Our Blog

This Is Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

HDM Admin - Saturday, October 01, 2011

I had the good fortune of starting in the communications business under the tutelage of one of the last century's giants of advertising. This was Don Gwaltney, back when he was recently retired from the Chicago home office of Leo Burnett.

I met Don by happenstance at a golf tournament, the Heritage, on Hilton Head Island. That was about 15 years ago. I was shooting video with a Canon GL2 and Don had just bought one. He asked if I would tutor him on how to use it. After a few lessons, the tutoring flip-flopped. Don started teaching me how to make ads and before long we were doing all the national advertising and website development for Spring Island, a blue chip retirement community where Don lives.

Don's Burnett background includes co-authorship of the Marlboro Country campaign, considered the most successful ad campaign of the 20th century. He wrote the presentation rationale and all the copy for the first year of that campaign and then got bored and switched over to work on Parliament cigarettes. He created two campaigns for that brand: Night People and London Discovers Parliament. Later, he also authored three other cigarette campaigns, including the infamous U.S. campaign for the French cigarette, Gauloises.

Later, in 1989, after creating dozens of other campaigns, Don was solely responsible for the creation of the most popular campaign in the history of General Motors: This is Not Your Father's Oldsmobile. According to Google, that line has been plagiarized over 600 thousand times. Unfortunately, that campaign only lasted a couple of years because, according to Don, "The Olds challenged us to beat Chevy's Heartbeat of America, which we did. My song was song of the year in the world of advertising in 1990. But, unfortunately, the Olds division of GM didn't measure up. The Olds cars GM produced were, in fact, your father's Oldsmobiles. This was the beginning of the colossal GM decline which had to be rescued with federal funding." Don was named Chicago's Creative Man of the Year in 1988 and here is a copy of one of more than a few stories written about him:

This story appeared in SCREEN, a Chicago magazine, on Dec. 12, 1988. 

SCREEN’S BEST...AGENCY CREATIVE

Not Your Father’s Olds

by Dennis Rodkin

When Leo Burnett in September rolled out its spiffy fall Olds campaign, nobody was more impressed than the man in the driver’s seat, Burnett VP/group creative director Don Gwaltney, SCREEN’s Best Agency Creative. Gwaltney had watched as the simple, boppy lyric he put together for the Cutlass Supreme launch last spring grow into the cornerstone of the automaker’s biggest and most energetic campaign ever.
“We went from a campaign last year that was received less favorably than anything we’ve done in 12 years, to this campaign that broke the bank,” exults Gwaltney, treating an interviewer to his own basso very profundo rendition of the “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile” that has caught on like wildfire.

Quickly as he is to pass credit to the rest of the sizable Burnett team that crafter the campaign, Gwaltney is admittedly proud of the song, which he says “gets the generations together feeling good about each other in 30 seconds.” That’s just what the automaker ordered; Olds sales were flagging thanks to a reputation for building sturdy but undersized cars, and the entire product line needed a lift. But courting a new generation had to handled adroitly, so as not to alienate the solid customer base Olds has built.
If the song doesn’t collar consumers, the great stars will. The various spots feature the likes of Frankie Avalon, Roger Moore, the Judds, Abigail Rockwell (granddaughter of Norman), and even a pre-pregnancy Lisa Marie Presley. You simply can’t miss these commercials.

“This campaign is generating tremendous enthusiasm all around,” says Olds ad manager Gerry Card.

 “That slogan is the banner we’re marshaling our forces under.” Having worked with him in various arenas since Gwaltney started covering Olds for Burnett in 1978, Card says the new campaign is exactly what he’s been expecting from the “bigger than life” adman.

Comments
Payday Loans online commented on 24-Oct-2012 01:47 PM
Every weekend i used to pay a quick visit this web
page, because i want enjoyment, as this this site conations genuinely good funny data too.
Anonymous commented on 30-Oct-2012 07:02 AM
I have been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this web site. Studying this information So i am happy to convey that I have an incredibly good uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I so much indisputably will make sure to don¡¦t omit this site and give it a look regularly.online casino
Anonymous commented on 31-Oct-2012 06:12 AM
As a Newbie, I am continuously searching online for articles that can be of assistance to me. Thank youCasino Online |Best Casino | Best Casino
rinyclig commented on 31-Oct-2012 03:19 PM
must check spyder outlet for promotion code QFQJBEyXhttp://www.cheap-spyderjackets.com/
Vafegala commented on 31-Oct-2012 03:41 PM
to buy spyder jackets online UfXhapqbhttp://www.cheap-spyderjackets.com/
Utergoge commented on 01-Nov-2012 04:27 AM
to buy chanel replica , just clicks away euFJcTyKhttp://www.replicachanel.info/
paramedical esthetician commented on 05-Nov-2012 05:22 AM
Hello, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just
wondering if you get a lot of spam responses?
If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything
you can recommend? I get so much lately it's driving me insane so any assistance is very much appreciated.
Anonymous commented on 05-Nov-2012 09:03 AM
Hello, Neat post. There is a problem with your web site in internet explorer, could test this¡K IE still is the marketplace leader and a big part of other people will leave out your excellent writing due to this problem.
online casino australia
Guincwow commented on 05-Nov-2012 08:50 PM
look at chanel outlet and check coupon code available
dryer heating element commented on 05-Nov-2012 10:49 PM
We absolutely love your blog and find many of your post's to be precisely what I'm looking
for. Would you offer guest writers to write content for yourself?
I wouldn't mind composing a post or elaborating on a number of the subjects you write concerning here. Again, awesome site!
best shampoo for thinning hair commented on 06-Nov-2012 12:46 AM
My brother suggested I might like this website.
He was totally right. This post actually made my day.

You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this information!
Thanks!
septic tank problems commented on 08-Nov-2012 03:53 AM
First of all I would like to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question in
which I'd like to ask if you don't mind. I was interested to know
how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing.
I have had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out there.

I do take pleasure in writing however it just
seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally lost just trying
to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips?

Many thanks!
butt injections commented on 09-Nov-2012 12:15 PM
Do you have a spam problem on this site; I also am a blogger, and I was wanting to know your situation; many
of us have created some nice procedures and we are looking to
exchange solutions with others, why not shoot me an
e-mail if interested.
early childhood education salary commented on 10-Nov-2012 12:22 AM
I read this paragraph completely on the topic of the comparison of most up-to-date and preceding technologies, it's amazing article.
amish heaters reviews commented on 10-Nov-2012 05:04 AM
Hello, I enjoy reading through your article. I like to write a little comment to support you.
bipolarism commented on 10-Nov-2012 06:46 PM
Its like you learn my thoughts! You appear to know so much
approximately this, such as you wrote the e-book in it or something.

I believe that you could do with a few % to force the message house a bit, but instead of that, that is wonderful blog. A fantastic read. I'll certainly be back.
left side back pain commented on 10-Nov-2012 07:58 PM
This is the right webpage for anyone who wishes to understand this
topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that
I personally will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin
on a topic which has been discussed for decades.

Excellent stuff, just excellent!
event planner salary commented on 11-Nov-2012 01:26 AM
Asking questions are genuinely good thing if you
are not understanding something totally, except this post provides fastidious understanding yet.
permanent dentures commented on 11-Nov-2012 06:58 AM
Great work! That is the kind of information that are meant to be shared across the
net. Disgrace on the search engines for not positioning this submit upper!

Come on over and discuss with my web site . Thank you =)

Trackback Link
http://www.hazeldigitalmedia.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=419&PostID=303946&A=Trackback
Trackbacks
Post has no trackbacks.

Request a Proposal