Company celebrates centennial of creativity and commercials

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  For 100 years, the Doe-Anderson advertising agency has found creative ways to sell products. That staying power has landed the company in the history books and its very own exhibit at the Frazier History Museum.

The exhibit celebrates some of the biggest commercials that have caught the attention of readers and viewers without them even knowing.

"A lot of times you see the advertising for a brand and you don't know who created the advertising and we're okay with that," said current Doe-Anderson President and CEO Todd Spencer.

The Louisville-based advertising giant traces its roots back to 1915, making it the third-oldest independent agency in the country.

"What it proved is that an agency not located in Chicago, New York or L.A. could make a big difference," said former President Bob Allison.

The exhibit, "The Power of Persuasion: 100 Years of Doe-Anderson," opens August 1 at the Frazier History Museum, as it kicks off its new Hometown History series.

"Things have changed so dramatically over the years and we've continued to evolve and the agency we have today is very different from when I started and definitely different from 1915," said Spencer.

On display are some of the agency's most memorable campaigns: Comedian Phyllis Diller promoting Paramount Pickles, an animated turkey begging consumers to "Eat ham, please" for Fischer's meat packing company and the dripping red wax that became the signature for Maker's Mark bourbon.

"He invited us down to the distillery for a tour and gave us the business. That was August 28, 1972. It was a big deal," said Allison, who recounts how the firm landed Maker's Mark's business.

Forty-three years later, the iconic brand remains one of the company's biggest clients, but the way they sell it continues to change.

"Every one is reading four different messages at the same time on their cell phone so trying to break through today is much different," said Spencer.

And with the evolution of advertising, Doe-Anderson proves it has staying power, adapting to the times.

"The art department was filled with big boards and they had their pens and they were scribbling and drawing. And now you walk into that same artists' area... there's a computer there that they're working on," said Allison.

A trait that will continue to serve them well, as they look to the future.

"The agency has done a great job over the last 100 years adapting and changing how we deliver those messages and I think we'll continue to do that over the next 100 years," said Spencer.

The Doe-Anderson display runs through February 2016.

Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All rights reserved.