The founder of Chiat/Day Advertising passed away today from a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 70.
New York Magazine had the insight to profile his life and career in their April 8th issue. Click here to read the article.
Chiat was born in the Bronx in New York City and grew up in Fort Lee, New Jersey. He attended Rutgers College, graduating in 1953 and was inducted in its Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2000. As an adult he shortened his legal name to Jay Chiat. He served in the United States Air Force.
In 1962, Chiat teamed up with Guy Day to form the Chiat/Day advertising agency in Los Angeles (now TBWA\Chiat\Day). Chiat/Day went on to create some very memorable advertising campaigns and was named U.S. Agency of the Decade in 1989.
Their clients included powerhouses such as Apple Computer, Nike, Energizer, Nissan, Pathfinder, Infiniti, American Express, and Reebok. Three Chiat/Day campaigns, the Apple Computer 1984 campaign, the Energizer Bunny campaign, and the Nynex Yellow Pages campaign, were chosen by the trade publication Brandweek as three of the top 20 ad campaigns of the last 20 years. The "1984" Apple spot during Super Bowl XVIII is said by many to be the event which marked the beginning of advertising as an event. Many of those who worked with Jay Chiat during this period are now leading practitioners in the industry. In 1999,
Jay Chiat was inducted into the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame, the industry's greatest honor.
He'll be missed.