Words of advice from a top copywriter
Never fear big long words.
Big long words mean little things.
All big things have little names,
Such as life and death, peace and war,
Or dawn, day, night, hope, love, home.
Learn to use little words in a big way.
It is hard to do,
But they say what you mean.
When you don’t know what you mean,
Use big words–
That often fools little people.
— Arthur Kudner
Arthur Kudner’s advertising career began in 1916 as a copywriter at Erwin Wasey, a renowned advertising agency then in Chicago. He was appointed chief copywriter in 1919 and he served as president of the agency from 1929 to 1935. Born in 1890, he died in 1944.
Kudner wrote copy for many top advertisers including Absorbine Jr., the foot liniment. Kudner invented and named the main affliction against which the brand was positioned, “athlete’s foot.”
Erwin Wasey accounts included Minnesota Valley Canning Co., marketer of Niblets and Green Giant canned vegetables; Hoover Co. the vacuum cleaner company; General Foods; Philco Radio; Camel Cigarettes; and the Carnation Company.
In 1930, the agency hired a young Indianapolis adman, Leo Burnett, who opened his own agency in 1935. Kudner also left ErwinWasey that year to form his own agency.
Kudner’s advertising agency
handled the Fisher Body division of General Motors
This Body by Fisher advertisement shows exactly what Kudner intended by his words of advice above. The copy is direct, informative, easy to read, and the longest word is “scientifically.”
A motor car today is simply not complete without the crowning smartness and protective safety of the famous new solid steel “Turret Top” Body by Fisher. Scientifically insulated against sound, sun and zero, this newest Fisher contribution adds to comfort, just as it enhances the beauty of the whole car. Of course, you will find the new “Turret Top” on Oldsmobile, “the car that has everything”—as on Chevrolet (Master DeLuxe series), Pontiac and LaSalle. It is the hall mark of the modern automobile, and, like Body by Fisher, is offered only on General Motors cars.
Frank Lenning Chance was the account executive on the Body by Fisher account. He joined Arthur Kudner as an account executive at the newly formed agency.
Born in Indianapolis, he first worked as a “printer’s devil” in his father’s printing shop in that city. Later he became advertising manager for Holcombe & Hoke, a manufacturing firm and then joined Henri Hurst & MacDonald, a Chicago advertising agency.
From 1928 until 1935 he was with Erwin, Wasey & Co, joining Arthur Kudner, Inc. on its formation in 1935. His principal accounts, in addition to Fisher Body division of General Motors, were the Collins & Aikman Corporation and The American Weekly