31 de marzo de 1924 - 15 de febrero de 1999
Copywriter, Ally deja abruptamente a Papert, Koenig & Lois en 1962 para abrir su propia agencia con las cuentas de PanAm, Volvo y Hertz, trayendo como director de arte a Amil Gargano y a Jim Durffe como copy. Con éste último había trabajado en Campbell - Edwald. Como Ally & Gargano iluminan el panorama de la publicidad nombrando a la competencia en sus anuncios. Para Volvo es seguridad; en cuanto a Avis: "Durante años Avis ha estado diciéndole que Hertz es Nº1. Ahora vamos a contarle a usted por qué lo es". Ally & Gargano, New York.
The founding of Carl Ally Inc. represented a challenge to the status quo with the introduction of new, dynamic and daring advertising concepts. Ally is credited with breaking conventional advertising standards in his use of comparative techniques, first against "Brand X" and later against a "named" competitor. Carl Ally and his agency also established new standards for the effective use of humor in advertising.
A quick review of the fabled work of Ally's agency shows clarity, good humor and disarming freshness. A deeper look reveals that Ally's sales argument leads the reader to the intended conclusion, while kindly allowing him to think it was his own idea. There is no greater art in advertising, nor evidence of respect for the consumer.
Ally was responsible for many memorable campaigns which could claim near immediate effectiveness: the "we-know-how-you-feel" lifeline reaching out from Pan Am to the apprehensive air traveler, from Piper Aircraft to the frazzled CEO who stood last in line at LaGuardia and from Hertz to the worn-out salesman on a lumpy bed after a hard day on the road. For Federal Express, he introduced the concept of overnight delivery based on the premise "If it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight."
Carl Ally advertising worked in many places to reinvigorate sagging creative, inspiring higher standards and better advertising.
Ally & Gargano was an American advertising agency, which Advertising Age named agency of the year in 1982. Famous clients included Volvo, Saab, Federal Express (the "speed talker" campaign), and Dunkin' Donuts ("Fred the Baker" campaign).
Carl Ally left Papert, Koenig, Lois in 1962 to open his own agency. Founded as Carl Ally, Inc. in 1963, Ally elevated partner Amil Gargano and renamed the firm Ally & Gargano in 1976. Ally sold his voting stock in the agency to Gargano in 1979, remaining chairman. That year Edward M. Gallagher joined A&G as chief operating officer, and quickly brought in the MCI account.
The company went public in 1983, but a string of client losses and budget cutbacks increased internal tensions. Ally formally retired from Ally & Gargano on Jan. 1, 1985 and in June 1986, Marketing Corporation of America (MCA) bought Ally & Gargano for $26.6 million. After further account losses including the showcase Saab account, in December 1988, MCA sold control and 50 percent of the agency to Wesray Capital Corporation for $30 million.
Carl Ally was inducted into the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame in 1991. Gargano left A&G that year when his contract expired, and the agency closed soon after.
Carl Ally, Hard-Hitting Adman, Is Dead at 74.
Carl Ally, a hard-hitting, high-flying advertising man who helped show Madison Avenue the error of its genteel ways through a series of blunt ads that turned upstarts like Federal Express and MCI into industry giants and him into an industry legend, died on Monday. He was 74 and the founder of Carl Ally Inc. and its successor agency, Ally & Gargano.
His family said he died after suffering a heart attack near his home in Rowayton, Conn.
Throughout a tempestuous career in which he alternately dazzled, delighted and alienated clients, employees and ultimately his own partners, Mr. Ally remained an outsider by birth, by choice and by temperament.
The son of an Italian-American mother and a Turkish immigrant who changed the family name from Ali, Mr. Ally, whose father worked on Great Lakes ore ships and later as a tool and die maker, grew up in a blue- collar household in Detroit before joining the Army Air Corps in World War II.
Nobody who knew him on Madison Avenue years later would have doubted that he had been a ferocious fighter pilot who won both the Distinguished Flying Cross and a Presidential Citation. (Although many, including, it turned out yesterday, the author Joseph Heller, scoffed at Mr. Ally's oft-voiced claim that he had been the prototype of the character Yossarian in Mr. Heller's novel ''Catch-22.'')
After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1948, Mr. Ally, who later got a master's degree from the university, spent two and a half years in Schenectady, N.Y., in a General Electric training course that he later likened to a Harvard M.B.A. program in advertising and marketing.
After working a while at a small Detroit agency, he joined the Detroit-based Campbell-Ewald, a regional giant, and did so well that in 1959 he was sent to the New York office, where his enthusiastic conviction, as he later told it, that he was smarter than his bosses led to his dismissal eight months later.
The next year he joined Papert, Koenig & Lois, where, in a subtle preview of his later penchant for debunking clients' competitors by name, he produced a memorable campaign for the old New York Herald Tribune. (''Who Says a Good Newspaper Has to be Dull?'')
Mr. Ally, who always chafed at what he saw as the dull, insipid advertising produced by old-line agencies and their old school network of button-down executives, got his chance to do things his way in 1962 when a former Peugeot advertising manager who had taken a similar job with Volvo asked Mr. Ally to take on the account.
Since Papert, Koenig already represented Peugeot, Mr. Ally had to form his own agency, which he did with two of his former Campbell-Ewald colleagues, Amil Gargano, an art director, and James Durfree, a copywriter.
Television rules of the day barred an advertiser from mentioning its rivals by name, but Mr. Ally, who was later credited with helping win a relaxation of those rules, got around that with an aerial commercial, shot at a Connecticut airport, showing a Volvo, its name emblazoned on its roof, leaving five familiar but unlabeled rivals far behind in a 10-second race. That -- along with a later commercial demonstrating Volvo's superior braking power and ads noting that in Sweden, where many roads were unpaved, Volvos lasted an average of 11 years -- helped establish the car's reputation for safety and durability and led to a significant increase in sales.
Within three years the fledgling Carl Ally Inc. and its founder's ''grab 'em by the throat'' advertising philosophy had attracted a dozen other clients and cemented its reputation as a hot agency.
A man whose love of flying led him to pilot the agency's plane, Mr. Ally had a weakness for aviation and automotive clients, among them Scandinavian Airlines System and a company that had virtually no name recognition and no advertising history until Ally introduced it to the world (''America, You Have a New Airline'') as Federal Express.
The agency later had a similar success with another upstart, MCI Communications, but over the years Mr. Ally's always passionate, sometimes abrasive ways, took their toll.
In 1979, with the agency renamed Ally & Gargano, he turned day-to-day control over to Mr. Gargano, and a decade later, after selling to his partners, he retired.
The agency, which underwent a series of reorganizations, finally succumbed several years ago. By then Mr. Ally, a self-styled grenade thrower, had been inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame.
Mr. Ally, who was married and divorced four times, is survived by five children: Christopher, of San Francisco; Patricia Leebaert of Fairfield, Conn.; Matthew, of Manhattan and Rowayton; and Jo Ellen and Catherine Ally, both of Weston, Conn., and four grandchildren.
Photos: Carl Ally (The New York Times, 1966); Carl Ally's agency helped introduce the Federal Express delivery company to the world and later added some humor to the theme of speed with commercials that featured the fast-talking man. (Sedelmaier Film Productions)
Fuente: By ROBERT McG. THOMAS Jr. Published: February 17, 1999. The New York Times.
Copywriter Ally left fabled Papert, Koenig, Lois in 1962 to open his own agency; landed the Pan Am, Volvo and Hertz accounts; and brought in art director Amil Gargano and copywriter Jim Durfee, whom he worked with at Campbell-Ewald. As Ally & Gargano, they would light up advertising's newly brightened skies by naming competitors in ads and making forceful claims. For Volvo, it was about safety. For Hertz? Was Avis No. 2 in car rentals? A&G's response: "For years Avis has been telling you Hertz is No. 1. Now we're going to tell you why." The rest is history -- in now-fabled Ally & Gargano style.