"IS IT UNIQUE? AND WILL IT SELL?": REALITY IN ADVERTISING BY LEGENDARY MADISON AVENUE AD EXECUTIVE ROSSER REEVES, A CHIEF INSPIRATION FOR DON DRAPER OF MAD MEN
REEVES, Rosser. Reality in Advertising. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1961. Octavo, original navy cloth, original acetate. $700.
First trade edition, preceded only by the abbreviated privately printed Bates edition, of the highly influential book famed as "a Rosetta stone for the advertising business," authored by Madison Avenue ad executive Reeves—the "Prince of the Hard Sell" and a leading inspiration for Don Draper of Mad Men.
Famed advertising executive Rosser Reeves, the "Prince of Hard Sell" and chairman of Ted Bates agency, was a major inspiration for television's Don Draper of Mad Men, where "viewers are invited into the glamorous world of Madison Avenue advertising at its best. In real life, this was the world of such famed admen as David Olgivy, Bill Bernbach, Rosser Reeves and Leo Burnett" (Stern and Manning, Lucky Strikes, 192). Reeves' Reality in Advertising was originally "an internal document written primarily for Bates' employees… Reeves revised his initial work and added chapters for an official public release." Fellow ad executive Ogilvy wrote Reeves in August 1960 with praise, saying this book would be held "with 'equal importance' as that of Claude Hopkins' Scientific Advertising" (Haygood, David Ogilvy versus Rosser Reeves). Reeves' memorable slogan for M&M candies especially informs an episode of Mad Men when Draper offers the slogan, "Lucky Strikes is toasted." This specifically calls upon "the marketing strategy that Reeves, the legendary executive at Ted Bates, called the 'unique selling proposition': the elevation of a particular feature (such as chocolate that melts in your mouth, not in your hands) to the status of a brand's inimitable raison d'etre" (Goodlad et al., Mad Men, 12). "First Borzoi Edition" stated on copyright page. Without scarce slipcase.
Book fine; only small chip to spine head of acetate. A handsome about-fine copy.