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The Mad Ad Man

Albert D. Lasker

Albert Lasker set out from Texas to become a leading journalist in New York City. A detour in Chicago changed not only his career, but the way companies across the world advertised their products and services. Chelsea Amegatcher of Harvard Business Review (HBR) created a fabulous slide show that provides a glimpse into the life and legacy of this incredible figure.

Amegatcher adapted her smartly crafted clip “Albert D. Lasker and the Creation of the Advertising Century,” from a new book by Jeffrey L. Cruikshank and Arthur W. Schultz titled “The Man Who Sold America.”

Orange juice for breakfast ? Not before Lasker.

Clearly, his genius extended beyond ad words as he knew how to lead, direct and move industries to the next level.  After great success in the general ad world, Albert moved on to other areas of business. As the slideshow points out, Lasker “He persuaded the six thousand independent growers who made up the California Fruit Growers Exchange to unite under the Sunkist brand.”  The trick he devised to make everyone accept this group was to sell orange juice. While we can’t credit him with the creation of orange juice, the larges scale sale of it was his concept.

He moved on to baseball, owning more of the Cubs than Wrigley, but choosing to let the chewing gum gain popularity as love for the team grew. Lasker said that the gum tycoon William Wrigley was not at all the baseball man. “I don’t think Mr. Wrigley even knew that there were three strikes for an out,” he later recalled. But the ad man understood the importance of the brand tie-in.

What he couldn’t do was control his own bouts of depression. Nor could he groom his children to takeover where he left off, running an internationally respected ad company. The line between genius and madness grows thinner the more the lives of revolutionaries are revealed. One can only assume that it’s a lonely existence pushing a vision that’s invisible to most others.

To see the show, click here:  HBR Slide Show

To order the book, click here: “The Man Who Sold America

One comment on “The Mad Ad Man

  1. Joede

    “One can only assume that it’s a lonely existence pushing a vision that’s invisible to most others.” For me, it’s not only lonely but I’ve readjusted my vision to accomodate the naysayers. And I’m not happy with the end result.

    I believe that good advertising can help promote my vision. However, I will admit, I’m not a genius like Mr. Lasker.

    What constitutes good advertising? And what is the “reason-why” mode of advertising? Lastly, is marketing different from advertising?

    Joede Brown
    Black Pearl Creations

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This entry was posted on 08/11/2010 by in Ad Love and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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