Sad news adgrunts, Bob Levenson writer of DDB fame who was inducted to the One Club Hall of fame way back in 1972, has put his pen down. Few have tweeted about this, prompting adgrunts in the UK to ponder (much like Bob's ad above) Is this ad some kind of trick? .
Jerry Della Femina confirms the news on his facebook page.
The copy of the ad above is as relevant today as it was when Bob submitted it to to TIME magazine in 1960.
Telling the truth about a product demands a product that's worth telling the truth about. Sadly, so many products aren't. So many products don't do anything better. Or anything different. So many don't work quite right. Or don't last. Or simply don't matter. If we also play this trick, we also die. Because advertising only helps a bad product fail faster. No donkey chases the carrot forever. He catches on. And quits. That's the lesson to remember. Unless we do, we die. Unless we change, the tidal wave of consumer indifference will wallop into the mountain of advertising and manufacturing drivel. That day we die. We'll die in our marketplace. On our shelves. In our gleaming packages of empty promises. Not with a bang. Not with a whimper. But by our own skilled hands.
Bob Levenson wrote this in campaign for Bill Bernbach's 100th (non)birthday, sharing war stories from the creative revolution and cementing that same thought once again.
What we learned together at DDB was that the metabolism of the world had changed and would continue to change at a rapid pace, requiring new vehicles to carry ideas to it. Our philosophy was to ally ourselves with great ideas and carry them to the public. We wholly believed that we practiced our craft on behalf of society, and that we must not just believe in what we sell, but that we must sell what we believe in.
Bob had was newly married to Anna Jane Warshaw. He was a loving father of Keith and Seth, step-father to Betsy, and "Grandpa Bob" to Kyra. Bob was predeceased by Kathe Tanous and his marriage to Elaine Berk ended in divorce. In advertising Bob will always be known as "the writer's writer." He worked 26 years at Doyle Dane Bernbach and he has won every major award a few times each. He's in the Copywriter's Hall of fame.
Here he is at the DDB 60s' reunion:
Advertising lost a great mind today.