Concept

Rosser Reeves

Résumé
Rosser Reeves (10 September 1910 – 24 January 1984) was an American advertising executive and pioneer of television advertising; Reeves generated millions for his clients. The Ted Bates agency, where he rose to chairman, exists today as Bates CHI & Partners. Reeves was born in Virginia to a Methodist preacher, and briefly attended the University of Virginia until he was expelled for drunkenly crashing a friend's car during the Prohibition era. Luckily, he had just won one hundred dollars as a prize for a state-wide chemistry contest that served as his final exam for first year Chem 101. While other students wrote novel chemical formulae as their submission, Reeves, by virtue of not knowing anything about chemistry having spent the semester drinking, dancing and gambling, blithely submitted an essay titled "Better Living Through Chemistry". He would later use this title for DuPont Corporation campaign. The one hundred dollars was enough money to move to Richmond where he was hired at a new bank that was hiring young contest winners. Finding that he was a poor accountant but verbally gifted, he began writing advertisements. He soon moved to New York City to found Ted Bates & Co with Ted Bates. Reeves believed the purpose of advertising is to sell. He insisted that an advertisement or commercial should show off the value or unique selling proposition, (or USP) of a product, not the cleverness or humor of a copywriter. His most typical ad is probably that for Anacin, a headache medicine. The ad was considered grating and annoying by almost all viewers but it was remarkably successful, tripling the product's sales. In 7 years the 59-second commercial made more money than the movie Gone With The Wind had in a quarter-century. His ads were focused around what he coined the unique selling proposition, the one reason the product needed to be bought or was better than its competitors. These often took the form of slogans — Reeves oversaw the introduction of dozens, some that still exist to this day, such as M&M's "melts in your mouth, not in your hand.
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