Tuesday, May 12, 2009

greetings from vegas. but where were the CLIO's in 1963?

Writing this from (as the sign says) "Fabulous Las Vegas" where the Clio Awards is celebrating its 50th anniversary by showcasing statuette-winners from five decades. They'll also be honoring Matt Weiner tonight for his Mad Men work that dramatizes advertising in the 1960s, generally considered to be the turning point in the business, the time when advertising became a legitimate career instead of a shady enterprise propogated by hucksters. (You may not agree that this shift occurred.)

Betty Draper will be tweeting the event with other Mad Men on Twitter. (From a 1963 POV, of course.) Of course she'll be far more dressed up than most attendees. In the 60s, award shows were black tie. Every gentleman owned one. The few female invitees toted gowns and heels to their offices and you didn't want to go to the ladies room at 5 PM when air was heavy with perfume and hairspray and you'd likely see a boss in her girdle.

Doing a little research into CLIO archives turns up names long gone, but not quite forgotten: Normal, Craig & Kummel; NW Ayer; Oglivy, Benson & Mather; Paper, Koenig, Lois; Benton & Bowles (more commonly referred to as B&B.)

Still-vibrant DDB won best in 1963 for this sixty-second long (interminable, by our standards) spot using actor Jack Gilford for Cracker Jacks. Creative kudos went to writer Judy Protas (though the spot is silent) and inimitable art director Bob Gage.

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