Old school advertising stalwart Helmut Krone is honored in this week’s Graphis Masterspotlight
Becoming a renowned figure on Madison Avenue is no easy feat. TV shows like Mad Men, Detroiters, and Happyish have made it seem that these advertising directors are the be all end all of the agency. They occupy a popularized cultural bygone era of martinis, bloated expense accounts, and vertical company structures. They did what they wanted, when they wanted because, at the end of the day, the client was happy and the big bucks were rolling in. And while TV shows can try to emulate that aura, it will never like the real thing.
Helmut Krone is in many ways the inspiration for individuals like Roger Sterling and Don Draper. With a martini glass in hand by mid-morning and a multi-million dollar account meeting right after, professionals like Krone knew how to balance the “play hard, work hard” ethos. But he especially knew how to work hard.
Krone was responsible for many of the iconic advertising campaigns of the 1960s. From his mesmerizingly swinging ’60s Volkswagen campaign (ABOVE, LEFT) to the more industrialist one for Porsche and Audi, Krone knew how to bring big ideas to the table and make them sell. But his work for Volkswagen remains his most memorable, particularly for its pithy copy and confident promises, like the car’s ability to keep water out longer than most other models (ABOVE, RIGHT). For more than 30 years, Krone worked tirelessly to ensure that Doyle Dane Bernbach become and ultimately remain one of the premier agencies on Madison Avenue and indeed the world. He is a Graphis Master if there’s ever been one.