The Impact of a Rosser Reeves Commercial

“In 7 years the 59-second commercial made more money than the movie Gone With The Wind had in a quarter-century.”

Wiki about Rosser Reeves (relation!?)

Rosser Reeves was a significant real life advertising exec who shook things up a bit (part of Don Draper’s character is based on Reeves… now that feels good to say).

He was die hard about bringing the ads back to the product:

“No, sir, I’m not saying that charming, witty and warm copy won’t sell. I’m just saying I’ve seen thousands of charming, witty campaigns that didn’t sell.”

He actually coined the phrase “unique selling proposition” (abbr: USP) which one hears so often these days in marketing circles.

“You must make the product interesting, not just make the ad different. And that’s what too many of the copywriters in the U.S. today don’t yet understand.”

This predates Seth Godin by a decade or two (Godin’s initial boom of success came from books like Purple Cow and others where he reminded marketers all over the world of this simple truth: if the product isn’t interesting, you’re in a losing position over time).

You can find some interesting Rosser Reeves advertisements for the Eisenhower campaign here.

The Matterful Monthly

A monthly for modern meaning makers from Chase Reeves about building lifestyles of significance.

Get the next issue in your inbox:

“I love getting these emails because Chase writes like he talks.” ~ Heath