The Man In The Chair

A deceptively simple layout -- minimalist, really -- is one of the things that gives this 1958 ad it's power. Even stripping away the desk that this skeptical business would normally be sitting behind was brilliant. Instead of making seem more vulnerable, it closes the distance between him and viewer, and adds to the reader's feeling of discomfort.

And the litany of clipped statements, one after the other, gives us a first-person experience of the stern dressing-down an unprepared salesman would receive from this man...
I don't know who you are.
I don’t know your company.
I don’t know your company’s product.
I don’t know what your company stands for.
I don’t know your company’s customers.
I don’t know your company’s record.
I don’t know your company’s reputation.
And then comes the final knife, set in an italic font that makes his summation seem even more intimidating.
Now--what was it you wanted to sell me?
I'm guessing "The Man In The Chair" helped sell a lot of advertising in McGraw Hill publications.


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