July 12, 2014#

Julian Koenig


Julian Koenig died last month. He was the original copywriter on the Volkswagen account when Doyle Dane Bernbach was awarded the business in 1959. His art director was Helmut Krone. Together they created “Think Small” and “Lemon.” It’s hard to overestimate the effect those ads had on the industry at a time when Madison Avenue was infatuated with research and brainstorming sessions. (Sound familiar?)

Koenig’s ads talked to the reader like an intelligent friend and used facts and humor to win you over. It worked. The ads got read and talked about and helped increase VW sales at a time when imported car sales were plummeting in the U.S. At his induction to the Copywriter’s Hall of Fame, he said, ““The hardest thing in the world to resist is applause. Your job is to reveal how good the product is, not how good you are, and the simpler the better.”