I got my start working for the last of the legendary Mad Men — the wizards of Ted Bates Advertising who cracked the code for making unknown clients into #1 Brands.
They did it so well--they were famous for selling more products than all the other agencies combined. They did M&Ms (“Melts in your mouth, not in your hands”) and Halls Cough Drops (with “Vapor Action”) and scores of others that are still household names today.
There were just two problems for a rookie like me. First--and this sounds crazy but it’s true--even though THEY knew how to do it, they’d never explain it to the recruits! You were expected to just follow them around and figure it out, or get fired! So, I learned it
by trial and error--writing down the secrets that worked—so I could get it right and keep my job. Eventually, I actually won a major a copywriting award in New York.
Secondly--even though their secrets worked for any size business, they only did it for large national brands. Smaller companies and start-ups couldn’t take advantage of their magic.