Greatest Ads

Chicago has a rich advertising history that contributed heavily to the development of the profession. The following is some of the "greatest ideas in Chicago Advertising History." These classic ads were featured in the Chicago Advertising Club's 75th anniversary booklet, published in 1980. Enjoy the trip back in time to some of the greatest ads ever produced.

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Advertiser: Toni Home Permanent
Agency: Foote, Cone, & Belding Adv., Inc.

Which twin has the Toni?" This theme, together with the twins' photographs illustrated, at a glance, that the product fulfilled its promise. The theme caught on with the public and was quoted and joked about in cartoons, on stage, television, radio, etc. This is an outstanding example of the strongest kind of demonstration advertising. It provided the public with a product for which there was a need, and showed clearly that a permanent wave costing $15.00 in a beauty shop, could be equaled by a product costing only $1.25 (later $2.00). It revolutionized women's attitudes toward permanent waving.

 
 
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Advertiser: Palmolive Facial Soap
Agency: Lord & Thomas

In 1909 Claude Hopkins established this product as "The soap for beauty," using a cosmetic approach on an ordinary product for the first time. This was the first beauty soap. Later the line "keep that schoolgirl complexion" was added. It helped Palmolive become the world's largest selling toilet soap.

 
 
 
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Advertiser: Morton Salt
Agency: NW Ayer & Son, Inc.

When It Rains, It Pours" became an ad campaign and trademark to make Morton Salt known as the only free pouring salt in a moisture-proof container. This campaign is known to this day by grandparents and children alike.

 
 
 
 
 
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Advertiser: BON AMI
Agency: Wade Advertising
The little chick was probably the original animal character used in mass advertising. It symbolized the claim "Hasn't scratched yet." Bon Ami ran this campaign for more than 50 years.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Advertiser: General Mills
Agency: Blackett-Sample-McFarland, Inc.
This nomination is for the invention of Betty Crocker. In 1921 a Gold Medal Flour ad created by the agency, Blackett-Sample-McFarland, developed a picture puzzle with answers so obvious the company was flooded with mail from consumers. To answer the letters, company officials thought it would be best to respond with a letter signed by a woman. The character, Betty Crocker, was created with a signature only. By 1940 Betty Crocker was the second best known woman in America, running only behind Eleanor Roosevelt.
 

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Advertiser: Ford Motor Company
Agency: J. Walter Thompson Company

There's a Ford in your future."This campaign held consumer loyalty in a period of car shortages during and after World War II. This campaign was a breakthrough for two reasons: 1) It ran when no one could buy the product (i.e., during World War II; and 2) It promised a new life style which the product would offer after the war.

 
 
 
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Advertiser: Alka Seltzer
Agency: Wade Advertising

The cartoon character "Speedy Alka Seltzer" was one of the first characters that actually was the product. He was used in all facets of promotion and all media and point of purchase, creating a very memorable campaign.

 
 
 
 
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Advertiser: Sears Diehard Battery
Agency: J. Walter Thompson Company and Foote, Cone, & Belding Adv., Inc.

The original name of this breakthrough product was the "Sears Allstate 12 Volt Super Power Cell." It was renamed and promoted as the Sears DieHard which "starts your car when other batteries won't." The idea to rename the product was brilliant. The advertising which has followed is equally powerful. It is based on simple demonstrations of the product's dependability. The DieHard is, also, one of the few products introduced in the Sixties which became Number 1 in replacement batteries through the print media exclusively and maintained its position through the use of television.

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Advertiser: 7-UP
Agency: J. Walter Thompson Company

"The Uncola" completely revolutionized soft drink advertising. Awareness, brand identity and market share were increased. More importantly, this campaign became the quintessential example of marketing positioning (i.e., this is the one that tastes good that's not a cola.

 
 
 
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Advertiser: Green Giant
Agency: Leo Burnett Co.

Leo Burnett Co., Chicago's largest agency, has created some of the most enduring and brand-building campaigns in history, many of which are integral parts of today's pop culture.

 
 
 
 
 
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Advertiser: Kellogg's Tony the Tiger
Agency: Leo Burnett Co.

 

Leo Burnett Co., Chicago's largest agency, has created some of the most enduring and brand-building campaigns in history, many of which are integral parts of today's pop culture.

 
 
 
 
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Advertiser: StarKist's Charlie the Tuna
Agency: Leo Burnett Co.

Leo Burnett Co., Chicago's largest agency, has created some of the most enduring and brand-building campaigns in history, many of which are integral parts of today's pop culture.

 
 
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Advertiser: Pillsbury Doughboy Agency: Leo Burnett Co.

Leo Burnett Co., Chicago's largest agency, has created some of the most enduring and brand-building campaigns in history, many of which are integral parts of today's pop culture.

 
 
 
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Advertiser: The Keebler Elves
Agency: Leo Burnett Co.

Leo Burnett Co., Chicago's largest agency, has created some of the most enduring and brand-building campaigns in history, many of which are integral parts of today's pop culture.

 
 
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Advertiser: StarKist's Morris the Cat
Agency: Leo Burnett Co.

Leo Burnett Co., Chicago's largest agency, has created some of the most enduring and brand-building campaigns in history, many of which are integral parts of today's pop culture.

 

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