08 February 2013

Dear Fred: I Want to Tell You Why Bob Levenson Mattered To Me...

On a given day, some 154,138 human beings die.

Bob Levenson 1929-2013
One of them, this past January 16th, was Robert Harold Levenson, late of the agency Doyle Dane Bernbach, a standard bearer of advertising's Creative Revolution a half century ago.

Of the great stories revived about Bob, the best one circulating is Bob's advice about writing great copy.  Even his advice about writing inspires an "I wish I'd written that."
"Start it 'Dear Fred: This is what I want to tell you about [the product].'  Pretend you're talking to an intelligent friend who knows less about the product than you do.  When you're done, simply cross out the 'Dear Fred.'"
Damn, that's clever.

Copywriters should write these words on their gates.  On pure parchment, wrapped around their foreheads, tied to their arm, or nailed to their doorposts.

For the last show of our first season of The Age of Persuasion- not certain as to whether CBC would invite us back, and if they did, that we'd want to return, we took the unusual step of building an entire 27 minute show around a single ad.

A Bob Levenson masterpiece, and for our money, his magnum opus. 


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