Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Marshall Brodien Salutes Literacy

 This is a sporadic series which highlights the celebrity-filled literacy ads I ran for the Newspaper In Education (NIE) program we had at our local schools.

When I started the NIE literacy ad series at Lerner Newspapers, my goal was to increase awareness to the program by using local celebrities as spokespeople.  After I landed a few celebrities and the series was on solid ground, I really started to have fun with it.
Especially for Chicagoans, few people evoked memories of fun more than Marshall Brodien.  Whether as Wizzo the Wizard or as himself selling decks of his famous TV Magic Cards, Brodien entertained millions of children (and adults) for decades.  I knew having Brodien appear in our ads would really spark an interest with the parents who grew up watching him on the various Bozo shows.
Brodien was pure class whenever I talked to him at the time.  He offered some free magic products for the program, too.  He gave me plenty of his time and was happy to be part of the program.
Our Graphics Department produced a whimsical ad featuring his dual persona.  It was colorful, kitschy and very 70's.  It was everything I wanted it to be.
So was the response.  Parents loved seeing their childhood favorite again.  Students were also drawn into the ad.  The ad brought a lot of attention to our literacy program.
When I called Brodien later to tell him how successful his ad was, he seemed genuinely touched.  I swear he even got a bit choked up.  For a man whose life was focused on magic, this was one more magical moment!

Read to discover the secrets hidden within books.
--Marshall Brodien as quoted in the NIE ad series in 2004

No comments: