Remembering a master

It’s been gratifying to see all the tributes by bloggers and broadcasters to honor legendary radio and TV personality Gary Owens. We’d be remiss if we didn’t express how his passing last week conjured up memories of when we worked with him in the early days of CRN.

Our client was Campbell’s Minestrone Soup, which was in a fierce battle with Progresso for consumers’ hearts, minds and stomachs around Columbus Day. Progresso had a strong lead because of its Italian brand heritage. It also had a larger advertising and promotion budget.

We concocted a crazy promotion that would culminate in giving away a lifetime supply of Minestrone, a prize with a cash value of perhaps $500 back then.

Gary, who at the time was the #1 morning DJ at KMPC in Los Angeles, ran with it in the sweet spot of morning drive and made a lifetime supply of soup seem as desirable as winning Powerball.

It was a very funny bit, occupied several minutes of coveted airtime, and sold a lot of soup.

A blog doesn’t do it justice: Do yourself a favor and listen to one of the great masters of radio, who showed the world how to deliver with warmth, humor and class.  We’re proud if CRN is even a footnote in Gary Owens’ storied career.