Over the next several weeks, as a consumer and admirer of great advertising I am going to share what I think have been some of the greatest advertising campaigns of all time. My first and favorite of all time: KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL - CRYING INDIAN.
One of the most seen ads in TV history reminds us to watch what we drop. Cherokee Indian Iron Eyes Cody and his single tear tugged on our collective guilt of deposing a people and then despoiling their land. Created by Young & Rubicam's Marstellar Inc. in 1970, the TV spot ran at the expense of individual stations and became the most viewed public service advertising ever.
Since it's release he reached some 24 billion households, more than any other commercial in history. Research showed that during the 1970's when it aired, 94 percent of all viewers recognized Cody as the Crying Indian from the Keep America Beautiful ad campaign. The commercial received more than $700 million in donated network airtime.
"Crying Indian" ran for 10 plus years, and Cody served as a spokesman for Keep America Beautiful for decades after that. Sadly, Iron Eyes Cody died in 1999 - Thank you Cody for that one tear and creating one of the most powerful and great advertising campaigns I have ever seen.