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NYC 1968 Scali's media department. Hard to believe that less than a year ago, I was hired by Len Hultgren, one of the five partners of Scali. Mike Ephron had became my boss. I probably learned more about the importance of story-telling in stand-up presentations from him than anyone else.
Later, since Ed McCabe wanted no part of training a budding copywriter that would keep breaking into his liquor cabinet to leave writing samples, I was moved into account work on Volvo, and then the rest becomes stories told over drinks. Unlike Mad Men, all are true.
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In 1996, The One Club mounted a retrospective of the work of Scali, McCabe, Sloves. This catalog contains the reflections of many writers and art directors who worked there. Scali is gone. As are Carl Ally, PKL, Levine, Huntley, Schmidt, Della Femina, Travisano. Delehanty, Kurnit, & Geller, Wells, Rich, Greene, Jack Tinker, Daniel & Charles, to name just a few.
The Scali years was a time in advertising like none else. And no, Mad Men has not captured it. Scali however, in its early days, pre-Ogilvy was unique. A mecca. A training ground. A temple of great advertising created by five equal partners from creative, account service, and research.
Do you want to start an ad agency today? This catalog is the ONLY book you need for your roadmap. Everything that's needed to build a great agency is between the two covers. Absolutely everything.
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Madison Avenue Magazine This article was written right after Scali moved to 345 Park from 635 Madison. Shortly before I became an account guy on Volvo. I did get back on Madison Avenue when I went to work for Jerry Della Femina. Whatever you've heard about Scali's earlier days - advertising's glory days is probably true. It was great. I met one of my best friends there, the writer Tom Nathan, who's still a best friend and gave back by teaching 100s of young writers at SVA over the years. Few know it, but the terrible tough Volvo client, Jim LaMarre, also became a close and trusted friend. I miss him. For those of you who have the love and burning desire to be part of advertising like Joe and I did, you may want to note that the writer of this article, Dick Wasserman, got a job as copywriter under Ed shortly after this article came out. It was a much smarter idea than trying to get Ed to see his book or like me keep breaking into his liquor cabinet.
Print ads created during the time I was at Scali and Della Femina on accounts that always had advertising from great writers and art directors. Between Volvo, Teacher's Scotch, New York Daily News, well, it was just some of the best print work out there.
Working at Polaroid was a unique experience. Partially due to being under Dr. Land and the people drawn to him, and partially due to the experience of working with brillant art directors who crafted each ad, with Xacto knives, anguishing over leading and spacing. And that's not to mention being part of the living legacy that taught people to share images on the spot with people they love. Nothing has ever replaced the shear joy of sharing instant memories with Polaroid pictures. Nothing.
We had to have at least one, ok, three Garner and Hartley commercials. It was too tough picking just one.
One Show Finalists 1974 - The Art Directors Club and The Copy Club ran this award show together. It really doesn't matter who won Gold, Silver etc. All of them were really great. Really easy to read. Got their selling message across. And you can't for the most part tell "trade ads" from "consumer ads"
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Between '70 and '71, I became an account guy (a further step away from being the copywriter I wanted to be) gotten married, moved from the Village to the Upper West Side and a huge apartment on West End Avenue. Dan Aron, whom I knew from my media buying days, when he was with WABC, asked me to join him at his radio production company at #1 Patchin Place, a few blocks from my old apartment in Greenwich Village, across from the Women's House of Detention. Volvo and Scali were clients, and I had the opportunity to create. While I had a terrific time, my client at Volvo asked me to come work for him, and it was an offer I just couldn't refuse. But for the short period of working with Dan... well , it was amazing, he and NoSoap gave me a new set of creative and selling skills and he is a friend to this day. The article on the left was from an interview in Canada during a sales swing to agencies up north, and yes I lied about my age. I can't remember why 28 sounded better than 25, as at 25 I still looked underage. By the way, if you need great radio commercials and jingles, call Dan at (212) 581-5572 and, here is a great profile of Dan from his WABC days; http://www.musicradio77.com/danaronprofile.html