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Tag Archives: USP

I came across this “baby” at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in DC last week. https://geogallery.si.edu/10002811/rosser-reeves-star-ruby

The Rosser Reeves Star Ruby was donated to the Smithsonian by Mr. and Mrs. Rosser Reeves in 1965. Rosser Reeves was an American advertising executive and pioneer of television advertising. His ads were focused around what he coined the unique selling proposition (USP), the one reason the product needed to be bought or was better than its competitors. These often took the form of slogans such as M&M’s “melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”

Don Draper, the main character in Mad Men, is based on Rosser Reeves. It was Reeves who created the “It’s Toasted” slogan for Lucky Strike cigarettes. In “Mad Men,” Don Draper saves the Lucky Strike account with his last-minute “It’s Toasted” pitch.

Now, here is where it gets local. Rosser Reeves son, Rosser Scott Reeves, Jr., was our neighbor right here in Little Rock. Not only was Reeves Jr’s dad the real-life Don Draper, but his uncle was the even-more-famous David Ogilvy. Talk about a marketing pedigree!

And that’s how I’m three degrees of separation from Don Draper.

Rosser Reeves Star Ruby at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC

If you don’t live in Arkansas (and there’s a good chance you don’t) you’re missing the fun of Arkansas advertising.  Today in my fair city of Little Rock I was listening to a local radio station and the spokesman for a Chevrolet dealership pitched the Impala as “the car for the man who’s not trying to impress anybody.”

I doubt that’s what the folks in Detroit had in mind for copy, but you have to admit it’s unique. Not unique in the way Rosser Reeves intended for a USP.  I’d bet nobody else positions it the way we do in Arkansas.  The 2014 Impala. Shown here in Razorback Red.

The 2014 Chevy Impala. It's nothing special, and that's what's special about it.

The 2014 Chevy Impala. It’s nothing special, and that’s what’s special about it.