Tom McElligott Should Inspire Modern Marketers
Tom McElligott was a humble, shy copywriter from the American Midwest, who largely operated during the 1980s and early 1990s. Sadly, he remains a vastly underappreciated master of his art.
McElligott is such a hero of mine that I found a way to write about him on this blog in the past.
I love the simple, smart style of his work which often uses humour or intelligence to make a point. But he doesn’t talk down to his audience with over-complicated concepts or pretentious wordplay.
These were part of one of his most famous ad campaigns, for Rolling Stone magazine. The publication was struggling to sell advertising space because it had an image problem – people thought its readership were hippies.
His work should be more widely admired – and modern marketers could take some inspiration from his campaigns. The minimalistic, memorable and powerful campaigns seem ideally suited to short attention spans and modern digital channels such as email marketing or social media.
Giving him a spotlight on this blog for a moment, I decided to focus on another ad campaign series that really captured my imagination, but is probably less well known than the Rolling Stone ads.
It’s clever, witty and still seems unique a quarter of a century later!