(10 September 1910–24 January 1984) was a hugely successful American advertising
executive and pioneer of television advertising
. He believed the purpose of advertising is to sell. He insisted that an advertisement or commercial should show off the value of a product, not the cleverness 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.
Reeves generated millions for his clients, the Ted Bates
agency where he rose to chairman (existing today as Bates 141
. The AMC program, Mad Men
, uses Reeves as one model for the professional accomplishments of the series' protagonist, Don Draper (Jon Hamm).
His ads were focused around what he called 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
"melt in your mouth, not in your hand." He argued that advertising campaigns should be unchanging with a single slogan for each product. His commercials for Bic
pens, Minute Maid
orange juice, M&M
toothpaste and other products used similar methods, often making dramatic... Read More