work, so he began talking to VP account supervisor Ned Doyle and Herb Strauss
about opening a new agency. When Strauss dropped out (he later became Grey president), Doyle recruited Maxwell Dane, his friend and former Look associate. Doyle Dane Bernbach opened in Dane’s 350 Madison Ave. space with Gage, Robinson and a half-dozen others. Doyle ran the account side; Dane, the consummate manager, ran the business/personnel side. And both stayed out of Bernbach’s way. During his 33 years with DDB, when the agency achieved $1.2 billion in billings, Bernbach saw it change the dynamics of advertising and America’s cultural landscape. Krone said, at Bernbach’s death, “He elevated advertising to high art and our jobs to
a profession.” Bernbach’s advocacy of advertising as art was grounded in the radical notion that the public had to be respected. Underlying respect would encourage favorable reactions to intelligent and imaginative advertising.
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“You can’t imagine what advertising was like pre-DDB. It was artificial, sleepy and sometimes pretentious and schmaltzy.”
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n the late 1940s, it was rare to find a woman in senior management at an advertising agency. But when Doyle Dane Bernbach opened its doors on June 1, 1949, its chief copywriter was Phyllis K. Robinson, who went on to help create memorable campaigns for Polaroid cameras and Levy’s rye bread as DDB achieved legendary status in the industry. Robinson was born in New York on October 22, 1921, and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Barnard College in 1942, after majoring in sociology. During World War II, she was a statistician for the federal Public Housing Authority. But Robinson’s first work at
an ad agency didn’t come until 1946 at Bresnick & Solomont in Boston. She joined Grey the next year and Doyle Dane Bernbach two years after that. Robinson was recruited for Doyle Dane Bernbach by William Bernbach, for whom she had worked at Grey Advertising, and who founded the new agency with Ned Doyle and Maxwell Dane. DDB made Madison Avenue history for the way it created ads. It was considered the first agency to assign copywriters and art directors to work together. Previously, art directors and copywriters worked seperately on individual tasks. The partnerning of art and copy is a classic DDB trademark.
“ THE GREAT COPYWRITING SHE LEFT BEHIND IS TIMELESS”
Robinson was paired with art director, Bob Gage, and together they produced ads for marketers like Orbach’s department store, Polaroid instant cameras and Levy’s breads. For Levy’s Real Jewish Rye, there were colorful posters. Some showed a slice of rye disappearing, bite by bite. The headline: “New York is eating it up!” Other posters showed New Yorkers of various ethnicities eating sandwiches. The headline, which entered the vernacular: “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s Real Jewish Rye.”
For Polaroid, Robinson helped create a series of commercials featuring the actors James Garner and Mariette Hartley, who behaved so naturally together that millions of viewers mistakenly believed they were a married couple. “It was great fun to work on, very challenging, with all sorts of new products,” Ms. Robinson said in an interview in The New York Times in 2006 on the occasion of a tribute to the Polaroid campaign at the Museum of Television and Radio.
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Robinson was the copy chief for the agency’s first 13 years and a mentor to notable copywriters like Paula Green, Julian Koenig, Mary Wells Lawrence and George Lois, who was an art director at the agency. She resigned as copy chief when her daughter, Nancy, was born in 1962, then worked three days a week until leaving DDB in 1982 to start a consulting company. Ms. Robinson died on December 31st at her home in Manhattan. She was 89, but the great copywriting she left behind is timeless.
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Emphasize different elements to create hierarchy Do not use a comma before the word “and” when listing items in a series
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“The longer it takes to explain an idea the smaller it seems.” —Lee Clow
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orn in Los Angeles in 1943, Lee Clow literally grew up at the beach. He credits his first grade teacher, Mrs. Rice, with recognizing his artistic potential. It all occurred very serendipitously with a little drawing of a boat Clow had made in class. It seems little Lee loved boats and realistically portrayed it right down to the curling eddies of smoke rising from its stack. Mrs. Rice immediately noticed his uncanny knack for detail and told Lee’s mom of his impending future as an artist. As a result, Mrs. Clow encouraged her son to continue drawing and painting. As Clow got older, he began to hone his artistic skills. He attended Santa Monica City College and received a two-year degree. His
parents simply could not afford to send him to the more prestigious Art Center College of Design. Years later, as irony would have it, Clow was asked to teach there! It was also during this period that Clow’s distinct California personality crystallized. According to Clow, “I spent a lot of time at the beach surfing. If the temperature soared above 80 degrees and the waves were four feet high, I didn’t bother going to class!” He was eventually drafted into the Army at the height of the Vietnam War. Clow’s illustrative abilities got him assigned to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. After his tour of duty was up, he went back to school, taking design courses at Long Beach State.
“ NOTORIOUS FOR SHUNNING TITLES AND THE LIMELIGHT” After the Army, he was hired as a paste-up artist at a local design studio. His first agency art directing position was with NW Ayer’s west coast office. Frustrated by “only okay work getting produced,” Clow remained there a couple of years. Inspired by the creative revolution of the justcompleted decade of the sixties, Lee Clow was deeply influenced by the DDB team approach to advertising. At the time, it certainly caused a frisson of excitement, sending much needed shock waves of creativity throughout the industry. Wanting to have his cake and eat it too, Lee Clow set out to search for
the perfect west coast agency that aspired to DDB’s principles. He simply refused to trade in his bathing trunks for a Brooks Brothers suit. Clow stumbled upon a young California agency called simply Chiat/Day whose creative credo was, “Let’s do good ads.” Back in 1971, it was two years old, had a staff of 30 and billings just shy of $15 million. Lee Clow was determined to work there. He got his book together and launched a campaign of persistence. Phone calls, letter writing and kind pestering eventually led to a scheduled interview
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with Jay Chiat’s associate, Hy Yablonka. Although Chiat/Day was not hiring, Yablonka did give him a great deal of time and constructive criticism. In January of 1973, Lee Clow’s tenacity finally paid off. He was hired by Chiat/Day as an art director. Clow recalls meeting Jay Chiat a day before he was to begin work. Chiat simply told him in his inimitable style, “Work hard and maybe you’ll do some good ads.” Clow, under Jay Chiat’s unorthodox working environment, was given great opportunities to grow. The agency was and still is, according to Clow, “a great forum of free association fostering creativity.”
In 1977, Lee Clow began his trip up the ladder at Chiat/Day. Notorious for shunning titles and the limelight, Clow was nonetheless promoted to associate creative director. In 1982, he became creative director of the Los Angeles office and two years later, he was named president, chief creative officer (and senior art director) of Chiat/Day.
Clow attributes his success to Jay Chiat’s antiestablishment concepts of horizontal management. “You must have a combination of talent and a good environment to work in, in order to excel,” Clow says. Witness the open air atmosphere of Chiat/ Day’s offices. Management is always accessible to both staff and clients.
The list of risk-taking entrepreneurial clients the agency has served over the years proved to be perfect foils for Clow’s unique and quirky creativity. His work for Apple Computer, California Cooler, KCBS, KNBC, Nike, Nissan, Olympia Beer, Pacific Northwest Bell, Pioneer Electronics, Pizza Hut, Porsche and Yamaha helped create a counterculture and state of mind in advertising that quickly spread across the country like a forest fire. It was advertising California style; it simply could not be ignored or duplicated in the button-down corridors of Madison Avenue.
Through his clients, Lee Clow taught us that “California Dreamin” was no longer just a song reminiscent of pop culture, but a very serious and viable force advertising could not resist recognizing.
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Use hyphens properly Body text size should be a point size smaller than your original choice Word spacing should be fairly close Avoid letterspacing in lowercase body text