There aren’t too many people in the advertising world that create campaigns that are a great success and effect the world. Mr. Richard D. Trentlage worked in advertising and he wrote the successful jingle for Oscar Mayer that ran from 1963 until 2010.

What’s important to note about the creation of his jingle is that Oscar Mayer was holding a contest for the creation of the jingle. According to the New York Times, Trentlage “heard about the contest only the day before the deadline.” It ran in twenty-one English speaking countries for forty-seven years. Now, that is what advertising students want to aspire to do. Make a campaign that can be enjoyed by people around the world for many years. That is exciting to even think about.

Mr. Trentlage was born on December 27th, 1928; he just recently died on September 21st making him 87 at the time of his death. Why am I talking about someone I’ve never even heard about until yesterday? As I was driving yesterday, I heard a remembrance broadcast on NPR about him. Though, I had never heard his name I have heard and seen the campaigns he worked on; “It sure doesn’t taste like tomato juice” for V8 and  “Buckle up for safety, buckle up. For National Safety Council. Yes. That’s right, the “buckle up” that is on every flashing roadsign I see on the highway, Richard Trentalge, created.

I think what impresses me the most about his body of work is that they have become timeless slogans. We all know the Oscar Mayer Weiner song and anyone that’s ever been in a car, uses the term “buckle up” and sees it on signs. This guy created the timeless campaigns that are part of people’s lives, they’re not just ads.

Thank you, Mr. Trentlage, for inspiring me to shoot for greatness, and not just once. I think he has shown that great slogans and jingles in campaigns can impact people’s lives, and if that’s not what young advertising students shoot for, then what’s the point?

  • Eddie Pulido


Image courtesy The New York Times