Digital Media

Work 3.10.03

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Remembering classic work of roy grace

Amazing grace: Memorable and prize-winning advertising was the calling card of Roy Grace. Mr. Grace died Feb. 26 of prostate cancer at age 66 after a long and storied career as an art director and advertising agency head, which included election to the halls of fame of the Art Directors Club and the One Club for Art and Copy.

In his first of two productive stays at Doyle Dane Bernbach, Mr. Grace was in the 1960s a member of the all-star creative team under advertising legend William Bernbach. His work at DDB included such ad classics as the late '60s "Funeral" TV spot for Volkswagen; the "Spicy Meatballs" spot for Miles Laboratories' Alka-Seltzer; and, for American Tourister, "The Gorilla," one of the funniest TV ad torture-tests ever devised (see the spots on QwikFIND aao49p).

After a stint with Gilbert, Grace & Clark, Mr. Grace returned to DDB in the mid-'70s and rose to executive creative director and chairman of DDB's U.S. operations. He held those posts in 1986 when DDB combined with Chicago-based Needham Harper & Steers to form DDB Needham Worldwide, now DDB Worldwide, in the merger that created Omnicom Group.

Mr. Grace in 1986 left DDB and, with colleague Diane Rothschild, founded Grace & Rothschild. In 1987, he returned to auto advertising, beginning a relationship with Range Rover and later Land Rover that ended after 13 years in 2000. Soon after, Grace & Rothschild merged with New York's Della Femina/Jeary & Partners. Ms. Rothschild became president of the combined agency, which was renamed Della Femina Rothschild Jeary & Partners.

Alka-Seltzer: The unforgettable perils of a spicy meatball.

Volkswagen: "Funeral" broke advertising boundaries.

Balvenie: Mr. Grace himself did the sketches for the scotch brand.

American Tourister: The ultimate product demonstration.

Land Rover: A new twist on a car wash.

J&B: Scotch ads put the brand's signature in unlikely places.

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