Sadly, Phil Dusenberry Leaves Advertising at 71
This is personally sad. Not because I knew the guy but because I read a book of his (one of the few ad books I've made time to read) and feel like I know him. Yes, Phil Dusenberry, a man I never knew but a legend in the advertising world died at 71 December 29 after fighting lung cancer for the past year.
Dusenberry was a star at BBDO who many credit with turning BBDO into the creative powerhouse it was and, in some cases, still is. He of Michael Jackson Pepsi fame and creator of many memorable taglines such as GE's We Bring Good Things to Life, Dusenberry began his career in the Mad Men days of 1962 as a junior copywriter at BBDO. Apart from a seven year stint running his own shop, Dusenberry spent his entire career at BBDO rising through the ranks until he became Chairman of BBDO's North American operations.
The Book I read, Then We Set His Hair on Fire: Insights and Accidents from a Hall-of-Fame Career in Advertising captured the notion and power of insight as progenitor to a great idea. The notion is a simple one and not rocket science but Dusenberry did a nice job discussing it while interspersing it with war stories from his long career.
His work, and much of BBDO's work, has, most of the time, been celebrity-laden which, in hindsight, is quite apropos to Dusenberry's own celebrity status within the industry. may he rest in peace and may we remember him fondly.