Communications associate professor served as inaugural speaker for Clemson's Erwin Center for the Study of Advertising and Commnications series.
Despite being intense rivals in the competitive and complicated advertising world, iconic agency leaders Rosser Reeves and David Ogilvy shared the simple belief that the sole purpose of advertising is to sell products. They also shared a rocky friendship captured in letters and correspondence spanning almost four decades.
Elon University School of Communications associate professor Daniel M. Haygood presented these and other insights into advertising history as the April 10 inaugural speaker for Clemson University’s Erwin Center for the Study of Advertising and Communications speaker series.
Haygood explained that, while the two advertising giants agreed on advertising’s overall purpose, they had divergent creative approaches. Reeves’ approach, the Unique Selling Proposition, was direct and clear in telling consumers a product’s point of difference. Ogilvy’s “story appeal” approach was more about telling a story about the brand and building an emotional connection with the consumer.
“We are very pleased to have Dr. Haygood as our first speaker for the Erwin Center Speaker Series,” said Joe Erwin, founder of Erwin Penland, an agency of 400 based in Greenville, S.C., New York and Detroit. “We appreciate his taking the time to share his research with our students at Clemson. This is just the first of a series of speakers we plan on inviting to the Erwin Center.”
Haygood’s research involved archives at the John W. Hartman Center at Duke University, the Wisconsin Historical Society at the University of Wisconsin and the National Archives in Washington, D.C. These archives held the personal papers of Reeves and Ogilvy, as well as the Ted Bates Agency where Reeves worked.
“Both Ogilvy and Reeves’ approaches to creativity are highly relevant and still used today,” Haygood said. “For example, Google’s AdWords program emphasizes using the Unique Selling Proposition for online advertising in its series of tutorials. And ‘brand storytelling’ has become a highly popular movement in advertising.”
The Erwin Center is part of the communications department in Clemson’s College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. The Erwin family’s gift of $1.05 million created the Center over a year ago, launching five new course offerings for students. These courses support a new emphasis in advertising for communication studies majors.