DDB’S CHIVAS REGAL CAMPAIGN.


It’s REALLY special’.
I’ve worked on a lot of luxury brands over the years, and essentially that’s the brief you get.
You have to make buying the product feel like gaining access to a very exclusive club.
With nothing tangible to say you have to conjure up a personality from thin air.
It’s tough, you have to be very creative.
‘It’s not what you say it’s the way you say it’ as Bill Bernbach put it.
Doyle Dane Bernbach did it a number of times, one that is often over looked is the Chivas Regal campaign.
Lots of products had loudly asserted they were the best, Chivas didn’t do that, it playfully toyed with the notion that you already knew they were the most premium.
At the time they weren’t seen as premium and they weren’t category leader, but the ads were so damn confident and cocky that you had to assume they were.
Here’s how it all started; Bill Bernbach, in what we’ve come to call a chemistry meeting, told potential client and Chivas Regal owner Sam Bronfman ‘I think I ought to tell you that I’ll never know as much about your business as you do.
How can I? You built it, you breathe it, you dream it.
But you have to understand I’m in a different business to you, even though it involves your product. And I know my business better than you?’
‘‘You mean together we can do a great job? OK, you’ve got the account’’ Bronfman replied.
With a clear demarcation of who did what, DDB turned Chivas Regal into a a brand that was seen as premium and became category leader.
I found this account of how those early ads were written.

If I had to pick two locations where I had the most fun in advertising, they would be, One, the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and Two, Charlie Pic’s office at 437 Madison Avenue. Charlie and I worked on the Chivas Regal account together.
I would lie on his couch and he would sit at his board drawing. He was a great
The way it worked was, I’d either throw out a line or he’d go pin a cartoon to his wall of cork.
If we 
both liked it, it stayed up overnight. If we didn’t like it the next day, into the trash can.
There was zero 
time pressure.
Once a year, we’d take the survivors, fully rendered as full colour photo comps, first up
to Bernbach for his blessing, and then straight over to the Seagram Building at 375 Park.
Home of 
Edgar Bronfman, or ‘‘Ed-God’’ as we called him.
We’d go to the Board Room and pin all the comps up around the room.
By that time we had 20 or 30 
that we both really liked.
A stream of clients would then enter and walk around like it was a show at a 
hip Art gallery. And in fact, it sort of was. We didn’t hang one in the show we didn’t want to see on the back cover of TIME or LIFE.
We’d listen politely to all their comments, generally agreeing with them 
because it didn’t really matter.
We were all awaiting the arrival of Ed-God.
After a half hour or so, he 
would descend from on high. Lots of bowing and scraping in the board room. Charlie and I cool as two cubes on ice.
We knew the drill.
Ed-God would slowly stroll around the show, hands behind his 
back, pausing before some of them for a second look.
Then he’d say, ‘‘Okay, here’s what we’re going 
to do’’, and he’d walk around once more, this time with the head marketing guy in his wake.
He’d say, ‘‘
This one, this one, that one…definitely that one, I love that one. Oh, and this one and this one…etc.’’ Until he’d picked twelve that he liked/loved.
He’d look at Chuck and I and say, ‘‘Thank you very much, 
gentlemen.’’
And that was that.
We head back over to 437 and put 11 ads, plus one Christmas ad, into 
production.
That was it.
We had a whole new year to think of more.
There is no better way to earn a 
living than that, and no better way to have fun either.

– Ted Bell, Copywriter, Assistant to Mr. Piccirillo, Doyle Dane Bernbach.

IT’S SPECIAL:00. 'What Idiot'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg
0. 'Put A Bottle' Chivas Regal, DDB NY*-01.jpg0. 'Would You Still Buy' Chivas Regal, DDB NY-01.jpg1. 'For People Who*' Chivas Regal, DDB NY-01.jpg2. 'Does Chivas Embarass' Chivas Regal, DDB NY-01.jpg2. 'Where To Place', DDB NY (Esquire).png3. 'Should You'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg3. 'Should You'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY**.jpg4. 'Sometimes it's more elegant',  Chivas Regal, DDB NY* (Esquire).png4. 'If Anybody'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png6. 'For Six Years'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png7. 'Cut Out' Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png8. 'Chivas May Seem Beyond',   Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png
11. 'Just A Reminder' Chivas Regal, DDB NY (Esquire).png10. 'What IdiotAgain' Chivas Regal, DDB NY*-01.jpg12. 'Be Careful' Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png13. 'If This Is'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png

THE LIQUID IS SPECIAL:
0. 'Don't Bother'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg0. 'Flying Is'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg1. 'Come, come*',  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png2. 'Why Do'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg3. Chivas Regal 'It's Not Just', DDB NY (Esquire)-01.jpg4. 'If You'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png5. 'Ouch'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg6. 'If You're Going To' Chivas Regal, DDB NY*-01.jpg7. 'If You Think' Chivas Regal , DDB NY.png

OF COURSE IT’S EXPENSIVE, IT’S SPECIAL:
00. 'There Are No'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg0. 'Is Chivas Regal' Chivas Regal, DDB NY*-01.jpg1. 'Isn't That'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg4. 'Believe It Or Not',  Chivas Regal, DDB NY (Esquire).png2. 'Are You Giving.' Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg6. 'What Other' Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png8. 'Did You Know' Chivas Regal, DDB NY (Esquire).png7. 'Coins' Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png

SO SPECIAL PEOPLECOVET IT:00. 'Let's Make It Chivas' Chivas Regal, DDB NY-010. 'The Most Carefully Poured' Chivas Regal, DDB NY Esquire1. 'No Other' Chivas Regal, DDB NY2. 'Ever Notice' Chivas Regal, DDB NY (Esquire)3. 'It's Hard To Keep' Chivas Regal, DDB NY4. 'A True Story*' Chivas Regal, DDB NY (Esquire)6. 'One Of The Nice' Chivas Regal, DDB NY (Esquire)5. 'The Following Events' Chivas Regal, DDB NY (Esquire)9. 'Naturally' Chivas Regal, DDB NY10. 'Why Not' Chivas Regal, DDB NY11. 'Circle The Bottle' Chivas Regal , DDB NY (Esquire)12. 'Are You A' Chivas Regal, DDB NY*-0113. 'Oh No!' Chivas Regal, DDB NY

SPECIAL ENOUGH FOR FOR THAT SPECIAL PERSON IN YOUR LIFE; DAD:0. 'If You're Not' Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpeg1. 'It's Not'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg3. 'You can never'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg2. 'If Your Father..',   Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg4. 'Give Dad an Expensive Belt'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY*.png5. 'We Ran This Ad'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png7. 'Long After', Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png6. 'You Can Never' Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png9. 'Sunday, June'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png8. 'If There Were A Son's Day' Chivas Regal, DDB NY (Esquire).png11. 'Daddy' Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png10. 'Father's Day' Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png12. 'He Taught'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg14. 'For All Those'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg13. 'Give Him Something'   Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg17. 'Less Work For'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg
Chivas Regal 'Ties' DDB NY

IT’S SPECIAL, PEOPLE DON’T WASTE IT:1. 'And He Calls Himself' Chivas Regal, DDB NY*-01.jpg0. An Appeal' Chivas Regal DDB.jpg2. 'Where Do You Hide' Chivas Regal, DDB NY-01.jpg3. 'When Serving'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY (Esquire).png5. 'If It Seems A Little Bit',   Chivas Regal, DDB NY (Esquire).png7. 'If You Serve The Host' Chivas Regal, DDB NY*-01.jpg6. 'It Doesn't Age' Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png9. 'Carefully Poured' Chivas Regal , Esquire.png8. 'Does Your Gen',  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png

FOR WHEN YOUR FRIENDS DEMAND SOMETHING SPECIAL:0. 'Have You Noticed'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png1. 'Are Your Friends' Chivas Regal, DDB NY (Esquire).png0. 'Your Friends Less Of You' Chivas Regal, DDB NY (Esquire).png2. 'Ever Get'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg1. 'Look At It This Way'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY (Esquire).png5. 'We Should Behave'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY (Esquire).png6. 'If One Of Your Guests',   Chivas Regal, DDB NY (Esquire).png9. 'To The Host'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg8. 'This Bottle Is Empty'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY (Esquire).png11. 'This Is No Time',   Chivas Regal, DDB NY (Esquire).png10. 'Give A Bottle'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png12. 'Next Time'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg

IT’S BIGGER THAN IT’S CATEGORY, IT’S SPECIAL:00. 'The Chivas Regal*'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY (Esquire).png0. 'The Chivas Guide To'   Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg4. 'Worth It's Weight'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png2. 'Guess What' Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png6. Chivas Regal 'Anxious bar guy', DDB NY.png
8. 'Not All Things'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png11. 'Chivas Please'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg12. 'Why Settle'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png10. $85,000', Chivas Regal, DDB NY .jpg

YOU’RE SPECIAL, YOU DESERVE SOMETHING EQUALLY SPECIAL:0. 'If You're Serving'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png0000. 'What's The Occasion?'   Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg00. 'Since You Have'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg000. 'You Get A Kick' Chivas Regal, DDB NY*-01.jpg2. 'What's The Occassion?' Chivas Regal, DDB NY*-01.jpg1. 'The Chivas Quiz'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png
4. 'Of Course You' Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png5. 'Your Cost Of Living'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png6. 'If One Of Your Guests' Chivas Regal, DDB NY (Esquire).png8. 'No Other Scotch' Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png9. 'Drinking Less?' Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png12. 'It's better'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg10. 'Can You Think Of',  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png

SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR THAT SPECIAL TIME OF YEAR:1. 'Start Your Own' Chivas Regal, DDB NY*-01.jpg0. 'Go Ahead'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY*.png
4. 'If Not Now' Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png2. 'Our Sympathy*'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png3. 'Should You Give*'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.jpg5. 'What People Gave'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png

6. 'Long After'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png7. 'Why Wait'  Chivas Regal, DDB NY.png8. 'What More', DDB NY (Esquire).png

 

 

 

3 responses to DDB’S CHIVAS REGAL CAMPAIGN.

  1. dave dye says:

    Hey Allen, it’s often overlooked as DDB did so may great campaigns. Best, D.

  2. Brian Chapamn says:

    Hi Dave
    Do you know who the copwriters were on any of these? Apart from Ted Bell, who’s mentioned at the beginning.
    Thanks

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