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Selling Creative: Advertising Men and Women in the Hall of Fame

ISBN: 9780578895727
Binding: Paperback
Author: Mary E. Warlick
Pages: 324
Trim: 7 x 10 inches
Published: 02/06/2023

Americans have long enjoyed a fascination with advertising, a complex love-hate relationship. Ads are often connected with childhood recollections of favorite brands and characters—whether they are annoying, entertaining or persuasive, and the messages often lodge in our memories long after the actual product has disappeared from our consciousness.

"Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands." "Does She or Doesn't She?"

"Just Do It!" "Where's the Beef?" These taglines are part of American culture, but few of us know the talented individuals who created the business of advertising.

Selling Creative - Advertising Men and Women in the Hall of Fame is about those extraordinary individuals who built brands with their creative ideas and drove the American economy, individuals who were mavericks in their industry. Their original ideas broke through barriers of what was possible in communication.

Bill Bernbach realized the value of smart creative work—if the ad is noticed you don't have to keep repeating the same message. Bernbach's agency led what was known as the Creative Revolution. Lee Clow, a native Californian and avid surfer, partnered with Steve Jobs to launch the first personal computer for Apple, "Why 1984 won't be like 1984." Cliff Freeman asked, "Where's the beef?" and questioned overblown promises in America.

Selling Creative provides in-depth profiles of the culturally astute men and women who tapped into their generation's fears and desires. This book tells the story of advertising's Creative Revolution through the lives of the people who lived and worked in the era.

Selling Creative - Advertising Men and Women in the Hall of Fame tells the stories of the generation that changed advertising; they elected presidents, discovered affluent activists, and found the magic of persuasion in humor, wit and entertainment. These special men and women are part of our common history, and this book presents their stories for the first time in a cohesive, entertaining and accessible format.


Mary Warlick worked in advertising in New York as CEO of the One Club for Creativity, recognizing creative achievement. She witnessed first-hand major shifts and developments in advertising from 1990-2016. She personally interviewed most of the people featured in Selling Creative and had unprecedented access to their archives. Warlick has produced two Emmy award-winning documentaries on creative leaders in advertising, Art & Copy (2009) and The Real Men and Women of Madison Avenue (2012). Her most recent documentary, The City That Sold America (2018) reveals Chicago's rich history in advertising. Warlick edited Advertising's Ten Best of the Decade 1980-1990. She taught advertising history as an adjunct professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and at Minneapolis College of Art. Warlick graduated from University of North Carolina at Greensboro, earned a Masters Degree from the University of New York at Binghamton and a Master of Philosophy from Columbia University.


"Throughout Selling Creative: Advertising Men and Women in the Hall of Fame, author Mary E. Warlick offers up incredibly informative and engaging bios of these famous 50. She details important moments from each person’s background and the impact they created, but also tells a larger story around the evolution of the creative product within our industry. Warlick cleverly organizes the 50 into smaller subgroups and provides a chronological tale of advancement from James Webb Young’s early 1900s era, to the Bill Bernbach/DDB creative revolution of the 1960s, to the Wieden+Kennedy impact that began near the end of the 20th century.

By learning about the pioneers and innovators that Warlick profiles, you’ll enhance your knowledge of how the industry has evolved and where you fit into it today."  —Dave Kuhl, Communication Arts, November 2023.