Sunday, March 4, 2012

Finding Coincidence in Research

(A humble bow to the past and a fellow Alumnus)

I’ve read quite a few books on the research and advertising industries over the last few years and I found an incredibly cool coincidence when reading The Mirror Makers (a book on American Advertising History) and felt compelled to share it.  I come from a small town in Maine (Westbrook, pop. 16,000).  Seeing Westbrook, Maine even get a mention in general is as rare as someone getting struck by lightning twice.  Westbrook is a town primary known by the rare few for producing good Little League Baseball Teams and Rudy Vallee.  With this in mind I found it especially surprising that the man who introduced the “total marketing concept” (circa 1912), a founding member the Audit Bureau of Circulations, and one of the first “Ad Men” to hire a  psychological research staff grew up in Westbrook and graduated from the same high school I did.  His name is Harrison King McCann.  If “McCann” doesn’t sound familiar, it should.  He helped start one of the world’s largest ad agencies (McCann-Erickson).  He passed away 50 years ago, but his vision for using research to build better principles and practices in advertising continue to go on and I try my best to contribute to the same cause.  As a proponent of learning from the past, I’m proud to following a similar path as McCann…one of the original “Fightin’ Analysts,” and extremely successful one at that.