NY Times

TV Ad Executive Dick Rich Dead at 84; Here’s One of His Classics — an Alka-Seltzer Spot From the ’60s

Dec 16, 2014  •  Post A Comment

Copywriter and advertising executive Dick Rich, who created classic ads for Alka-Seltzer and Benson & Hedges 100, has died, reports The New York Times. He was 84.

Rich died Nov. 11 in Manhattan. The cause was a heart attack, said his daughter Karen Rich.

Rich founded Wells Rich Greene, an advertising firm that the publication notes “helped define the freewheeling spirit of television advertising in the 1960s. Within months of the firm’s formation, in 1966, he created two fast-paced, trendsetting spots.”

Rich’s spot for Alka-Seltzer was known for a voiceover that said, “No matter what shape your stomach’s in.” The spot included a montage of human stomachs, from fit to flabby, and stressed that no matter what shape your midsection was in, Alka-Seltzer would make it feel better.

Rich also created a classic spot for the extra-long Benson & Hedges 100 cigarette, which showed the ways the longer cigarette might get people’s attention. The voiceover said, “They’re a lot longer than king size — and that takes some getting used to.”

In 1984, he created one of the first TV ad campaigns for personal computers when he worked on spots for the Commodore 64, the story notes.

“He was by most accounts a pioneer of advertising that rested on the great image rather than the great slogan; his litmus test in formulating campaigns, he once said, was ‘W.I.W.I.J.: Will It Work In Japan,’” the piece notes.

Rich wasn’t known for his modesty, the article adds. He told The Times in 1983, “Clients don’t come to me for OK advertising. They come to me for great, great advertising.”

Here’s one of Rich’s classic ads:

One Comment

  1. If I remember correctly, the music in the spot became a hit on the radio back then, too.

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