Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Advertising Inspirations. Part 4.*

*Rob Schwartz, CEO of TBWA/Chiat/Day New York suggested I write a series of posts about some ad luminaries whom our younger generation might not know of. To date, I have considered Ed McCabe, my father, and George Lois. 

Today, Allen Kay.

There's a resplendent joy that occasionally comes with being an online personality--a digital raconteur, if you will. The prime driver behind this joy is people. I often "meet" people through blogging that I wouldn't meet in real life due to my natural shyness or my outright misanthropy or the logistics of distance.

About three months ago, the great Allen Kay, late of Needham Harper & Steers, more recently of Korey Kay & Partners, out of the blue contacted me. In short order, we became internet friends.

Korey Kay was an agency many people, including myself, aspired to. It was a small, creative shop that thrived before the industry and the world got consolidated into a massive, fetid blob of beige. Korey Kay did consistently smart, funny work that "punched above its weight." That is, work that was arresting and persuasive and had an impact that traveled far beyond its allotted media budget.

The first notice I took of Allen Kay was a spot he did with his late-longtime partner, Lois Korey while at the now defunct Needham et al. Check out "Monks," an entry in the "Brother Dominick" campaign. It's considered by many one of the great campaigns of all time.

Next, Tri-Honda. Yes. Car-dealer ads. Usually the lowest form of advertising this side of Sy Syms. But Kay and his agency consistently turned out award-winning work--often with limited budgets for car dealers, usually the type of guys who want to see sheet metal and nothing more.

Finally some print. Remember print? Below are three ads for something called the Cardio-Fitness Center in New York. They had copy in them. Remember copy? Persuasive copy.

In fact, they ran back when I was a 3:10 marathoner. And I still wanted to go to the Cardio-Fitness Center and join, though it was way over my head price-wise. It probably still is.

Allen Kay, ladies and gentlemen.

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