McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York
During his 25-year McCann-Erickson career, the Charleston, S.C., native created some of the most successful ad campaigns in history. Backer's musical training figured in Campbell Soup's "Bring on the Campbell's, Soup is Good Food;" Coca-Cola's 1971 "Hilltop" anthem, "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke" and Coke's "It's the Real Thing" jingle; and Miller Lite's "Taste's great/less filling" celebrity "feud" series that ran for years and put Lite atop a new beer category. In 1979, Backer left McCann as vice chairman-creative director and, with Carl Spielvogel, Interpublic vice chairman, opened Backer & Spielvogel. The agency was acquired by Saatchi & Saatchi in 1985 for $100 million.