Tuesday, August 13, 2013

August 13 - William (Bill) Bernbach

Advertising executive and copywriter William (Bill) Bernbach was born on August 13, 1911, in the Bronx, New York City. He graduated from New York University in 1932 and worked his way from the mailroom to advertising at Schenley Distillers. After World War II, he worked in advertising jobs, then in 1949 joined with Ned Doyle, whom he’d met at Grey Advertising, and Mac Dane, who ran a small agency, to found Doyle Dane Bernbach, later known as DDB. For years, Bernbach was the creative force behind the writing and many simple but memorable ad campaigns at DDB, frequently marked by humor, unusual perspectives, tastefulness and respect for the reader’s intelligence. Major examples were “We Try Harder” (1963) for Avis, the controversial “Daisy” political ad for Lyndon Johnson (1964), the “Mikey!” ads for Life Cereal (1972), and “It's so simple” for Polaroid (1977). Bernbach is celebrated for DDB’s work for Volkswagen, which included the iconic “Lemon” and “Think Small” ads (1959). The latter was ranked the best ad campaign of the 20th century.

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