What would NOT exist if you’d never been born?

The Life of David Kennedy Advertising Art Director

How many times have you watched IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed?

It’s one of my all-time favorite holiday movies. And it was the inspiration for this tribute to Wieden+Kennedy co-founder, David Kennedy.

The video was created a few years back to celebrate his induction into the American Advertising Federation (AAF) Advertising Hall of Fame—the highest honor awarded in the field of advertising.

Click the image above to view it. Or click this link b/c there’s an important lesson here for all of us . . .

Each person’s life touches the life of so many others. And when they’re not around, well, they leave an awful hole.

What wouldn’t exist if you’d never been born? Keep the answer to yourself. I only have one request – if you enjoyed this post, please like and share it. Thank you.

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Best B2B Ad Ever (Remix)

Best B2B Ad Ever (Remix)Perhaps the best example of owned media is a website.
In the age of Mobilegeddon, how does your website perform?
To find out, take Google’s mobile-friendly test.)

Meme inspired by 1958 McGraw-Hill ad by Fuller & Smith & Ross, Inc.

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Non-profit Advertising on a Budget

&vertisinginc used clips from the pilot episode of The Beverly Hillbillies to rebrand “Christmas in April” as “Rebuilding Together.”

HGTV’s new series Home Town Takeover spotlights renovations by HGTV superstars Ben and Erin Napier in a small town in Alabama. Their goal is to make an impact that’ll ripple through the community for generations to come.

Just one ad man’s opinion but it sounds a lot like an idea pioneered by a nonprofit that’s been doing exactly that for almost half a century.

In 1973, a small group of volunteers began fixing the run-down homes of people who couldn’t do it themselves. They called their selfless initiative “Christmas in April” to symbolize the unexpected joy their repair work brought to those who needed it most.

As the need for their services grew, so did the need for donations.

Unfortunately, the nonprofit’s cute and clever name was a stumbling block. Some potential donors assumed they only worked one month a year.

So they changed their name to Rebuilding Together – to more clearly communicate their year-round commitment to repair homes, rebuild lives, and revitalize communities.

Almost immediately, a new problem surfaced . . . now potential donors thought they were a Habitat for Humanity wannabe.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

You see, Habitat BUILDS BRAND NEW HOMES for low income families. Rebuilding Together FIXES OLD HOMES for low income families.

Think NEW is better than OLD? Not always. A lot of people don’t like change. Especially seniors.

Click the play button to see how we reminded potential donors of this human truth.

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“Send us your capes deck.”

Those are five words we love to hear. But there are four words we love even more:
“Let’s schedule a meeting.”

(Got fingers crossed that’s what you’ll say after reviewing our capabilities deck.)

(and)vertisinginc powerpoint presentation for potential new clients

(If you already have an ad agency, gently suggest they study our 3-step, scientifically-proven formula)

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Portfolio Samples from Y&R Global

All of these spots were written by my boss & mentor, David Wojdyla.

Five minutes ago he said “put these on our site.”

Done. Done. And done!

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Not enough oven space at Thanksgiving time?

Recently on ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA), celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse said the #1 problem for cooks at Thanksgiving time is “not enough oven space.”

Not at our house.

For the last 15 years, we’ve been making our turkey on a Weber gas grill.

It’s a lot easier than you think. And it comes out juicier than any turkey made indoors.

A turkey made on a Weber gas grill

Turkey comes out juicier when made in an “outdoor oven”

The reason why, according to Mike Kempster, Weber Executive VP and CMO, is unlike an indoor oven which simply recirculates dry air, your turkey in an outdoor oven (a.k.a. Weber or other top-quality gas grill) is surrounded by a fresh stream of moist outdoor air.

I confess the first time Mike told me this, I raised an eyebrow in disbelief. But with more than a decade of grilled birds under my belt (figuratively and literally), I know it to be true.


© Linda Kelen

Now you may be thinking “hey Dave, that’s all well and good but I’m afraid to try something new because I might screw it up.”

Permit me to make a suggestion: Do what I did the first time.

Grill your first turkey the Sunday after Thanksgiving, when supermarkets slash the price of their remaining birds.

If you screw up at the grill, you’re only out a few bucks.

But trust me, you won’t screw up. Because as I said, it’s a lot easier than you think. And it comes out juicier than any turkey made indoors.

In fact, I’d venture to guess you’ll become a grilled turkey convert, too.

And on Thanksgiving Day 2017, you’ll inaugurate a new family tradition.

“How to grill your turkey on a gas grill” by the Reluctant Gourmet
“BIRD ON A FIRE” by Sandra S. McRae
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My all-time favorite Walt Disney quote

My all-time favorite Walt Disney quote

114 years ago today, Walt Disney was born on the northwest side of Chicago.

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Recalling half a century in the ad biz

No, not my memories.

Memories and stories by Michael Koulermos, former McCann SVP & master of portraiture.

Yesterday I visited the ADC Global Gallery in NYC to see Mr. Koulermos’ exhibition of Impressionist portraits of ’60s, ’70s & ’80s ad men & women.

I stayed for over an hour and left sooo inspired.

Unfortunately the exhibition ends tomorrow.

Then the portraits will be taken down, wrapped carefully & given to each ad legend or family member.

Got fingers crossed these oils (& the engaging stories that accompanied each one) will one day reappear as an online exhibit.

In the meantime, I have just one thing more to say:

Thank you, Mr. Koulermos, for sharing your labor of love.


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“LETTERS LOST THEN FOUND: A Conversation Between Two Brothers, 1942−1945.”


This new book is not online or in any bookshop.

As far as I know, only a couple dozen copies of this book exist. Pity. For two reasons.

First, the war time letters in it were written by brothers who loved each other very much. So I think anyone who likes a good love story will enjoy this bromance.

Second, more than any Hollywood film or TV show I’ve ever seen about WW II, Letters Lost Then Found provides the most realistic picture of what life was like back then and gives new meaning to the phrase, “supporting our troops.”

I first became aware of the book while helping judge the West Michigan ADDY Awards earlier this year. We gave it “Student Best of Show.” Yep. This was put together by a student.

Author Amy L. Johnson

To read the surprising backstory of how this book came to be, visit http://bit.ly/1mQMGa0

Amy L. Johnson used her considerable graphic design talent to bring this trove of heartfelt letters written and sent more than half a century ago back to life. Then printed a small run for family and friends.

Got fingers crossed Ms. Johnson will one day connect with a forward-thinking book executive who’ll publish it and make it available to everyone.

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Last night I saw a HOTT show

Oklahoma by HOTT Productions
HOTT (Helping Others Through Theatre) PRODUCTIONS was founded almost two decades ago by Schaumburg residents Christine Seminaro and Donica Seminaro Luzwick, her sister. The non-profit’s dual mission is ambitious: (1) Provide quality musical theater experiences and (2) donate all proceeds to charity. By virtually any measure it’s been a smashing success and the founders show no sign of slowing down.

With the help of Donica’s husband, David Luzwick (who joined in 1998), and hundreds of others, HOTT Productions has entertained musical theatregoers of all ages with more than 30 classics—everything from “Grease” and “Guys and Dolls” to “Hair” and “Hello Dolly.” Its current production is “Oklahoma!” by Rodgers & Hammerstein.

All proceeds raised by this all-volunteer group have been donated to worthy causes. Recipients include local families in need plus organizations dedicated to autism programming, helping those with multiple sclerosis, cancer prevention and children’s literacy. Tally of their donations so far? In a word, “BOFFO.” Nearly $125,000!

Tickets for tonight’s closing performance are still available. (I went last night and left the Prairie Center for the Arts humming and smiling all the way home.) Show starts at 8 PM. To make a reservation, call 847.895-2828.

Editor’s note: If you believe in what Christine, Donica and David are doing, perhaps you’ll consider donating your time and talents to help with their next production, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” If your calendar’s already full, please consider becoming an Angel to the Arts with a financial donation of $25 or more. You can reach HOTT Productions at 847.650.4688.

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Chuck Peebler & David Bell

When it comes to pitching new business, our agency has a pretty good track record. Reason why? Probably because I’ve had the good fortune to be hired and mentored by some of the best Creative, Account, Research, Media and PR people in the world, including these two Advertising Hall of Famers: Chuck Peebler, (Chairman-CEO of BJKE) and David Bell, (Bozell Worldwide Chairman-CEO). This decades-old video is part of their response to an RFP from agency search consultants Leslie Winthrop and Lisa Colantuono.

BTW, last Sunday was the 78th anniversary of Chuck’s birth. To learn more about his contributions to the world, click here.

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It’s Law Day again in America

So what is Law Day?!

In 1961, a Joint Resolution of Congress set aside May 1 as a special day for all Americans to celebrate our liberties and to reaffirm our loyalty to the USA.

It’s a day for us to consider our duties and responsibilities such as (1) keep informed about government and community affairs, (2) vote in elections, (3) respect others’ rights, (4) obey and respect the law and (5) serve on juries and as court witnesses if called.

At &VERTISING INC, we think it’s also a good day to read the Illinois State Bar Association’s Legal Health Checkup, a 12-page educational guide created by us.

(BTW, if you’re going to hand out free copies on Michigan Avenue, a good place to start is on the plaza outside NBC 5 Chicago’s news studio. Yes, they turned the camera on us!!

David Wojdyla shares last-minute advice with his street marketing team.

David Wojdyla shares last-minute advice with his street marketing team.

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Art school question

School of Visual Arts or Kendall College of Art and Design?

No one’s asked me this question. But if they did, here’s what I’d say:

Last Wednesday was Career Day for graphic design seniors at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids.

In the morning they received real world advice from professionals. In the afternoon they received feedback on their portfolios.

I was one of the guys giving feedback. (Mostly “WHOA,” “WOW,” and “If we had an opening I’d hire you in a heartbeat!”)

A year ago I did the same thing at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Overall, I liked the students in Michigan better.

( Just one ad man’s opinion.)

Bravo, KCAD Graphic Design Faculty!

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2015 ADDY Award Winner

Chicago Tribune  |  Business  |  Section 2  |  Friday, March 28, 2014

Chicago Tribune | Business | Section 2 | Friday, March 28, 2014

The 2014 ADDYs Show is about two months away. Which means the 2015 ADDYs is about 14 months away. Yet I’m going to stick my neck out and predict this bus shelter (which I walk past twice a day) will win an ADDY, or as the AAF renamed it, an “American Advertising Award.”

In today’s paper, Trib reporter Jessica Wohl writes: “The bus shelter is part of a campaign focused on family time… (it) was chosen for its high-traffic location, not its proximity to the rival chain, said Brian Shembeda, a SVP at Leo Burnett.”

Not sure I believe Mr. Shembeda. (Especially since this bus shelter is spitting distance from his office.) But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.

The supersized Happy Meal box is a simple idea executed flawlessly. Bravo!

FOOTNOTE: I don’t have a list of creatives who did this out-of-home (OOH) execution. But I know one name that won’t be on the list but should be: JACK GOLDENBERG. Long before YouTube popularized viral marketing, he launched the Happy Meal with word-of-mouth communication (WOM).


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Everybody in advertising should watch this


I bought the DVD for $15. But now someone told me you can watch it free on Vimeo.
So please do.

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150 years ago today

Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Like you’ve never heard or seen it before. (Just click here.)
Creative Credits:
Design & Animation: Adam GAULT and Stefanie AUGUSTINE
Voiceover: Mitch RAPOPORT
Sound design: Chris VILLEPIGUE
Additional animation: Carlo VEGA

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Leo Burnett’s Mentor

Leo Burnett (age 26) and  Theodore F. MacManus (age 45)

Leo Burnett (age 26) and Theodore F. MacManus (age 45)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a fan of Leo Burnett. And although I never met him, he’s been a mentor to me. I’m serious. (Read Leo Burnett, Star Reacher by Joan Kufrin and you’ll be inspired, too.)

Last week I bought a book written by the ad guy who turned Burnett on to advertising:

Theodore F. MacManus.

In 1915, Burnett quit his job as a columnist for the Peoria Journal and moved to Detroit to work in corporate communications at Cadillac.

That’s where he met the man who wrote the most popular car ad ever.

Their working relationship lasted about three years. But I suspect the mentor/mentee relationship continued a bit longer.

Because less than a decade before Burnett started his own agency (1935), MacManus wrote a book about the secret of creating effective advertising.

Burnett loved books. And while it’s true I don’t have proof he read The Sword-Arm of Business, I challenge anyone to prove he didn’t.

I just finished reading it. The lessons MacManus shares are timeless.

Which is precisely the reason why I’ve already incorporated some of that learning into our Agency’s capabilities deck.

FOOTNOTE: Some time ago, I gave a presentation to the Chicago Advertising Federation (in a Leo Burnett conference room) titled, “NEW IDEAS FROM DEAD AD GUYS.” (I’m looking at it now. Not bad if I do say so myself.) Perhaps I’ll update it and put it on SlideShare. It’ll be better than the original. B/C now I know what both of these legendary ad men knew about creating effective advertising.
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Hot off the press

National Radio Hall of Fame 2013 Invitation

If you saw last year’s invitation, you know why I proofread this six times before it went to the printer.

Posted in &vertising portfolio | Tagged | 1 Comment

My LinkedIn Connection, Larry H.

As an art director, I’ve worked with a lot of photographers. Recently, I met a new one through LinkedIn. His name is Larry Huene and here’s the first job we did together.

Not only did Larry shoot this nostalgic still life, he retouched it, too.

Oh, and did I mention before he shot this in his Elmhurst studio, Huene (1) traveled to the client’s storage facility downtown, (2) explored their incredible collection of memorabilia, (3) hand-picked most of the items shown here and (4) added a few of his own to the final composition?

Talk about “going the extra mile” for your clients!

Now you know why I consider Larry Huene one of top three shooters I’ve ever worked with.

Country music didn't begin in Nashville

Worldwide Creative Director: DAVID WOJDYLA; Art Director, MICHAEL JOHN; Copywriter: SUSAN MORRIS; Photographer: LARRY HUENE; Client: NATIONAL RADIO HALL OF FAME

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Best Qualitative Researcher I Know?

PATRICIA WOJDYLA, Founder, Patricia Wojdyla Qualitative Research.
(And I’m not just saying that because my boss is married to her!)
why-pwqr-ppt-visualView on SlideShare

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BOZELL, NYC (1990)

To help build camaraderie across all departments, Chuck Peebler, agency CEO,
funded a video with virtually everyone in it. To view it, CLICK HERE.

CD: Jay Schulberg
Copywriter: Jimmy Cohen
Art Director: Rick Paynter
Director: Julius Weil
Video: Karl Bauer

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Before the buzzword existed, he was Mr. “Media-Neutral”


During his career, Nick worked on the agency side (DDB Needham, Burnett), the client side (7-Up, Kmart), and the media side (Focus Media, Optimedia).

He truly was a 360° guy.

Teresa Luciano wants Chicago’s marketing community to know Nick loved his career and all his wonderful friends.

To read his obituary, click here.

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Mr. Schulberg finished his thought by adding, “Without unexpected, brilliant creativity, your message – no matter where it’s placed – will pass like a ship in the night.”

Posted on by David Wojdyla | 1 Comment

Apple’s “1984” Super Bowl Spot – The Backstory

Nine frames of original TV storyboard for Apple’s groundbreaking Super Bowl commercial, “1984”
Stuart Elliott labeled this the “Best TV Commercial Ever Made.”

THE YEAR IS 1983 AND APPLE IS ABOUT TO LAUNCH a new computer called Macintosh. Steve Jobs thinks it will change the world. He wants to do a big introduction. Someone says, “Let’s throw a simultaneous launch party in NY, Chicago & LA with the most famous rock bands on the planet.” After Apple’s CFO runs the numbers, the upstart computer company realizes they can either throw the parties or make the computer. Jobs tells his agency, “Do us a TV commercial or something.”


“Why 1984 Won’t Be Like 1984” was conceived as a print headline the year before by Gary Gussick & Mike Moser. The long copy newspaper ad never ran. My art director partner, Brent Thomas, and I purloined it for our purposes. It was the inspiration for the whole spot. Our own “Suits” tried to keep us from shooting a :60 version because the client had only signed an estimate for a :30. Without authorization, I authorized it. After the spot was finished…


Jobs previewed the ad for the Apple sales force. They were thrilled. But when Jobs previewed the ad for the Board of Directors, everyone in the boardroom was mute. Philip Schlein, the CEO of Macy’s California, had his head on the table. Mike Markkula stared silently; at first it seemed he was overwhelmed by the power of the ad. Then he spoke: “Who wants to move to find a new agency?” Sculley recalled, “Most of them thought it was the worst commercial they had ever seen.” Caught between a rock (Jobs) and a hard place (the Board), Sculley got cold feet and told CMO Bill Campbell to “figure it out.” Campbell, a former football coach, decided to throw a “Hail, Mary.” He told his team, “I think we ought to go for it.”


The only reason “1984” aired was because we were unable to sell off half a million dollars worth of Super Bowl time and had to fill 60 seconds with something. So we really owe it all to the ineptness of Chiat/Day’s media department.

Copywriter: STEVE HAYDEN
Announcer: ED GROVER
Agency Producer: RICHARD O’NEILL
Production Company: FAIRBANKS FILMS

To read “Steve Jobs,” by Walter Isaacson on your Kindle, click here.
To view “1984,” click here

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Had lunch at the Tavern Club today…

Image of street map to Tavern Club

…ran into a former client, who was already well under way on his New Year’s celebration. For the twenty-five years or more that I have known this man he has been both a drunkard and a lecher, yet he and his business have flourished like the green bay tree. Pondering on this, I remembered how the prophet Jeremiah had once pleaded with the Lord to tell him, Why do the wicked prosper? And received no answer.

 WOJDYLA’S FOOTNOTE: Regarding today’s blog post, the iPhone picture is mine but the words that I paired with it are not. They were written by a “guest” blogger, James Webb Young. The 4A’s Past President typed this snarky comment eight decades ago on December 31, 1942. (It can be found on page 96 of his book, “The Diary of an Ad Man,” published by Advertising Publications, Inc., Chicago.) 

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Which search engine do you use?


Did you know when you search for something using Google, you may not be getting the most trustworthy results?

That’s the point of “Scroogled,” a new holiday ad campaign by Bing. Here’s the script:

HER: Jeff, what are you making?
HIM: My famous chicken cacciatore. You are in for a treat. I just got a new pan for it. Great price online. A top pick on Google Shopping.
HER: How do you know you didn’t get scroogled?
HIM: Scroogled?
HER: Google sells it’s shopping results. And while they look like honest search results, they’re really paid ads.
HIM: So you might not get the best price?
HER: You don’t even know which stores they’ve left out.
HIM: Man, I just got…
HER: SCROOGLED! Next time, use a search engine that won’t burn you.
ANNCR: Don’t get scroogled. Try Bing.

I think the strategy is brilliant. I think the creative execution is clunky.

I think Bing should buy a bunch of TV time in 2013 and continue educating the public. (And I think Bing should hire a small creative boutique to do new ads.)

Your thoughts?
Is this an “inbound” ad (educational and helpful)?
Or “outbound” ad (whiny and selfish)?

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Last month, I made the most stupid mistake

Last month, I made the most stupid mistake

Do you see the typo?
When I signed off on this proof, I didn’t.
Today, it’s the only thing I see.

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Steve Frankfurt, 1931-2012


Art Director: Philip Gips; Photographer: Henry Sandbank;
Creative Directors: Paula Silver & Steve Frankfurt.

A memorial service was held yesterday at the Riverside Memorial Chapel.
Read Steve’s obituary. Read about his Hall of Fame career. Sign the guestbook.

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Robert Boyle (1909-2010)


My favorite non-Madison Avenue art director‎
in “The Man on Lincoln’s Nose.”

In Hollywood, the art director (a.k.a. production designer), is responsible for the visual space in which the film takes place. No matter what your age, you’ve probably seen one of his films. After reading his obit in the NYT, you’ll probably want to see more.

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Best magazine cover at Hudson News this month

Best magazine cover story at Hudson News this month

Magazine: The Atlantic, May 2012 (The Culture Issue)
Writer: Stephen Marche
Photographer: Phillip Toledano

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What do you think of the breast-feeding photo on the cover of Time Magazine?


People who know me only through Facebook or LinkedIn probably don’t know I started my career at HBO (in the Time-Life Building). Ever since then, I’ve had an affinity for powerful visuals. To me, this is their best magazine cover in a decade. Bravo, Martin Schoeller & Rick Stengel.

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World’s Best Tourism Campaign

It’s not for the state I was born in. Or the state I live in. Or any other state for that matter. It’s for a country that wasn’t even on my bucket list until I saw this spot.

CREATIVE CREDITS: Cathie Campbell & Pam Ferman & Joe O’Neill & Rich Pels & Peter Smillie (& maybe some others I’ve forgotten).

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Robert B. Cohen (1927-2012) Hudson News Founder


A spontaneous flashmob memorial for the business executive who helped make business travel a bit more bearable.

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Hello world!

Here’s the first post. (The next one will be better.)

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