The ad, above, was the type of dealer ad that Polaroid sales managers of that period insisted upon. They claimed that dealers would only run crap, to use the operative term of those days. They were adamant that dealers would not run, never run, any kind of classy ad. I worked hard at convincing Stan Calderwood that this was nonsense. It was counterproductive to strive for a positive upmarket image and at the same time cave in to a messy, confusing, and hysterical approach to sales promotion. The crappy ads had many vocal defenders but Stan took them on and fought for our cause. He won the war and dealer ads were never the same. Below are some of my dealer ads.
These ads ran in 1959 and 1960. I think they were the best looking ads we did. Bill Field and Peter Wensberg came back from New York with these excellent photos by WIngate Paine. The model is very appealing and believeable, and their copy is perfect.
A technical note to typophiles: To my knowledge these are among the first use of Helvetica type in the USA. I discovered Neue Haas Grotesk when it made its debut in Switzerland and contacted the type foundry in Basel. They directed me to a typophile in Cleveland, Roy Rothstein of Type and Art, who was setting it in Didot, the European equivalent of picas. I think this helped to further enhance a contemporary, clean and classy look to dealer ads. Helvetica type is ubiquitous today, but in those days it made a very impressive statement.