Author, Advertising Executive
by Derrick Daye
Every marketer should know Rosser Reeves. He was a highly successful advertising executive and the originator of the Unique Selling Proposition (also known as the Unique Selling Point or USP). In his 1961 best-seller Reality In Advertising, Rosser defined his industry-changing concept in three parts:
1. Each advertisement must make a proposition to the consumer. Not just words, not just product puffery, not just show-window advertising. Each advertisement must say to each reader: “Buy this product, and you will get this specific benefit.”
2. The proposition must be one that the competition either cannot, or does not, offer. It must be unique—either a uniqueness of the brand or a claim not otherwise made in that particular field of advertising.
3. The proposition must be so strong that it can move the mass millions, i.e., pull over new customers to your product.
Rosser’s influence continues to thrive and can be found in AMC’s hit television show Mad Men as he is the model for the professional accomplishments of the series’ protagonist, Don Draper.
“No, sir, I’m not saying that charming, witty and warm ad copy won’t sell. I’m just saying I’ve seen thousands of charming, witty campaigns that didn’t sell.” ~ Rosser Reeves (1910 – 1984)