Dick Rich, 84; Put Whimsey Into TV Spots. (The New York Times, 12/16/2014)
Online headline. Dick Rich, Who Helped Redefine TV Advertising, Dies at 84.
Mad Man extraordinaire
Mr. Rich was a founding member of Wells Rich Greene, one of the small firms that helped define the freewheeling spirit of television advertising in the 1960s. Within months of the firm’s formation, in 1966, he created two fast-paced, trendsetting spots.
Both featured ordinary people performing daily tasks. Both increased sales for their clients. And both were funny enough to bear repeated watching.
The first, for Alka-Seltzer, was known by its voice-over refrain, “No Matter What Shape Your Stomach’s In.” It was a montage of a vast variety of human midsections, and an ode to the frailty they all supposedly shared. Whether fit and trim or fat and jiggling, or a ballerina’s, a hard hat’s or a fallen boxer’s pressed to the mat, the commercial vowed, Alka-Seltzer would make them all feel better when “heartburn,” “the flutters” or that “stuffy feeling” struck.
Equally whimsical and visually sardonic was the commercial he wrote for the extra-long Benson & Hedges 100 cigarette.