Agencies In Strange Places: Third In A Series

While we’re on the topic of Nebraska, let’s examine the strange truth about one of the agency world’s legendary brands. Bozell + Jacobs was founded in Omaha, and exists there to this day. I know. Shocker of all shockers. Yet, it’s true.
Two newspapermen, Leo Bozell and Morris Jacobs began their advertising firm in 1921 with what became a world-famous advertisement for the Boys Town orphanage in Omaha. “He ain’t heavy, Father,” the ad stated, “he’s my brother.” The orphanage went on to be the subject of an MGM motion picture.
Another major moment in this agency’s history includes the creation of “The Wild Kingdom” for insurance client, Mutual of Omaha. This is also the shop responsible for “Pork�The Other White Meat,” a campaign that worked wonders for the pork producers by repositioning the meat as a healthy alternative in consumer’s minds.
On a sour note, the current intro on the agency web site is misleading and beside the point. It features stock photography shot in Montana or maybe Wyoming. To worsen matters, the copy reads, “The best ideas seem to come out of nowhere, which is exactly why we live here.” Not exactly the most heartwarming message for the firm’s local clients or prospects. Nebraska is not nowhere, it’s merely off the radar of cultural elites.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.