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Top Ad Campaigns of the 20th Century

Year: 1959Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

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1. Volkswagen's "Think Small" Campaign

Year: 1959
Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Kurt Kroner was the man behind the defining example of the greatest advertising campaign of the century, according to AdAge.com.

"He wasn't the copywriter. That was Julian Koenig. Nor was he the art director. That was Helmut Krone. Nor was he elsewhere employed by Doyle Dane Bernbach, the agency that stormed the confining Bastille of advertising orthodoxy to ignite the 'creative revolution.'

"Actually, our hero wasn't in advertising at all. Kurt Kroner was the one, among 3,389 Wolfsburg, Germany, assembly plant workers, to flag a blemished chrome strip on the glove compartment of a 1961 Volkswagen Beetle and reject the vehicle for delivery. Yes, if we are to believe Koenig's copy, Herr Kroner gave us the famously failed and fabulously forlorn 'Lemon.'

"God bless him, because in so doing he also gave advertising permission to surprise, to defy and to engage the consumer without bludgeoning him about the face and body. Kroner offered up a lemon with approximately the same result of Eve offering the apple. Not only did everything change, but suddenly things were a lot more interesting."

Video: A video from the "Think Small" campaign

Source: AdAge.com