Years before Reality in Advertising, Rosser Reeves’ widely discussed book, became an overnight business best-seller in 1961, Reeves had dramatically and permanently impacted the way in which advertisers would use television to help build their brands, demonstrating a prescient understanding of the power of the then-fledgling medium. His advertising philosophies helped generate unprecedented success for many clients, as well as for Ted Bates & Co., the agency he helped found.
From the beginning, Reeves displayed a rare talent to create advertising with a distinct and unswerving point of view. He understood that advertising ultimately exists to sell products. As a copywriter, and eventually as chairman of on of the world’s most prosperous advertising agencies, Reeves approached the task of selling with an unmatched combination of enthusiasm and discipline.
Perhaps the clearest evidence of Reeves’ extraordinary vision remains his concept of the Unique Selling Proposition or USP. By any other name USP advertising would still be a simple fundamental idea that advertising works best when it focuses clearly and without distraction on a unique and compelling "reason why" to buy.
Reeves’ own selling genius turned this universal concept into an enduring USP for his own agency, as it did for so many legendary brands - Anacin, M&Ms, Wonder Bread, Colgate, Coors, Rolaids, Prudential, Arrid, Minute Maid and others. By the time of Reeves’ retirement in 1966, the Bates agency had grown to become the fifth-largest agency in the world.