Batten Barton Durstine & Osborn, Crafters of the Corporate Image, and Benton & Bowles, Radio Renegades
This chapter focuses on two important advertising agencies—Batten Barton Durstine & Osborn (BBDO) and Benton & Bowles (B&B). BBDO approached radio as an ideal medium for building a corporate image, overseeing programs for large advertisers concerned not with product sales but with improving consumers' views of them as good corporate citizens. Their longest-running and best-known program for the Du Pont Company, Cavalcade of America—a docudrama tracing the history of American business and innovation—served the progressive goals of cultural uplift, public education, and good corporate citizenship. Meanwhile, B&B approached radio as an opportunity for innovating advertising by challenging the advertising industry conventions. B&B's most important program, Maxwell House Show Boat—which used integrated commercials—not only became a top prime time program but also increased Maxwell House coffee sales by 70 percent.
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