Louis products have realized national and international prominence
over the decades with memorable marketing campaigns.
By Liese Hutchison
St. Louis Commerce Magazine asked numerous area marketing,
advertising and public relations practitioners this simple question:
What marketing campaign of a St. Louis product helped launch that
product to national attention and remain a part of our culture?
From the numerous suggestions, five companies and products stood
out. But first, what makes a memorable marketing campaign? Why
do some slogans and icons remain affixed in our memories? According
to Bruce Kupper, president of Kupper Parker Communications, successful
campaigns reflect the times. "Defining the brand makes a national
marketing campaign successful," he notes. "And you do that by
hitting on the sense of the times and helping switch consumer
An example Kupper uses is Tums' Tums for the Tummy campaign
of the 1950s. "That campaign told people, who were feeling the
post-war boom and cold war stresses, that they didn't need go
see a doctor for stress and upset stomachs, that they just need
Tums for their tummies. This is one of the first psychological
campaigns; it defined the brand, captured the consumer's attention
and helped Tums become the nation's best-selling antacid." Tums
has been produced in St. Louis since 1930.
for Your Tummy campaign catapulted
Tums to the number one selling antacid.
What else makes a marketing campaign successful? Mark Schupp, president
of Schupp Co., says "There are many measurements for determining
the success of a marketing campaign. The first is obviously whether
it accomplished the marketer's objectives. Usually, the objectives
are tied to sales but could also be stated in terms of results of
qualitative and quantitative research such as the desired level
or increase in brand/ad awareness. Other criteria for success may
include: impact on internal sales force, impact on retailers or
wholesalers, package placements, number of consumers participating
in program, sales leads generated or number of gross impressions
generated by public relations efforts."
One of Schupp's picks for memorable marketing campaigns is "Needham,
Harper, Steers' famous campaign for Bud Light featuring the loveable
party animal, Spuds MacKenzie. Spuds had mass appeal and became
a national and international phenomenon. The campaign, created by
Needham, became fodder for a public relations bonanza, led by Fleishman
Hillard. Spuds was everywhere in the late '80s and was a major factor
in Bud Light's unprecedented growth growing from the number 3 to
the number 1 light beer in the country in a few short years." In
fact, by 1994 Bud Light was the best selling light beer in the United
States and the second-best selling beer behind Budweiser.
The "other" Anheuser-Busch product, Budweiser, has a memorable campaign
created by D'Arcy. This Bud's for You" campaign was introduced
in 1979 and is still used today. Charlie Claggett, the former managing
director and chief creative officer of D'Arcy, says, "What made
that campaign memorable is that it came out at a time when morale
was at its lowest in this country. We were still suffering the effects
of the Vietnam War and this campaign saluted the American worker.
We used real workers in the campaign and each commercial showed
people working all day long and then having a Bud at the end of
the day." Claggett says keeping a campaign going is difficult. "It's
successful because it hits the right cord at the right moment,"
chasing the covered wagon up the wall
campaign, which introduced the Purina brand in 1970,
brought Chuck Wagon to the number two selling
dog food, beyond Purina Puppy Chow, by 1971.
One of Ron O'Connor's picks for a memorable campaign is Chuck Wagon.
The dog food was introduced nationally in 1970 with a campaign created
by Gardner Advertising. It depicts a dog chasing a chuck wagon up
the wall. This campaign launched the product and catapulted it to
the number two best selling dog food beyond Ralston's number one
dog food brand-Purina Dog Chow. The campaign is exhibited in the
Smithsonian Institutes Center for Advertising History. O'Connor
is president of O'Connor & Partners.
Shoe Co. and Leo Burnett Advertising did
something revolutionary in the 40's and 50's -
it marketed Buster Brown Shoes to children, not
Not necessarily showing his age but his keen sense of marketing
history, another of Kupper's picks is the Buster Brown campaign
I'm Buster Brown, I live in a shoe! Woof Woof. That's my dog
Tige, he lives in there, too. According to a report written
by Leo Burnett of Leo Burnett Advertising in Chicago, this campaign
was introduced on radio in 1943 and moved to television during the
'50s. What was revolutionary about the Buster Brown campaign is
that it was targeted toward children and not their mothers. According
to a Burnett's 1960 report, "In 1943 Brown Shoe broke precedent
and left its competitors in the general practice of advertising
to mothers to go direct to kids as the real consumers of Buster
Brown shoes. It was believed that the comic strip characters of
Buster and Tige, picked up by Brown in 1904, could be developed
into demand-end sustaining loyalty that would bring leadership to
Buster Brown. It was believed that the personality of Buster Brown
could be developed with millions of kids to a degree that would
set this line apart in shoe retailing."
A truly integrated marketing campaign, the Buster Brown character
would visit children across the country. Premiums were handed out,
which included Buster Rings and Buster Masks. In addition, more
than 44 million Buster Brown comic books were distributed between
1943 and 1960.
What campaigns of today will we look back on in the future? According
to Claggett, it may be difficult to remember them. "It's hard to
establish an icon today because we're not giving campaigns time
to develop," he notes. "Everyone wants a quick hit and quick results."
Liese L. Hutchison is an assistant professor in the department
of communication at Saint Louis University and a free-lance writer.