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Arthur Einstein Jr
Erstwhile president of two now-defunct advertising agencies
Interests: history, friends, marketing, advertising, language, not necessarily in that order., reading, writing, technology, family, science, people, vintage music, foibles, (not arithmetic) motorcycle touring, the latest gadget, antique/vintage/classic cars
Recent Activity
thanks for the comment
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One of advertising’s most distinguished early practitioners was Commodore J. Walter Thompson. With his dignified bearing he was among the first to put forth advertising as a profession. He was utterly tireless and insisted on making every moment of every day as productive as possible. In an era of hansom cabs and horse drawn trolleys the quickest way to get around New York was the elevated train system. So when he had an appointment he often chose this speediest, if not grandest, form of transportation. One windy day in March the Commodore found himself seated aboard the “el” when a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2010 at The Art of Einstein
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There’s a very good chance I’ve been a car enthusiast since before you were born. So when I was backed into a corner about my thesis topic while a grad student at Michigan State and managed to persuade my advisor that the advertising of the Packard Motor Car Company would be a fit subject, I pretty much thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Now that it's been aged in fine pine bookshelves for many years this morsel of minor scholarship has been revised, updated and actually published, not by a vanity press but by a card-carrying book publisher, McFarland... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2010 at The Art of Einstein
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Judge Green and your Justice Department dismantled Ma Bell 28 years ago. A lot of people thought it was about time. Cigars were passed out on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange! But most Americans loved the telephone company. She was dependable. Customer service was off the charts. The Operator answered in 2 rings and never uttered a discouraging word. Employees were trained relentlessly to be courteous and helpful. And Ma Bell was also a great place to work. Remind you of anyone? Dan Gilmor’s column in Salon the other day reminded me how my affection for my... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2010 at The Art of Einstein
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I was brought up using soap. So while I may have seen the Old Spice guy once or twice on TV, the spot sailed quietly over my head without intruding on my purchase behavior. Actually I didn’t pay any mind to the Old Spice guy until his star blazed across the YouTube firmament, after which he showed up in a group conversation on an email list I frequent It took television + YouTube + email from friends to get my attention - which seems to be the way things work in the heated up mediasphere we occupy. It’s not enough... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2010 at The Art of Einstein
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Things have come to a nasty pass in the agency biz. Being hired by a procurement officer is surely a sign of vendorship, not partnership. And apple carts continue to be upset at every turn. Marketing once was a piece of the advertising pie. Now advertising has become a sub-set of marketing, and the Rodney Dangerfield in the marketing mix. Ad types who were once counted on for wise counsel are now vendors who don’t get no respect. And new generations of digital agencies has contributed to this reversal of fortune. Here’s what I mean. A list of advertising agencies... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2010 at The Art of Einstein
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Used to be the new Fords didn’t show up in showrooms till September. But now, a full 6 months before the Super Bowl, the 2011 Ford Fiesta has arrived - with an announcement commercial that fairly shouts “Suddenly it’s 1960”. It’s a surprising spot. (You can watch it below). Not offensive - but a commercial that obviously cost millions, and utterly fails to tell any kind of story. If it offers a reason to head for a Ford store and have a look, I missed it entirely. It’s merely sixty seconds of fanfare. Pay close attention and you can pick... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2010 at The Art of Einstein
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My friend Dick Clark, erstwhile art director and TV director who's seen it all, writes: " We didn’t know we were working in "The Golden Age of Advertising". We just wanted to do "good", and most of us knew it when we saw it. But we were also aware of the “ritual dance”. One I remember was painfully illustrative of what became known as the “creative clusterf**k”. It was one of those urgent, work-through-lunch exercises making print “roughs” for the truck division of a major automotive account. I was “partnered” with a very bright copywriter named Charlie, a soft-spoken southerner... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2010 at The Art of Einstein
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My first job out of grad school was at J Walter Thompson Co in the Graybar Building, 420 Lexington Ave. They gave me a battered Smith Corona, a ream of yellow paper, and I was a copywriter. It wasn't long before I learned about pecking orders. A very big suit had been imported from some lesser agency to work in the Ford group and pour oil on troubled waters in Dearborn. JWT was quite a bankerly place then, and though there was in-fighting nobody’d seen anything like him. We read a lot about “branding” one’s self these days. What this... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2010 at The Art of Einstein
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Ken Segall and I had a long, chatty lunch a week or so ago. Once upon a time Ken and I worked together at LGFE. He’s been around tech advertising as a creative type for years - many of them spent working on Apple at Chiat Day. Jobs, he says, is passionate about keeping things simple - which dovetails in a way with a long ago lesson I learned from a New Yorker editor who, when I asked him what he did as an editor, replied “It’s very simple.” “I am a surrogate for the reader.” His job, in other... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2010 at The Art of Einstein
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Mar 15, 2010
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Neil Gluckin, former agency type, wrote recently: In some agencies, the “fish tank” was an open space where people sat at desks with no privacy. At Doyle Graf Mabley, the small agency where I worked in the frenzied 1980s, the fish tank was literal: a good-sized tank for tropical fish equipped with a miniature diver and treasure chest, swaying plants, a gurgling pump and four actual fish, two red and two black. The tank was placed in the office of the book-keeper/office manager, a hard-as-nails type I'll call Jane, who referred to her home, Staten Island, as the Mother Country.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2010 at The Art of Einstein
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Bruce Richter, a former LGFE colleague writes: Your "Ads By Accident" story reminded me of a Perdue Chicken ad Amy Schottenfels and I did way back at Scali [McCabe & Sloves]. We were working on a campaign for something entirely different one weekend and all we kept hearing from the guys in the bullpen across the hall was, "Where's the beef?", "Where's the beef?", "Where's the beef?" You remember the phenomenon. [ The Wendy’s commercial that made Clara Peller a household name for at least one Clio season]. And finally one of us just yelled out, "Who gives a sh*t... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2010 at The Art of Einstein
Hey, I definitely echo Jay's sentiment. It's a mighty list and I'm honored to be included. Creates some pressure for future posts, though.
Toggle Commented Feb 18, 2010 on Top 10 Practical Online Marketing Blogs at Blogs.com
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Jay's got it right. Serious company to be and an honor to be selected. Now I have to live up to the recommendation. Ah well. If it's one thing it's an other :)
Toggle Commented Feb 18, 2010 on Top 10 Practical Online Marketing Blogs at Blogs.com
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“Einstein, eh? You must be good at math.” I hear that a lot. Just as I hear that I must love the HBO series “Mad Men” because I was in the business back then. Wrong on both counts. I am almost totally innumerate. And “Mad Men” isn’t like it was at all. It was more like this. Tiffany & Co was among our name clients. Walter Hoving, the proprietor was surely the shrewdest shop keeper on Fifth Avenue. He was also an aristocrat of another age with opinions he had no hesitation about sharing via ads in Tiffany's franchiser position... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2010 at The Art of Einstein
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Even though I'm a copywriter I’ve always been fussy about type, layout, readability, the sound-track, the voice-over and the message they send. Because, the non-verbal components of a message really are the body language of a brand. Some people do a superb job of getting it right. IBM has a long history of obsessing about design, initiated by Thomas Watson Jr. who hired Paul Rand, Charles and Rae Eames, and other first rank designers to make sure everything about IBM looked better than the competition. At Apple, Steve Jobs, to his credit, has been a maniac about design and monitored... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2010 at The Art of Einstein
Thanks Susan, I see so many of these things neglected in adv. and on websites in particular. All in the name of efficiency. I'm beginning to think that efficiency can be a brand killer.
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You may think Betty Crocker is a little "old school." Think twice. Betty was created 88 years ago “to respond to customer inquiries in a more personal manner” She was, by the way, invented by a small company to talk about a commodity product, baking flour. Betty and her mission came to mind the other day as I looked at a friend’s website. I shall call my friend Tim and fudge some of his business details to protect what has always been a cordial relationsip. Tim is smart, honest, and focused. He sells quality things. Shake his hand and you... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2009 at The Art of Einstein
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I went to a memorial service on Saturday for good friend and former client Charles G Francis. Chuck was the Grand Sachem of IBM communications and advertising for a long stretch and was in charge when our agency, LGFE, was hired. It was a momentous time to be hired by anyone in the computer industry but especially by IBM. The personal computer explosion was brewing. And while IBM was unsurpassed as a sales organization, feet on the street was their modus operandi. Salesmen sold computers. Advertising was for buffing the corporate image. At the time we were hired I’m pretty... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2009 at The Art of Einstein
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It’s no longer the outraged consumer who’s accusing advertisers of playing fast and loose with the truth. It’s advertisers themselves! A front-page article in the NY Times lays out a story of big brand mud-wrestling - hilarious if it was’t so sad. AT&T is suing Verizon. Fedex is after UPS. Pantene is after Dove. Campbell’s Soup is calling out Progresso. So far this year, brands you know and presumably trust, have filed 87 complaints so far this year with the Better Business Bureau about the truthfulness of one another’s advertising. Quibbling isn’t good for business. In some countries even a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2009 at The Art of Einstein
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I have been heads down on a couple of projects and haven’t been paying attention to anything else for the past 6 weeks - this blog included. But out of the corner of my eye I did notice that the the big cheeses of adland have been wringing hands in public lately about when the business will bounce back. They may be worrying about the wrong thing. Instead, if I were Maurice Levy or Martin Sorrell I’d be worryied about Jeff Bezos and his kind. A few years ago Bezos decided his ad dollars were wasted. (With all the media... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2009 at The Art of Einstein
Interesting Harry. I think of it more as like learning to ride a unicycle. You need support. Lots of cuts and bruises. But eventually you get it.
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The hole in the Chevy bowtie is a sign of what’s been wrong at GM and a lot of other companies for a long time. Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2009 at The Art of Einstein
Thanks for your insights sir.
1 reply