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The Advertising Century

John B. Watson

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John B. Watson
(1878-1958)
J. Walter Thompson Co., New York

In the early 1920s, JWT leader Stanley Resor set out to endow JWT's creative work and all advertising with scientific underpinnings. Resor brought Watson, a pioneering academic in behavioral psychology, into the agency. Previously a JWT consultant, Watson was asked to develop creative principles that would motivate consumers to buy. After studying JWT's advertising and clients, Watson realized instinctive judgment generally was more applicable than academic theories. He became a VP-account exec; developed blindfold tests, employee intelligence and performance tests; and continued to promote JWT'seffort to surround its work with scientific premises.

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