These days, seeing a CEO appear in their company’s ads is quite common. But back in the 70’s, it was rare. So when NYC ad agency Scali McCabe Sloves convinced chicken processor Frank Perdue to star in his own ads, he was reluctant. But it turned him and his brand into a household name. That, and many other stories, are recounted in his wife Mitzi’s new book Tough Man, Tender Chicken: Business & Life Lessons from Frank Perdue.
Of course, our dear AdPulp readers will love the sections pertaining to the creation of the ad campaigns, and there are some fun anecdotes in the book. Most notable was the agency search process itself. Frank Perdue was methodical and meticulous in interviewing prospective agencies, an approach you could say he took with every aspect of his business. That type of dedication is the focus of the book: More than an advertising or branding story, the book is full of lessons on customer relationships, quality control, hiring, managing growth, and other great advice.
Tough Man, Tender Chicken should appeal to everyone in business, not merely CEOs or entrepreneurs. Because doing what Frank Perdue did — taking a commodity product like chicken and creating a lasting brand — seems impossible, but it’s not when there’s a solid ethos behind it, and you can apply those lessons to any job.
Special thanks to FSB Associates for providing me with a review copy.