Keith Reinhard got his first taste of the ad business from the tiny grocery store in northeast Indiana where his mother worked as a clerk when he was a boy.
The store didn’t have room to post the promotional materials from the likes of Kraft, General Mills and Mars, so he took them home to study them, intrigued by the logos and type.
“I think Betty Crocker was probably my first pin-up girl,” says Reinhard, a co-founder of Omnicom who’s now chairman emeritus of DDB Worldwide, in an interview with Beet.TV.
Looking back on an impressive career, Reinhard recalls being fired by McDonald’s while serving as president of Needham, Harper & Steers in 1981 as his biggest professional setback. Luckily, the agency won a big assignment from Anheuser-Busch shortly afterward and avoided layoffs.
Reflecting on how the ad business will change in the coming years, Reinhard notes that it’s perhaps more important to focus on the things that are unchanging.
“Chief among the things that won’t change ever are basic human drives,” he says. “Our job is to find ways that our clients’ brands can connect with those drives.”
This segment is part of Beet.TV’s “Media Revolutionaries,” a 50-part series of interviews with key innovators and leaders in the media, technology and advertising industries, sponsored by Xaxis and AOL. Xaxis is a unit of WPP.
Reinhard was interviewed for Beet.TV by David J. Moore, Chairman of Xaxis and President of WPP Digital.