Longtime copywriter, Jim Albright, died June 30 in Denton, Texas. He was 77.
Mr. Albright started working in advertising in the late 1960s, after spending two years practicing law. During his career he was a copywriter, broadcast producer, creative chief and group head at several agencies, including Bloom Advertising, Tracy Locke, and McCann Erickson.
As a copywriter at Tracy Locke, Mr. Albright launched the classic Doritos campaign with art director Ron McQuien. The campaign, which starred comedian Avery Schreiber and used the tagline "They taste as good as they crunch," ran for 12 years starting in the 1970s. Subsequently, Doritos would become a best-seller for Frito-Lay.
Mr. Albright also is credited with naming Frito Lay's onion-flavored snack Funyuns in the late 1960s. He came up with the name after another company was already using the original name, OnYums.
"Jim was always a joy to work with. He had a wonderful sense of humor," said Herb Stott, a longtime friend of Mr. Albright and founder of Spungbuggy Works, the company that produced the Doritos commercials.
Mr. Stott shares a story that Mr. Albright told about a train trip from Dallas to Los Angeles. "Once, while riding on the train back to Dallas with Ron McQuien, they were in the bar in the dining car looking out the window. They asked the waiter, 'Where are we?' The waiter said, 'We're between lunch and dinner.' Jim said, 'I'm going to figure out a way to put that into a commercial.'"
In the early 1980s, Mr. Albright became an associate professor in the media department at Southern Methodist University. He later taught advertising and journalism at the University of Missouri. For the last two decades he taught as a tenured professor at University of North Texas where he was a favorite among his students and twice named an outstanding professor by UNT Mortar Board.
While teaching, Mr. Albright also wrote for numerous publications, published a textbook called "Creation of the Advertising Message," and continued to work as an advertising consultant and producer.
"He lived life well. He took the A train," said Mr. McQuien, who was Mr. Albright's creative partner at Tracy Locke, Bloom, and McCann Erickson. "He would not settle for second best and that is what I admired about him."The memorable 190's spot Mr. Albright wrote for Doritos: